A Note About “Phishing”


Mind you that it was Sunday evening. Granted the Bank deserves the right to communicate with its customers whenever but on a Sunday?! My friends, you hear stories; you get frivolous emails akin to the ones from your long long Nigerian cousins (not!); you get chain letters and you brush them all aside to only react when and if it happens to you. By then, the light bulb and your wires are up blazing full throttle like tornado.

I was in the middle of my affairs when I received this text message that startled me. My immediate reaction was to call my bank which I did, as precaution, just to be certain but it may have perhaps been a tad superfluous!

I was fuming and considered calling the spoilers who annoyingly interrupted my serene evening.  I really wanted to stick it to them and send them to where the “sun don’t (not doesn’t) shine”, bark at the perpetrator, raffle and tell them like it is. I wanted to tell them this, and that I was on to them and… hoof (I am tired), but soon realized that if I wanted to make the call, it needed not to be to the malefactor but to the “big guys”.

Early in the day, I was in the supermarket and used my debit/ATM card, so the prospect of the number being stolen was unlikely (yeah right!) for the reasons that I closely guard my code like fortress (I have previously requested persons to move back a bit so I could discretely enter the code), people comings and goings, and besides the place is so well lit that it discourages (not!) even the most “professional” pickpocketer from thieving a tomato, let alone sixteen digits (great!) but these days, all is academic.

Hours after my trip, I received the following text message “Notice/ This is a automated message from NCUA. Your ATM card has been deactivated. To reactivate call urgent at: 515-678-9538. From: 5000”.

I made good on my first reaction, I called the Bank but after thinking it over concluded that I needed not to. C’mon, I only use my cellphone to bull…. and emergencies, so the answer was apparent; my habits should have been the key but nooooo, I ate it with my mouth wide open and lived to burp about it too!

I should have taken the message for the coupon it was worth; textmarketing (for lack of a better word) notoriously branded as phishing; instead, my trigger-happy fingers quickly charged off. I replied back in a jiffy with my own salvo, “Yeah right and I am calling the police”. But if I wasn’t such an airhead, I would have done the thinkable, the obvious in this 21st century, because when in doubt, google it! Perhaps, it could have saved me some aggravation but I was being fastidious.

The complaints were there; entries after entries; one by one, the victims were listed in details but I was saddened because there were no cigars; there were no answers other than a link to NCUA (National Credit Union Administration) http://www.ncua.gov/Phishing/phishing.htm. How fitting! How more genuine can a message be coming from them in particular?  I was suspicious because I still had to do the leg work. There wasn’t much there other then the recommendation to register my number with Do Not Call List.

Ok, I know, you got me! I can hear you from afar. I dialed the number back after all, not on the say day but two days later. I was curious and it is done! I was just being inquisitive and my action could have resulted on my number being moved to another carrier without my consent – at least that’s what they used to do back in the days. I did not get the response I was looking for, however. I was expecting and wished to receive an open and free for all voicemail so I could rant and spew my disgust but got the meager ad message instead, “You have reached three digits dot com. Get you free phone service today at three digits dot com”. That’s it? That’s all?

I did not call the police as I inferred, as the subject is more in line with consumer and credit, and not law enforcement; therefore the FCC, the same notable body that could not control Mr. Madoff. The call ended just as soon as the message started without me having the option of leaving a voicemail. Chickens! You can diss but you can’t take it. Nice going dudes! That’s what I call good fish “phishing”.


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