Department of Domestic Mysteries

We’ve had a beautiful day today here near Galveston Bay, and I’ve spent much of it catching up on yard work. We rarely have snow here, maybe once every few years, but the drifts of fallen leaves never seem to go away, no matter how often we rake. This morning I went out and mowed my front lawn, more to knock down weeds and mulch leaves than to cut the grass, which really hasn’t grown much in the last few weeks. I stopped in mid-mow to cut the vegetation growing up around a big tree stump, and stuffed a fifty-five gallon leaf bag three quarters full. I left the bag in the rolling trash can on my driveway while I went inside to change from a sweatshirt to a tee shirt and get a drink of water.

When I came back out ten minutes later, the bag was empty. I looked around, scratched my head, and wondered if I was a candidate for the nearest memory care center. There was the bag, in the can, where I had left it in the middle of the driveway, without so much as a twig in it. Finally I realized—at least I hope this is the explanation—that today was trash day (I put mine out on Tuesday, but rarely on Friday). The trash guys must have emptied the bag into their truck while I was in the house, leaving the bag in the can.

Either that or the compost goblins carried my clippings off.

A couple of days ago, when I got home and looked through the usual list of “out of area” and “unavailable” calls on my Caller ID, I found one from Jack C. Hudson at my own phone number. (Shades of that old horror movie: get out! the call is coming from inside the house!) This struck me as particularly creepy, since Jack died in 2002, but I’ve never changed the name on the account. I’m sure I would have been more uneasy if the same thing hadn’t happened to a friend recently. Here’s an interesting article about why (but not how) telephone scammers do this: Why Is My Own Phone Number Calling Me?

This morning I answered the phone out of curiosity when the Caller ID showed an actual name and phone number (albeit in New York City) instead of the usual “out of area” or “unavailable.” After all, I do get an occasional phone call, and NYC is always tempting. Maybe some desperate editor or agent is searching for me. Not likely, but still . . .

Anyway, when I answered this one, a fellow with a distinct accent informed me he was from Windows Technical Department, and he wanted to help me with my computer problem. I, of course, don’t have a computer problem, at least not one I’m looking for help with, and how would he have known, anyway? Not to mention the fact that I’ve heard this guy’s voice before, when I answered the same call at work, where we pretty much have to answer the telephone. I’m no IT expert, but I didn’t fall off the turnip truck last week, either. Someone must fall for these calls, I guess, or they wouldn’t be so common. Here’s an entertaining piece by someone with enough techno-smarts to scam the scammers: Scamming Fake Microsoft Support Scammers. And by the way, I looked up the phone number that fooled me into answering: the number and name were that of a restaurant in New York City, but I very much doubt they had anything to do with the call. Just another example of phone number spoofing.

So be careful when you answer the phone, and watch out for those compost goblins.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. JF Owen
    Dec 12, 2014 @ 23:35:09

    Did you have some fun with the scammer?

    Liked by 1 person


    • Kay Hudson
      Dec 13, 2014 @ 07:51:29

      No, I was feeling cranky. I just said, “No, you’re a scam artist,” and hung up. I’d have gotten in trouble trying to play him. But the guy who wrote the article had a good time.



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