Friday, November 9, 2007

Phishing Scams

Wordcount 11/9: 1421

My progress has been pitiful this week. Aargh! I'll try to make up for it this weekend. I've just had a lot of new design projects come in, some of them rush jobs. If I learned to manage my time better, I could probably overcome these kinds of interruptions. Very frustrating.

I had the most bizarre and disturbing thing happen to me the other night. It was late, sometime after 11:00, and I was thinking of packing it in for the evening when the phone rang. It's usually my crazy sister who calls at all hours of the night, but this was our landline ringing and the caller ID showed an 800 service. WTF? At this hour?

I answered it, and it was a recording telling me an attempt had been made to use my debit card fraudulently and told me to call a number if I wanted to reactivate my card. The first thing I did was check to make sure I my card was still in my wallet, then I called the number to raise holy hell with whoever picked up on the other end. But it was another recording. This one said that if I wanted to reactivate my card to punch in blah, blah, blah. Like hell. The most frustrating part was that I couldn't reach a live human being to yell at. I was upset. I wanted to know how this could happen. Now I'd have to wait until morning to call the bank. And predictably, I hardly slept all night thinking the worst, imagining my bank account drained, and the worst was knowing there were lazy, immoral criminals out there stealing what didn't belong to them. I felt violated and didn't even know the full scoop yet.

Banks here open really late, so it wasn't until 9 before I could talk to someone. It turns out this mysterious phone call was a scam called Phishing. Hundreds of my bank's customers had received this call and we all went into panic mode. If I had given these scammers the information they asked me for, they'd have cleaned me out, or worse. But since I didn't, I was safe. Phew! Quite a scare. I was cranky about it the whole day, even though I was relieved that my bank account was safe. It still infuriated me that someone would try fooling innocent people into making themselves vulnerable to theft.

I'll have to use this experience in a future book.


Angelle Trieste said...

When I get messages like that, I call my bank's regular 1-800 number instead. You never know these days.

Karen Duvall said...

I did, but it was a recording that asked me to leave a message. Sigh. I was just so anxious to talk to a human! I think that may be why these phishing scams happen late at night, because the victims feel more helpless.