I got reminded of the following incident in the past the other day when a friend of mine described how a friend of his had recently got a phone call claiming to be from the police. She phoned the police station that had been named and established that the call was fraudulent.
Many years ago I was enjoying a quiet respite at work when there was a knock at the door. A young girl wanted to know where the security desk in the building was. While this building had security guards, there was nothing that could really be described as a security desk.
The young lady explains she had just got a call from her father. Her father had been phoned by her bank to tell her that the bank card she had lost that day had been found and that she could pick it up from the security desk the following morning. I thought about this for a couple of seconds and said: “You need to cancel that card now! Use my phone!”
What was happening was that the person who had stolen her purse had looked through her address book and then phoned her father pretending to be the bank. Being without your bank card for a couple of days while a new one is sent to you can be an inconvenience. Many people, if told that their card was in fact safe and could be picked up the next morning, will not bother to cancel the card. This buys the thief an entire night to use your card. You can spend a lot of money in a single night in a big city!
I think I have mentioned before that I regularly come across bags and other valuables just sitting in the corridors or placed on top of lockers. Yesterday as I went for lunch I came across a bag just placed on a chair at the top of the stairs, no one else within sight. I handed it into security. Sometimes I hear the excuse “There isn’t much worth anything in it”. That is not going to prevent a thief from stealing it. You will probably find that many things you had in the bag were much harder to replace than you thought. Modern thieves have many new ways to milk a victim of money. Long term readers of the blog will know my girlfriend had a bag stolen a couple of years back. Using the information on her phone he got into her email account and stole the video game credits she was sending to her son for Christmas, credits that she had worked long and hard to earn the money for.
Message for today is to be aware of tricks such as the one described above and not to give thieving scum easy scores.