Thursday, July 23, 2015

Story 92: A Good Day’s Phishing

            Let’s see what’s on the docket for today.  Think I’ll start with the old “Customer Feedback” call.
            The computer dials a random number.  “Hello?”
            And go, computer-voice-that-almost-sounds-like-a-human-being: “Hi, this is the Customer Service line.  Can you hear me clearly?”
            Bingo – he said “Yes,” which means, “Yes to everything that is asked after this point.”
            “I’m calling today regarding your recent resort visit.”
            “My what?  Who is – ?”
            “You are eligible for – ” Click.
            Too late.  He said “Yes.”  To me sending him bills.
            Next call – time to mix it up a little.  No answer; leave a message (different voice, same computer).
            “You are wanted for an investigation.  Please call ------- for questioning at the police station.”
            This one’s my favorite: calm tone, but with enough panic words to make almost anyone flustered enough to hand over everything.  Ooh, a call back!  Time to speak in my “disguise.”
            “`Allo,” my disguise is French.  “This is Laurent with Justice Lawyers, LLZ.  Who is this?”
            “Well, Laurent, since you just called my phone, you should know who this is.”
            Oh, one of those, eh?  Best to ride it out.  “Yes, I see your name is ----.  You’re going to prison now!”
            “You’re in big trouble!  You’re going to prison!”  I hear laughter – shoot.  They usually are too rattled to even think at this point.  Best to abort.  “I don’t have time to talk to you!”  I disconnect the line.  Didn’t even get to the part where I help her avoid jail for her non-existent crime.
            Let’s see, which one should I try now – ooh!  Here’s a good one, and this time I actually speak right away without the computer doing the introduction.  Ring-ring.
            “Hello, this is Financial Services, LLZ, I’m calling to see if you’d be interested in participating in an investment opportunity in your area.”  I'm not even sure what area I’m calling – is it Boston?  Who knows.
            “OK, sure.  What’s it involve?”
            An actual nibble in the first minute?  Don’t get too excited as you reel her in.
            “Well, for a minimum outlay of $1,000, you could have a return of 10 times that amount in a month, plus the chance to make triple that in a year!”  I love math.
            “That sounds great!  What would I be investing in?”
            No one’s ever asked me that before.  “The country’s future.”
            “Uh huh.  So, what, do you need my credit card, or would my bank account number do?”
            Hm.  This doesn’t feel right.  Why am I getting the sweats all of a sudden?  “Credit card would be fine!  Let me get some basic information from you first.”
            “Sure – you need my Social Security number and date of birth?”
            Is this a scam?  I’m being scammed!  “Actually, I’m going to have to call you back in a few minutes.”
            “No, wait, just say ‘Yes’ if you want direct access to my life savings!”
            This is my worst nightmare.  The banging on the front door confirms it as I disconnect the call; I open the door to reveal the FBI.
            My career as scum of the Earth comes to a tearful end as the phisher becomes the phished.

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