Saturday, June 04, 2016

Cutting the Cord is Inevitable

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Yesterday my uncle in Hawaii got a call from the "Minnesota police" who said that your humble blogger was collateral damage in a drug raid and urgently needed money for medical expenses. Of course, uncle immediately got in touch, and we confirmed the call as fraudulent. (This was a variation of the grandparent scam, which has been around for years.)

The puzzling aspect of this episode was how the scam artists knew that uncle and I were related. We have different last names, he doesn't have an electronic address book that could be hacked, and mine is encrypted on the iPhone.

The scammers aren't omniscient, though. Uncle has grandchildren living on the Mainland, and it would have been much more believable to him if one of them had gotten into trouble (no offense, cousins, if you happen to see this).

Uncle hasn't changed his phone number for over 30 years, and neither have we. With our personal data linked to them, the landlines have become inundated with telemarketing, fundraising, and scam phone calls. Keeping landlines has become increasingly costly on multiple levels. Cutting the cord, I'm afraid, is inevitable.

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