Storm of Confusion, life’s little cracks in our carefully built walls of privacy and safety can lead to big scams
Dorothea Mordan’s Good Day Neighbor Column, 8/2023.
“Dorothea we have a problem.” said the voice of Beloved Family Member on the phone at 8:30 p.m. on a Thursday. He and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. B, were in a state.
That morning a pulsing image appeared on Mrs. B’s computer warning that there were attacks on their network. All files, photos and identity were at risk. If you close this window all is at risk. Every word chosen for maximum urgency. You must call Our Super Duper Support Team immediately! A Toll Free phone number was displayed.
Nameless Scammer had a way to connect with their fears and pull their human strings of responsibility. Now they would Make. That. Call. Instantly, they were in conversation over the phone and internet. Recognizing a fish on the hook Nameless Scammer revealed a name. Jennifer. Jennifer would save them from certain doom, financial ruin and identity theft. If they helped her maybe they could save some other people too.
It’s us and them. I alone am on your side…believe me. Scammer explained to Mr. B that the FBI and Federal Trade Commission were working with the Scammer’s team to catch and prosecute the band of internet thieves who were threatening Internet users all over America.
But we need your help Mr. B! Our work can only succeed with personal funds. We can’t use public, government funds for this very important work.
“This is the problem, Dorothea.” Mr. B said. “ I sent a big cashier’s check overnight by FedEx.”
Seconds pass while my dropped jaw and sunken heart get back into position.
“Do you have a tracking number?” I ask.
“Yes, it’s…” Mr. B, retired from a career as an attorney, had lifelong habits of collecting information.
My husband called FedEx on his phone, and was told the delivery could be stopped. Eureka! We all said goodnight, and I would go to Mr. and Mrs. B’s home the next morning.
I arrived by 10 checked the tracking number online, only to find that the package had been delivered at 9:41 a.m..
Another call to FedEx. While on that call, since there is always another cell phone in the room, I directed Mr. B to call his bank to stop the cashier’s check he had so diligently…