Thursday, August 28, 2014

So Many Scams

“Between a fellow who is stupid and honest and one who is smart and crooked, I will take the first. I won’t get much out of him, but with that other guy I can’t keep what I’ve got”

Lewis B Hershey

Good morning.  The long weekend will soon be here.  It's the unofficial end of summer.  Had so many 'to-do's' on my list for this summer, and accomplished very little.  I do want to get out to Coney Island again, but September will be a better time to visit, after the kids all get back to school.  I don't like crowds.  The beach and amusement park will be closed, but there is still plenty to do.  The boardwalk is open year round, and there are plenty of little eateries around.  

The other evening I received a phone call..."Hello, this is Jane Doe calling from the New York City Board of Health.  We are conducting a survey about health concerns in the different areas of the city.  Before we begin, can you please tell me your zip code?"  Okay, I don't usually participate in surveys, but I DO have a lot of concerns about health care so I gave my zip code.  No problem with that. "Thank, you", she replied, "Now, can you please tell me how many people over 18 reside in the household?"  "Two" I respond. Nothing out of the way with that question.

 "May I ask the sex of each individual?"  "One male, one female" I reply.  "Oh, the computer has chosen the male.  May I please speak to him."  I inform her that he is not available, but I am willing to take the survey. "Sorry, she says, "the computer has made it's choice. What time should I call back?"  I inform her "never" because I know he will NOT take part in any surveys.  I inform her again that I will take part in it as health care is a very important concern of mine.

She then starts into this spiel of how the computer has chosen and then proceeds to tell me what I should tell hubby as if she is SURE once he hears this he will gladly participate. I tell her to forget it. I am not listening.  She is wasting her time.  At this point she got the hint, thanks me. and hangs up.

Now mind you, I'm more than a bit annoyed.  I had so much to say, was practically begging the woman for the opportunity, and she turned me down. Grrr!!! But once I pick up my book and start reading, I forget all about it until about an hour and a half later when  the phone rings again.

"Hello, this is Jane Doe calling from the U.S. Department of Commerce.  We are conducting a survey about "  This is sounding a bit familiar so I stop paying attention.  Sure enough, the first question..."Before we begin, can you please tell me your zip code?"  I come back at her by repeating the questions from the previous call and informing her that I am aware the computer will chose the male.  So let's forget about it right now.  And I hang up on her. 

Another scam.  One can never be too careful.  I could kick myself for almost letting my guard down.  I am usually so careful.  Of course, I am grateful now that the computer supposedly 'chose' the male, but it shouldn't have gotten that far.  And why the male even though a female was ready to participate in the survey?  My only guess is that even in this day and age, males are usually the 'head of household' and perhaps handles financial matters?  I don't know.  

Last night it was the National Marine Fishery Service conducting the survey. "I don't even like fish." I grumble and hang up.  And then, later in the evening while I was watching television the phone rang again.  Fortunately, when you have cable/internet/and phone all through Cablevision, the number of the caller comes up on the television screen.  The number was....000-000-0000. Unbelievable.  How the heck did all these people find me...and all at once...or, are they the same people trying different angles?

Just be careful.  There are far too many crooks out there attempting to take advantage of people. They're either trying to get your money, get your information, or both, and they will target you  through phone calls, emails, online banking systems, text messages and online transactions. 
Do NOT open text messages and emails from people you do not know...although I did get a text message from my son one time that intuition told me not to open.  Indeed, when I contacted him he said he never sent it.  Do NOT call back unfamiliar numbers.  You may be hit with charges.  Do NOT reply to messages asking for personal or financial information.

Sadly, this is the way of today's world, and all of us must always be on guard.  It can happen to any of us at any time.  Be wary.


  1. I always check my call display before answering the phone. If it's a number I don't know, I just don't answer. I don't even waste one second telling them to get lost.