I’m still waiting for the police to come

I received a phone call today from the Canadian Border Services Agency informing me that there was a warrant out for my arrest, due to the discovery of forbidden items in a package addressed to me. I received the same call yesterday, and the day before, just about every day for the past two months in fact. Before that, for half a year, it was Service Canada warning me of an arrest warrant because my Social Insurance Number had been used in an illegal transaction.

I ignore those calls, no government agency works in such a way. I don’t think the people behind them mind at all that I hang up before I hear the whole recorded message. I’m not the kind of person they want to talk to anyway. They are trying to extract money from vulnerable people who are not able to discern that these calls are bogus. The calls come from offshore, somewhere beyond the reach of Canadian law enforcement agencies. The calls are automated, the costs are minimal, so if they hook one person for, say every 10,000 calls, it is a money making business.

Today I received an email saying that my subscription to Norton anti-virus has been automatically renewed and my visa account debited. The amount quoted in the email was ten times the amount charged by Norton. The email gave a number to call if there was any problem. Beside the price, there were a couple of other hints that this was not a legitimate message: spelling, grammar and punctuation were erratic, and it came from a gmail address.

Those of us who notice such things can laugh. Maybe we shouldn’t . The people who fall into these traps are vulnerable people who can not afford to throw money away to support shadowy offshore scammers.

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