Recently, I received a call from a "government official". Though it seemed dodgy, I picked up in the middle of screening because there was mention of notifications to which I had not responded. Having a husband who sometimes unwittingly throws needed/wanted things away, it was conceivable something might have been overlooked.
The man on the line had an East Indian accent. He told me his name was Ryan Wilson and rattled off his government ID number. When I asked for the details of my "case", he gave me another phone number. Though it was all unlikely my adrenaline was triggered, leaving me feeling I better attend to something. So, I called just in case. This man also sounded Indian. Apparently I had committed tax fraud.
Now, I start to play and ask what will happen to me. He tells me I will go to jail. I suggest this is a scam.
He says, “What do you mean a scam? I am a government official!”
I am curious about where the conversation will go. How will he ease into asking for my credit card? He warns again that I will go to jail.
“When?” I ask.
“So, you’re just calling to let me know the police are coming for me?”
“When will they come?”
“In forty-five minutes.”
“Really - they’re coming in forty-five minutes” I say, “And when will they be coming for you?”
He thanked me, I thanked him, and we hung up.
What interested me was how he hooked me in with a scary story even though I knew better. The thought that I’d possibly done something wrong was compelling. By the time I’d finished engaging with that thinking, I was a bit shaken even though none of it was real.
We all run scams on ourselves, sometimes we question them and sometimes we buy in. Often we think it’s reality - we’re not making the news, we’re reporting it. There are many stories playing in our heads throughout a day and we determine which ones we let run and effect us and which we put an end to, finally calling a scam a scam.
It's good to put an end to scary stories. Why waste our time?
From the Inside