Scam?

I read an old folk’s magazine, figuring the articles are aimed straight at me. The main thing I pay attention to is news of scams. Some scams are invasive enough to hit the newspapers, but I might miss them there. Within the last month I read about a delivery con game. A truck pulls up to your house, and the driver tells you he has a package for you that needs a signature. He is wearing a uniform that is similar to that of a major carrier. If you ask, he tells you why he is using an unmarked vehicle. You haven’t ordered anything, but you see a box and jump to the conclusion it has your name on it. I forget the explanation he gives for needing your credit card, but it’s almost plausible. He scans your card with a cell phone, gets your signature, hands you a box, and leaves quickly.

Fast forward to the day John left to go to the train club. I was reading the newspaper in the kitchen, and my phone rang. The man said he had a package for me that needs a signature. Immediately red flags went up in my head.

“You are here?” I questioned. I realized I was using my hard voice, one that was very unfriendly to my ears.

“Yes, in your driveway,” he replied.

I had ordered something that I didn’t expect until next week. I knew my credit card had been charged, but there had been no notice that it had shipped. John didn’t tell me he had ordered anything, which wasn’t unusual. In panic mode, I couldn’t remember the details of the scam. Should I call a neighbor to come out and witness this event? No, there wasn’t time. Go out there and be wary. Don’t sign anything in a hurry.

The truck was painted in the colors of FedEx, and the man was holding a device that was not a cell phone. So far, so good. Oh, my! The box he removed from the truck was suspiciously big enough to be a computer. The nice man explained that he called me because there was no car in the driveway, and he didn’t think there was anyone home. He could very well have peeked in the garage, too, and not seen a vehicle. I fell all over myself apologizing, and said, “There have been scams about deliveries needing signatures.”

He smiled gently and said, “I know.” It was nothing new to him. I signed his gizmo, took the box, walked sedately through the front door, and did a victory dance out of his sight. I was almost too excited to be thankful that I had heard the phone and was not still planting Sweet William seeds or taking a shower.

I wrestled a monitor from a closet shelf, hooked up the hardware, went through the start up procedure, signed into Microsoft, installed a free anti-virus application and ran it, downloaded a free word processor, installed Dropbox, and stopped for lunch. If I did nothing else, I would be satisfied. The next day I installed financial software, and I’m using the machine to write this message. This has to have been one of the easiest transitions of my life. I’m so glad I didn’t tell the FedEx man to go away.

For those who want to see neighbor Logan again, here he is playing a wicked game of checkers with John.

051717 Logan against John

27 thoughts on “Scam?

  1. That is exciting getting a new computer Anne. I need to save a few coins and get me a new one. This one is going on 5 years old now. I need something a little faster for video editing.

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    1. I kept looking until I found something in my price range. Maybe it won’t take as many pennies as you think. On the other hand, you are much more computer savvy than I am, so you’re probably up on what’s available.

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  2. I know exactly what you mean by a “hard” voice. I find myself doing that same with telemarketers. Then I try sounds a little kinder because maybe they really need that job. It is a struggle for me because all the news has made me so leery of scams. Glad you weren’t scammed and are enjoying your new computer.

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  3. wow you were lucky I got scamed on my computer they froze my screen and demaded i call a number or they would terminate my internet connection i beleved them !!! to make a long story short i had to clll and stop payment an get a new card !!!!!

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    1. I think our best bet is to stay informed and be wary. The photo is of the six-year-old who lives across the street. He has taken a particular shine to John and comes over as often as his parents will let him. He’s very smart — currently reading at the 5th grade level.

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  4. Hmm. I don’t know if it’s because I live in a big city as opposed to a smallish place where you live, Anne, but I would have been way more suspicious especially in the wake of other scam warnings. Do you have a peephole in your door? That would have helped regarding someone else’s suggestion to ask for ID. I *NEVER* open the door to someone I don’t know. In your situation, home alone, I would’ve told the man on the phone, “Sorry, I can’t come to the door right now. Please come back another time,” e.g. tomorrow (or whatever, when hubby would be home). I’m just a wuss, what can I tell you…

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    1. That is good advice. I think my curiosity trumped my fear. I walked out on the front porch, and we did business on the steps. Neighbors were home across the street and next door. I didn’t feel in any danger, but I was leary of being scammed. Living in Queens was entirely different — more like your situation.

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  5. The one I am always wary of is the phone call where someone says your name and you say, “Yes…” in return, and somehow you are signed up for something you didn’t want. I know not to say yes, and still do it. I must learn to say, “That’s me.” I’m glad you like your new computer.

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    1. Just the other day someone called, asked if I were Anne, and started talking about something that made no sense to me. She then sounded confused at my questions and said she was looking for Anne Somebodyelse. I hope I remember your comment and never again say yes about my name. I’ll need to practice ahead, otherwise I’ll forget. I plan to say, “I resemble that name.”

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  6. You sound quite tech-savvy with your new computer. Strange that he called you on his phone rather than ringing the doorbell, that would have made me wonder, as well. Wonderful picture of the checker game!

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