Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Please People - Get Some Sense

I get into work this morning and I have an email sent out to everyone in the building by the Systems manager, warning us of a phone scam going on where prisoners from the Fulton County jail will call and ask you to call someone for them because they can't. They would give the caller the number to call and tell them to press #72 before they dialed the number. By doing this, the prisoner could then charge calls to this person's phone. Over 100 people in the Atlanta area have fallen for this scam, and the prisoners have run up over $5000 in phone charges. Three people at my DC have reported receiving similar phone calls here at work.

I am all about spreading the word about a scam going around, warning people what to watch out for, but seriously - HOW STUPID DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO FALL FOR SOMETHING LIKE THAT? What, the prisoner can call you, but he can't call his loved one? Are you freaking kidding me? And what kind of idiot would actually still do this even after they tell you to dial #72 first - is that not your first clue that this is a scam? Since when would you have to dial a secret code to call someone from your own phone? Come on, people, get some sense!!! Use your brains - God gave them to you for a reason.

This reminds me of a story of my dear best friend Jen (she is going to love me for sharing this!). Jen is this amazing person, super friendly, super nice. So a few years ago when we were still living in Memphis, or affectionately referred by us often as the "good ole days", Jen gets a knock on her door. In the area where we lived, it was very common to get door-to-door salesmen, so you didn't think much about a stranger knocking on your door. Except this day, this was no ordinary stranger. This was a guy looking for a sucker! And he found one - right there at Jen's house! He tells Jen that his car is broke down around the corner, and he is short $8 to pay the tow truck, and wanted to know if she had $8 for him to borrow. Now Jen being Jen, I'm sure was as polite as any super friendly, super nice person would be in this situation. I would have told to guy to get lost. But not sweet Jen. This was a man in need, and it was only $8, so he must be telling the truth. She made him promise he would come back as soon as he could and pay her back, and of course he told her he would, and of course, she believed him. Sweet Jen, so gullible. I told her she needed to call the police and tell them what was going on. Here is this guy going around knocking on doors, asking for money. Once you open the door, he discovers three very important things about you.

1. You are a super hot Mom.
2. There is no sign of a man at home to protect you.
3. You are gullible.

Three things are predator is always looking for! Leave it up to me to freak Jen out. Needless to say, Jen never saw her $8 again, and luckily never saw this guy again. Hopefully she learned a lesson from all this - but yes, she is still super friendly and super nice. Good ole Jen!

It is a shame that we live in a world where you don't feel like you can trust strangers anymore and that as a mother so many things send off warning bells in my head where my children and their activities are concerned. I could easily sit here and name off 10 scams that I have heard about just in the past week or two, but I won't bore you with such a list. However, I do need to say, because obviously this has not been said enough, that the IRS will never send you an email. Should you ever receive an email from someone claiming to be the IRS, know that it is a scam and delete the email. Do not open the email, respond to the email and include all of your personal information that obviously the IRS needs to verify you are who you say you are. Again, how stupid do you have to be to fall for such a scam?

If you have learned nothing from all these stupid people (except Jen, she is not stupid, she is just too nice and friendly) in the world who obviously still have not learned to use their god-given good sense, then learn this - always err on the side of caution. Use your common sense, even if you have to dig really deep to find any. Please people - get some sense! and then USE IT!

No comments: