At age 56, I don’t even want to consider the term “senior citizen,” even though the lines on the face are becoming more visible. In my eyes, those are battle scars, the sign of experience after 33 years in this business, but apparently, somebody sees it differently.
Recently, I read with empathy the story of a lady 20 years my senior being bilked for about four grand by a scumbag passing himself off as her grandson. He told her he had been in accident, charged and thrown in jail and needed money badly in order to get home.
Bless her heart, but shake your head at her naiveté, she took the bait and police were warning about seniors becoming prey for such scams. Sympathy for the lady trumped disbelief of her gullibility as I finished my coffee and went about my business.
A couple of days later, I received a phone call from my daughter. “Hi, it’s me,” said the shaky voice.
“I’m in Montreal,” came the tale of woe that continued with a car accident, impounding of her car and possible charges.
There were several problems with the story.
She sounded nothing like my daughter. After 25 years, I think I know her voice. Secondly, I had just been talking to my kid and she was at work in the Toronto area.
I was trying to hang on to get more details on how to get money to the imposter so I could pass that along to police, but when my questioning got too intense, she hung up. I called a friend of mine on the force right afterwards, who told me to report it, but there was really nothing they could do about it.
Remembering the story I had read about the lady who got taken, I took offence to being considered a senior, not that there’s anything wrong with that, just that I’m not ready for it.
More importantly, in this era of identity theft and other nasty scams, I was concerned with how this person (likely more than one) knew such details of my life. We are truly living with Big Brother (or Big Sister) these days and they’re looking to do more than tell mom on you.
That one got personal. The next scam that came about a week later was all about business.
A guy claiming to be from the company that provides security for my computer called and told me that it was sending out all kinds of information. He told me quite forcefully that we need to get into the computer right away to stop this from happening.
Even when I asked him to identify which company provided my security, he told me there was no time, but when I pressed, he hung up just like the female scumbag did the week before.
Just like junk e-mails and telemarketers who call at dinner time, almost laughing at the no-call list that was supposed to stop that, such scams are becoming more commonplace and there will be more and more ways that are devised to separate you or your business from your money and information.
Some of these calls or e-mails for that matter come from outside the country, so as it stands right now, there is really nothing authorities can do about it. If huge corporations can get hacked, as has been the case lately, you can bet your golf operation makes a nice target for such scams, as well.
Take all the precautions you can, including a discussion with the people who set up your computers. Procedure is very important, so keep passwords and other key information among a very few authorized people and be sure to ask a lot of questions of anybody calling with claims such as the ones above.
We have enough challenges as it is in the golf industry, so let’s not open the door to people whose sole intention is to ruin our businesses for their own gains