My experience with a con

My personal exposure has been with telephone cons, which I’m sure a lot of people have experienced.

For awhile, I kept getting calls from “Windows”.  The person on the line said they were a technician and that my computer had been hacked.  He needed my personal information to fix it.  I hung up.

The one I time I almost got hooked was when a message was left on my answering machine.  The Treasury Dept. said there was a problem with our taxes and left a number to call.  I panicked, which is exactly what con artists want you to do.  They don’t want you to think.  They play on your emotions and want you to make decisions based on them.

The reason I panicked was because we had just recently given away a vehicle and had to fill out tax forms explaining the transaction.  I jumped to the conclusion that we had done something wrong.  I’m sure cons call thousands of people, and the ones who bite are ones who have some kind of backstory like mine.  So we very helpfully select ourselves as targets for the cons.

I quickly dialed the number left in their message.  As soon a man answered and said he could fix the problem, I knew I had made a mistake.  I hung up and finally started using my  head.  I looked up the number for the Treasury Dept. and called.  In their automated message, while listing the menu, there is also a statement that if you have received a call claiming to be from the Treasury  Dept., it is most likely fraudulent.  Until then, I hadn’t realized phone cons like this one were so prevalent.  I called the IRS, and their automated message had the same warning.

So I didn’t had over my personal information to crooks.  But I did getting threatening messages for several weeks after that, saying some government agency was starting legal procedures.  Since I had called back, the criminals had my number and thought they could wear me down.  When I didn’t respond, they finally gave up.