The Con Man Cometh

I once asked a friend that worked in telemarketing who the ideal person was to get on the phone.

“Grandmothers”, she said without missing a beat. “They’re kind and receptive.”

Aha.  So they want to get to my mom.  

It’s those same qualities that make grandmothers targets for scam artists, and it’s for that reason I try very hard to be protective of my mom. Even when she suspects something might be amiss, her kind nature makes her want to trust that everything is good.

If I hear of a scam going around, I usually will send Mom an email. “Remember, your bank is never going to call you to confirm your social security number.” Or whatever the scam of the day making the news might be.

But now, it was my turn to be warned by my mom. She has forwarded an email that showed up in her neighborhood listserv, and it’s a classic!!

The email warns of a gentleman goi
ng door-to-door selling small bottles of wine that are in a “woozie”, defined as a wine koozie. The sender of this email had been suspicious enough to enquire as to why the wine bottle was so small.

“It’s a port wine”, the seller said.  He went on to explain that port wine is a dessert wine and is typically sold in smaller bottles. The neighbor knew that part was right, so she ponied up for a bottle.

Once inside her house, she discovered that she had paid $27.50 for a Bud Light, so she sent out the scam alert. Included in the alert was the man’s name. However, her email goes on to say, it was only after googled the name she realized who Gordon Shumway was. And if you don’t know the name, it’s because you didn’t watch the TV show that carried his nickname as it’s title: ALF.

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