chelsea cookOne of my all time favorite TV shows has a warning for all of us. The show was/is Hill Street Blues and is a “cop show.”
Most episodes had the policemen in morning assembley and when the beloved desk sergeant dismissed them to their duties, he always said, “Let’s be careful out there.” It got to be a catch phrase and, obviously, I still remember it and him. There are so many pitfalls we can get caught into that it is amazing. Here is one for your consideration.
Last week I obtained a new HP laptop which only took FedEx a cupla weeks to deliver after entering their system. When it finally arrived, I carefully opened, found there were no instructions or booklets and got started. After a short while it quit working and completely “froze up.” Being busier than I should be and having other obligations, I plugged in into the electric current to make sure it was completely charged.
Since I have been given the green light to return to my volunteer job at the Salvation Army, the next day I did a quick stint there before heading out to start my personal merry-go-round. (Do you ever get the feeling that you are not really in control of your life as you thought you would be? (Read on...)
Finally, after dinner (which we used to call supper) I started in on the laptop again. After an hour’s total frustration, I read one of the papers which came with it and it said I had service at this super-duper tech service; so I called that number.
Premier Support was the one “given” to me for having this less than wonderful HP. If you ever need a tech service, avoid Premier Support as if it had the ebola virus.
The telephone number for Premier Support did not work so I had to try by the internet. After getting hooked up to this alleged tech service and waiting far too long, a person came on claiming to be a tech who was there to help me. He typed out his friendly message and I typed my problem right back.
I only had to type/explain two or three times that the laptop did not work, would not get off the sign up page and all it would do was to say the name of the key I struck in my total frustration. Each time I said nothing worked he would ask if something else worked. This did not build up my confidence.
After I wrote in all caps with three exclamation points that nothing worked, he said I would have to call HP and ask for a disk which allegedly fixed it. So I prepared myself for another round of Techs Who Know Nothing.
By the way, that is a brotherhood and has a very strict membership. They seem to hang out at computer places and have conventions where they exchange secrets on how not to do the correct things for callers. But, being a good boy, I called the number.
The voice which answered that number started giving me chances to buy certain products and chances to get prizes and on and on. One message after another as the voice would say, “If you do not wish this (prize chance), hit “2” which I did time after time. Then a female voice came on and it started again with different products.
At first, when the man’s voice started, I thought I could click “2” enough to get to a real person. When the female voice started I knew I was still alive but knew what it would be like after death if I didn’t straighten up.
Thinking I had called the wrong number, I cut off and very carefully dialed again. Three times I got a voice telling me I could not call that number. Wow! They really have this scamming down to a science.
The other scam was to fill out some forms to get something - no, I do not remember what but I learned a lesson. Never start something odd when you are tired and distracted by other activities. I found myself doing exactly what I have told people never to do.
I started filling out these forms as my life long student subconscious told me to and it was somewhere in the third form that my conscious brain took over and yelled at me. I was typing personal information and each form wanted more than the last one.
Fortunately I woke up in time as the first two didn’t have anything except what could be obtained almost anywhere: phone book, Google search or something like that. But it was scary close to being something I would have regretted.
So, remember, this type criminal spends a great deal more time studying how to scam you than you do learning how to avoid that. “Let’s be careful out there.”