ITSPMagazine: Looking for a new job? Then the scammers want you!
Have a holly, jolly Christmas
... just don't answer the phone or respond to emails.
Speaking of the phone, I moved to a new apartment on Dec. 15 and it took me until the 21st to finally find someone at Bell who figured out how to transfer my phone number to the new address. I think they don't want to you to have a wired phone anymore; in fact all of the people I talked to assumed I was talking about a mobile phone. And when they realized I wasn't, they tried to sell me one. Until Rhea. That was her name. She asked a lot of questions nobody else had bothered to, and she finally was able to get the job done.
I was formerly in a "Fibe to the Home" building but had moved to a new apartment that Bell (so far) cannot monopolize. At first I thought I might be being punished for having cancelled my Bell Internet -- see my earlier post on the initial exchange with Bell in that regard: Bell Canada Almost Made Me Cry. Now I'm thinking they just don't train their technicians on how to move a phone from an all-Fibe building to one a little more eclectic.
Once Rhea and her Tech colleagues had solved the transfer problem, the first call I received was a VISA scam. It seemed appropriate. That's kind of an all-year thing, but the momentum does tend to pick up as the Christmas/New Year holidays approach.
Phone and email scams arrive in droves, and despite all the warnings in the media, people still get conned - or else the perpetrators would quit, wouldn't they? I wonder how many people besides Omar Abdulaziz have been duped by DHL, for instance.
And then there's the Amazon scam:
CTV: RCMP issue warning over Amazon email scam
I wouldn't have a problem at all with an email like that, because I closed my Amazon account a couple of years ago. The reason? Jeff Bezo's high-handed statement to the press that anybody who doesn't sign up for "Prime" is "irresponsible".
Surely I can't be the only one who took umbrage at such an insult. I wrote directly to Bezos demanding an apology and the email got shunted to an executive office where it no doubt got lost in a deluge of complaints.
So, I closed my Amazon account.
And that's when Amazon stops being friendly and helpful. The rigamarole you have to go through to close your account - just to find out how to do it - is challenging to say the least. You are warned that there will be nothing left of you on Amazon's books (and I'm saying, good, I want to be erased) but then a year or so later you start getting emails asking if you can answer a customer's question about an item you purchased in the past.
Gall appears to be pretty much the essence of a Jeff Bezos.
And then, of course, there's VISA. Back when I was still an Amazon customer, I decided to send a gift certificate to my daughter so that she could have the fun of selecting my grandkid's Christmas gifts. (They live across the ocean and Canada Post charges an arm and a leg to send parcels abroad with no guarantee at all when or whether they will actually arrive.)
First thing Christmas morning, my phone rang and it was an automated call from VISA urging me in dire tones to call them immediately. No reason was given so, of course, I ignored it. But the call kept coming at intervals during the day until I got sick of it and finally dialled the VISA number to tell them what I thought of this annoying intrusion into my Christmas Day.
I was finally able to get through to a live person who told me that someone had used my account to purchase an Amazon gift certificate and they needed to verify that it was indeed I who had done it. They said that Christmas is the time of the year when the Internet criminals are most active and I should be grateful that they were working on Christmas Day to protect my account. Which of course was a blatant lie, because VISA was protecting itself and its own assets.
I no longer use VISA.
And then there's the Microsoft scam. Here's one way to have fun with it, though you'd have to be awfully bored to want to.
I have long-time friends who live on an island in an old farm house close to the river. They have never had Internet nor a computer. So they find it hilarious when they get the fake MS warning call, and enjoy informing the intruder that "The joke's on you, pal".
Me, I've decided to take the grannie route. When they say it's about my computer I answer, "No it's not and you should be ashamed of yourself, young man." The caller suddenly becomes speechless and I like to think it's because I struck home.
Now here's something rather surprising, but probably quite appropriate to mention at this time of the year -- Christian Ministry scams.
Image from: How to Identify Scammer Ministers on Facebook.
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