Press “1”

November 23, 2008

I had a momentary lapse in judgment on Friday.  Just long enough, in fact, for me to fork over enough information for someone to steal what little money I have, over the phone.  I will set the scene for you:

I was home alone packing up our belongings for the big move.  This was day 3 of my concentrated effort to get things packed up and although I had packed many boxes, somehow when I looked around the house it didn’t look like any progress had been made.  My smarter half was at school becoming even smarter.  I had been alone for countless hours and had begun making fairly inane conversation with the dogs.

The phone rang.

“Hello?”

Computer message (and I’m paraphrasing here): this is a message from [something that rhymes with “your bank”].  Basically we think you might have an overdue payment on your credit card.  We think you sound tired.  We think you are wondering if you did miss a payment.  And now we’re going to prey on you by saying we can lower your interest rate.  A lot.  Especially if you’re tired.  In fact, this is your last chance in your ENTIRE LIFE to lower your interest rate.  EVER.  If you press one, you can talk to a real person so you won’t have to talk to your dogs anymore.  If you hang up, you will regret it for the rest of your life or at least the rest of the day.  You will always wonder what a great rate we could have given you.  Again, we work for your bank or some similarly-named company.

I can’t even believe I did it.  Perhaps it was my desperate packing situation and my blown self esteem, but I pressed one.  And it got very quickly worse.  Although I did question the guy several times as he was asking for my credit card information (so who are you again?), I willingly gave him everything he asked for.  As well as the last four digits of my SSN.  And I totally missed the tip-off (actually there were a few).

1.  He was only interested in cards that had a large available balance.

2.  He became frustrated with me when I asked questions about who he was and who the company was.

3.  He did not have access to any information about me in his “computer”.

4.  He promised to shred all my “confidential” information after our call.  (What was he doing writing it on paper anyway?)

5.  There were people partying in the background.

As soon as I hung up the phone the spell was broken and I realized what I had just done.  So I diligently called all the necessary parties to change my credit card numbers and put a watch on my credit file.  There was no damage done because I acted quickly, but boy did I feel stupid.

The packing still drags on and it still looks like minimal progress has been made, but I will have GB’s company today so perhaps it will go more quickly.  I am enjoying getting rid of stuff that we don’t need and don’t use.  It’s very rejuvenating.  Jack and Finn are not sure about the whole moving thing.  I imagine they will be even less sure about it when we start driving towards Minnesota next week but they’ll be excited to see their cousins when we get there.  Today some friends are throwing us a goodbye party.  The whole move has happened so quickly that I hardly feel ready for goodbyes.  We’ll be back after Thanksgiving for GB to finish up the semester, but really once our stuff and our dogs are moved, it’s not going to feel as much like we live here.  I’m excited though, because GB and I have five weeks left to really enjoy each other before I head back to the Islands for a few months and we explore the joys and struggles of long distance relationships.  All in the name of the long term plan, my friends….

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One Response to “Press “1””

  1. marit c-l Says:

    Ness! You’re moving!! Holy Cow – and if I read correctly… to Minnesota?? At least GB is – and what about you? I’ve been thinking about you. Really sorry to read about the credit card scam. We all do stuff like that at some point. Trust me! Hang in there – I’m sending you good vibes!


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