This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from janipoo. Make your own badge here.
Low Tech Blogger
Umm..that's "piecester" to you Hoss :)

I must admit that I am quite ignorant about the processes involved in creating a web page of any sort. I know there's a template and a domain and all that stuff, but if it weren't for the automated toys, I'd never get a thing into cyberspace. One of my old friends calls me "electronically innocent".

He coined that phrase after I had an exciting encounter of the Third world kind with an internet con man that I met in a chat room. This fellow, named Prince Fred, sweet talked me for nights on end during the days when Yahoo chat was my addiction. He'd throw up that falling hearts wallpaper and tell me how precious I was and how he wanted me to be his princess...yada yada. Finally ( I know mother, it was stupid ) I gave him my mailing address so he could send me a surprise. A few days later I received a basket full of edible goodies with a teddy bear and a mushy card from an internet florist. How sweet, I thought. Who the hell is THAT from, Babygirl wanted to know. Hmm..

Just a few days later the Prince decided that I could save him a few bucks on his little venture ( he was from England and visiting Nigeria??) so he told me he'd be sending some "things" to my address in the mail and for me to hold on to them so that I could ship them to him. He emailed me a pre-paid UPS shipping label to an address in NIGERIA and that Friday the packages started arriving.

First came an extremely nice cellphone outfit. Then a digital camera. Then a bunch of shoes from a department type store. Size 13 flip-flops plus two pair of tennis shoes. I was getting a little freaked out by then, so I called the companies to tell them I didn't order this stuff and why was it here. My credit cards were not used, and it was all ordered by internet by "Fred". The told me just to send the stuff back. Fine then.

The stuff kept coming.....all day long! That night one last company called just to confirm the whole deal before they shipped. When I told them what was going on and asked them not to send me any damn thing, they politely agreed.

The trouble started when I told "Fred" that I was onto his game and to leave me the heck alone, the stuff had been sent back. To say he was pissed was an understatement. He threatened me by instant messenger AND email and then I was really scared.

Thinking I needed a little law enforcement intervention, I called the local sheriff's department to come out and look over the loot and hear my story. The guy said this was a "first" for him. Great. He told me since I didn't order the stuff I wasn't liable and could keep it if I wanted. NOT. I shipped that crap back out as fast as I could to the companies involved and said good-bye to THAT adventure. The UPS guys got a real kick out of my little dilemma.

About a week later, I received a call at work from an AT&T operator called an "internet relay call". It caught me completely off guard and I didn't have a clue what it was about. Turns out the "internet relay call" is a service that was set up for deaf users with an operator as the intermediary. The deaf person puts the call into the operator by computer, the operator calls the recipient, the deaf person types and the operator relays the message on the phone and then types back the reply to the deaf person. Pretty clever huh?

After I got rid of Fred by not replying ( except for 'LEAVE ME ALONE!') I spilled my guts to this operator asking what was going on. She explained to me about relay calls and how they're usually used for fraud. She gave me the email addy of a Secret Service agent to tell my saga to. HOOO boy.

Turns out this was a Homeland Security issue and the Secret Service had recently taken over these duties. I sent the email with the shipping label as an attachment. I told the entire story. And I never heard another word.

Except from Fred. He did one more relay call to work just to "touch base". I declined and bowed out of that little learning experience 15 bucks poorer for the return shipping charges.

I couldn't make something up like this if I tried. True story! And the moral of that little fable?


Powered by Blogger
Design by CyberVassals