It looks like the scam artists have been spending their lockdown dreaming up new and elaborate ways to con the rest of us.
In the past week alone I have been targeted by these lowlives and their grubby attempts at cash mining.
The first one was almost old-fashioned…the phone call from a Glasgow number, but one that I didn’t recognise.
Working from home, I don’t have the luxury of ignoring unknown callers because it could be a professional call.
So I answered, only to be told the chap on the other end of the line was here to help with my claim for the car accident I had been in.
This, while I was in the middle of trying to focus on something as part of a busy day. I think I can be forgiven my Anglo-Saxon suggestion about his direction of travel, followed by a “seriously, do you have nothing better to do with your life?”.
Which was when I was scolded and told I should learn how to talk to people and he hung up.
Mind you, I’d be annoyed too if I was having to do a job sharper shark outfits use a robot for these days.
The other scam coming my way is hugely irritating. I am bombarded day and night with texts and emails telling me to tap here to reset my Instagram password. They are arriving at a rate of one every couple of hours and there appears to be nothing I can do to stop them. Blocking the caller doesn’t work, marking the emails as junk makes no difference.
Now I have an automatic delete reflex for these interruptions to my day. But if anyone can tell me how to stop them, I’d be rather grateful.
Finally, I was hit up by a villain posing as the retention service from my mobile phone provider, offering me up to 43% off my bill as a reward for sticking with them during the coronavirus pandemic. All I had to do was give him the six-digit validation code that he had just texted me.
Now, I am not overly gullible, and my phone company is not known for its unbidden largesse. But, I have to admit the boy was credible when I was quizzing him, but in the end I just thanked him for his kind offer and hung up.
But when I checked my phone, there was not only a six-digit code, but a second text with FRAUD ALERT – MUST READ. It warned about people asking for codes who are scammers and urging me to call a number if I needed help. The thing is, the number was the legitimate one for my mobile provider. But the language used was odd, like a good but not perfect translation. Also, the text sender name looked legitimate…except for a space where there shouldn’t be. Which is why it has all been junked.
But it just shows how sophisticated these vile creatures are becoming.
Which brings me back to the point I made to my cold caller…is this really how they want to exist? Fleecing folk and stealing from the vulnerable?
I hope I get another call soon. I want to ask how they manage to sleep at night.
APRIL BLIZZARDS! ARE YOU HAVING A LAUGH?
Are the weather gods having a laugh or just teasing us?
I spent Saturday ambling around the farmer’s market in Stonehaven – try Shona’s Shortbread, it’s lovely – in sunshine so warm I had my coat off. Ditto a wander around the grounds of Drum Castle later that day. On Sunday, I sat for a while down at the harbour just taking in the scenery, while thinking “aye, spring has sprung”.
Yesterday morning I was out in hiking books in snow and ice, helping Mrs B get the car out our car park and up the untreated hill beside us.
April showers I can deal with, but enough with the blizzards already.
The Covid passport to freedom is fine by me
A fair few folk are getting frothy over the idea of Covid passports being bandied around just now.
I take it these same folk are absolute strangers to the idea of a driving licence to prove you are allowed behind the wheel of a car.
Or, come to that, how about an actual passport to let officialdom know who you are as you travel between countries?
But the angry brigade – mostly the usual “Covid is a conspiracy” types – are all about why should they be forced to disclose their medical details to strangers just to be allowed into certain venues and events.
Let’s flip this around, shall we? Why should people who have been sensible, taken the vaccine to protect themselves and others, be exposed to those who are recklessly ignoring the call to do their bit to beat the pandemic?
Why should we tolerate the possibility of rubbing shoulders with anti-vaxxers who might be incubating a variant that undoes all our sacrifices?
Let’s be clear. I’m not a fan of authoritarian governments asking to see my papers.
But talk of passports – and it is just talk at the moment as there is much to weigh up and consider – is a short-term public health response to get the world back to normal.
We all have a duty to help with that, even if through gritted teeth at times. If a Covid passport gets my life back to normal, I’ll carry one.