Scams are supposed to be something that happen to other people. Right?
We read about them, know people who know people who have been scammed, and heartily disapprove.
Then scamming calls us at home.
On Wednesday, my wife was in a traffic accident. The airbag deployed. She is fine, although a bit bruised and sore. It wasn’t her fault. The other driver was cited.
On Thursday morning our home phone rang. A man with an East Indian accent was calling to say that he represented Microsoft Security and that my wife’s laptop had been hacked by persons unknown. He had her name, phone number, and Florida license number.
The man said he had wanted to verify some computer codes. Bright woman that she is, my wife said she wouldn’t confirm anything without talking to our computer tech. Call ended.
What we suspect is that her personal information was taken from the accident report filed by our city police. By law, that’s public information.
Clever—and depraved—scam artists have easy access to it. Since most people feel vulnerable and perhaps a bit uncertain the day after being in a traffic accident, it’s the perfect time to get taken advantage of.
The moral of the story: Be careful what you disclose, on the phone, over the Internet or even at a crowded bar. The scam-induced hole you accidentally dig may be your own.