Sometimes I wonder about my peeps. Nissy used to say that all the time and truth be told, he was right to wonder. My peeps. What can I say? They're peeps! MOUSES!
And if we're being really honest here, it's Peep #2 whom I wonder about the most.
Last night, the second peep was anxious to watch some program on CBC about raccoons. Determined to watch it. Said it was about rehabilitating raccoons in residential areas or something like that. Probably wanted to see it on account of the marauding gang of rockies living in my very own neighbourhood. Personally, I kind of think they're past the point of rehabilitation but I've been known to be wrong before.
Anyway, Peep #1 wasn't too keen on watching the rocky show and looked it up in the TV listings to see what it was called. She had the time and channel, just not the name. Then I heard her say something about the program in question being called Fool Canada. Surely a show with a name like that couldn't be a documentary.
But would Peep #2 listen? Not a chance. "They said it was about raccoons and it comes on at 8:30," was the second peep's reply.
Well I immediately knew exactly what was going on. So did Mason. We called out to the peeps, "It's not David Suzuki, you know!" but, of course, our cries were in vain.
So the show came on and just as the first peep, Mason and I had expected, it was not a documentary about rockies. It was a comedy. One of those comedies where peeps go out into the neighbourhood and film themselves fooling other peeps. To be honest, I think the name kind of gave it away... Fool Canada. MOUSES!
And by the way, this is not the first time Peep #2 has been fooled by such things. MOUSES!
Then on the news this morning, I heard someone calling Canadians, fools. Could they have been watching Fool Canada, too?
No, that wasn't it. That wasn't it at all. This guy wasn't someone making peeps laugh for the purpose of entertainment. He was of a totally different breed.
Apparently this guy calling me names was a scammer. He makes his living by scamming cats and peeps from all around the world and he said he had made a lot of money scamming Canadians, claiming they were fools.
Well let me tell you, this scamming scammer is a fool, himself, if he thinks a Canadian kitty like me is going to take his name calling lying down. I'm not going to take it lying down, standing up or sitting, either. Not even going to take it while washing my tail. No one calls this kitty a fool. MOUSES!
Time for a little discussion of phone scammer identification, I should think. Phone scammers and Internet ones, too.
The scammer in question was calling peeps up and telling them they had made errors on their income taxes and therefore owed the Canada Revenue Agency money. In order to avoid prosecution and even the possibility of going to jail, they had to pay up right away. And they needed to pay by wiring the money to them or purchasing pre-paid credit cards.
Now here's the thing, the CRA doesn't call peeps up, out of the blue, and threaten to toss them in jail. And even more importantly, they do accept cheques. MOUSES!
That's right folks, you can always identify the scammers by how they want to be paid. If they're asking you to pay them money in a way that cannot be traced, odds are, they're scammers. Legitimate businesses and government agencies have no problem with your writing a cheque because, guess what, they have legitimate bank accounts into which they can deposit those cheques. Scammers usually don't. MOUSES!
Another way to identify the scammers is by what they already do or don't know about you. Like when someone from your bank calls you up, asking for your bank account information. Uhhh... The bank already knows all that! Yup, it's true. The bank where you do your banking already has access to your account numbers and stuff so if someone calls you up on the phone and says they need this kind of information, they're scammers, for sure.
And if they call you up asking for your account information from a bank where you don't even have an account, that's a sure sign of a scammer, too.
I think my favourite phone scammer of all was the guy who wanted Nissy to give him access to the computer because he was using it all wrong. Nissy told him flat out that he was a cat and cats can do no wrong. Then he hung up. MOUSES!
And speaking of the Internet, it's rife with scammers, as well. I'd say, on average, I get a paw full of scammy e-mails each and every week. Usually, they're wanting to give me money that I've inherited or something and I need to contact them to collect. I've never actually contacted them on account of my not having any long-lost feline relatives working for oil companies in foreign lands.
But today I received one with a new twist on things. It was from a courier service. My parcel had been delivered to a local post office on account of their not having the correct mailing address. They wanted me to open up some file for information about the parcel or something.
Obviously, I didn't. Didn't open the file. NEVER OPEN UNKNOWN FILES! MOUSES!
I figure that if a courier service - or even Canada Post - is trying to get me a parcel, they probably already know my name. They didn't. Didn't even know the Peep's. So no, Mr Courier Scamming Scammer guy, I am NOT going to believe that you tracked me down by my e-mail to deliver a parcel I didn't even know I had coming when you don't even know who I am. I'm not going to believe that at all.
I also didn't believe the scammer who tried to get me to open a file so that I'd have the correct court documentation when appearing in some unknown court in some unkown state for a traffic violation. I'm a cat. I don't drive. MOUSES!
But since they didn't even know my name, I suppose they didn't know I was a cat, either.
If you ever receive an e-mail addressed to "undisclosed recipients," it's a sure sign of scamming activity going on. That beeping sound you hear in your head? That's your internal scamming alarm going off. Whether they want to give you something or want you to open a file, if they have any business contacting you, they likely know who you are. MOUSES!
So that, my friends, brings me to the end of Spotting Scammers 101. They're easy to spot once you know to be aware.
At some point I may offer a higher level course. Spotting the scammers who actually appear to be legit, even to kitties like me. The ones who have a bunch of information about you already. These ones are trickier to identify but still, with a little common sense, they can be avoided.
But in the meantime, why not pull up a chair and watch some good old TV. That show about the raccoons was pretty funny. They sure did fool Peep #2. Peep #1, on the other paw, was on to their tricks. MOUSES!