Time for crooks to show manners

June 2, 2011
By

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)

I know the disgruntled gloom merchants out there reckon we’re all packed into a handbasket and heading for that rather warm place where the maitre d’ has horns and a pitchfork, but until recently I’ve thought their predictions were a tad negative.

However, lately I’ve noticed a level of bad temper and equally bad manners among the wannabe scammers out there that is beginning to convince me they may well be right about our possible destination.

I mean, really, is it too much to ask that those who are trying to get their paws on our money make the effort to exchange pleasantries and at least pretend to care?

But no, the latest round of phonecalls from the “we’re calling from Microsoft and need you to give us remote access to your computer” crew has included not one please or thank you or even a “how are you today” inquiry. No, all they want is access to my computer and my credit card number.

Although, I told the fake Microsoft dude who phoned last week that I didn’t actually have a computer but could buy one if he gave me HIS credit card number. He hung up.

carrot copyAnd the email scams aren’t any better: they don’t even bother with a salutation at the beginning of the particular line of bull they are chucking at my inbox, instead just getting straight into the “click here” because your bank account/Trade Me account/email account has been compromised and we need your username and password.

Come on scammers, make a little more effort or I’ll start to think you’ve lost interest.

I would never have made a career as a scammer because I’d be far too easily sidetracked and would be peppering my scam emails with  greetings and sprinkling please and thank you through phone conversations like fairy dust.

Or like carrot sticks in a prison, if you prefer.

It’s probably a good thing I didn’t embark on a life of crime (cyber or otherwise) because I’ve already given up smoking but I reckon I’d probably need some counselling and a government grant to deal with the carrot addiction.

Besides, how hard would it be to light a carrot?

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