Sabot L'ours (sabotlours) wrote,
Sabot L'ours

The Scam

Here's a cautionary tale about never letting your guard down. It's also a tale that proves cynicism and rudeness also have a place. It starts with my getting a phone call at work. It had gone to voicemail. It was from Comcast saying there was a problem with my account. I also saw in a home phone alert email that they also tried to call me at home. First mistake: I called the number in the voicemail and not Comcast directly. I was told that there was a problem with my directory listing. I didn't even know that Comcast had an online phone directory! The person on the phone wanted me to provide information so she could look up the problem. Here's where the cynicism paid off. I refused, and kept pressing her to tell me what the problem was. She wouldn't say. I told her to just mail me the information. Oh no. They don't mail anything. *yellow light flashes* She tried to give me some other number to call, but I refused. It was then she told me to verify the information on the online directory. So I went to the website. As a warning, it's I saw in the disclaimer at the bottom that it was related to Comcast. So I entered my name, and my phone number and address popped up. OK. Nothing out of the ordinary. What got the yellow light flashing was that I saw "not a secure site" in my web browser. Hmmm. It's what happened later that night that makes me believe this was part of a larger scam.

Kitty and I had just crawled into bed when the phone rang. I looked at the clock and saw that it was after 10. That late means it's some sort of important call or possibly a wrong number. If it was a telemarketer, the wrath of the bear would be unleashed. I got to the phone and saw on caller ID that it was from "US Gov't." Huh? Could it be something work related? So I answered. The person knew my name and said they were from the local FBI office. The number did have a 505 area code. I was informed that I was under investigation for child porn. Of course that sets you back on your heels immediately. Your next instinct is to think that it's some sort of hoax. Oh no! I was told that I could look up the number and see that it was the FBI office. So even though my mind was racing with all sorts thoughts about what this could all be about, the overwhelming feeling of "I have/had nothing to do with CP EVAR!" was first and foremost in my mind. That triggered my next response. I told the person to go suck a dick and hung up. Of course all night I was thinking about how I could somehow be implicated in CP. Was someone "SWATing" me? Was there some sort of guilt by association with other pedo-furs? Could someone be downloading CP at a furmeet if they had our password? Finally I settled on the most logical explanation that it was some sort of hoax/scam. There were a few phone calls I could make the next morning to confirm this.

The next morning I called Comcast to see about the first call. They checked their records and saw that no one from the company had called me. What about that website? They had nothing to do with it. While checking the phone number from the previous night, I accidentally hit redial. To my surprise, it actually dialed the FBI. So I called the office the next day. I asked if there had been incidents of spoofing of their number. "Yes. That has happened." OK. Case closed. I now kick myself for not engaging the person a little more before telling him to suck a dick. I'm sure it would have eventually led to a plea for me to get some gift cards to cover bail or a fine. Of course there is that minuscule chance that it WAS the FBI, but so far no one has broken down my door yet.

I should also mention that my uncle was also almost the victim of a scam. He was contacted and told that his grandson was in a terrible crash and he needed to send money to a hospital as soon as possible so that treatment could begin. He couldn't reach his grandson and started to panic. He called his son and asked for advice. My cousin had enough sense to tell his dad that it was probably a scam and to just wait a while. Sure enough, he eventually reached his grandson who was busy that whole day and away from his phone. But it showed the complexity of the scam because they knew some details about his grandson like name and address. Never let your guard down! But I'm also sure that most people would have their red light go off once things like sending gift cards or money orders are mentioned.

I guess the other lesson I learned was the old adage "those that sleep with dogs end up with fleas." Like I mentioned earlier, there are several people on my FL that have been busted for CP or have close relations with folks who have been so. I should just delete them from my FL and be free and clear. On the other paw I really dislike the whole "guilt by association" thing. As long as I have nothing to do with it, I will still be "friends" with whoever I choose to be. There is a whole list of things I may be into that would drop the jaws of most people, but none are illegal and nobody's business unless I'm talking with birds of a feather.
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