Phish for Breakfast

Uncategorized Posted Dec 22, 2004 by metropolis

An enlightening story from my partner Chris Carleton…

Some folks have a warped definition of Holiday Season Spirit…and my wife and I just got a dose of it. We experienced our first phishing expedition.

With billions of dollars of holiday shopping underway, the pond is surely stocked for this kind of nefarious nastiness.

It came to us via phone, with an apparently automated system claiming to represent BankOne asking my wife to confirm our credit card data due to recent account activity. As soon as she spoke, asking for a number where she could call back (our approach to fending off bad guy, info-collecting miscreants) the call disconnected.

Despite hitting us in the midst of the morning rush that is packing up three kids and getting them off to grammer school, we were so offput that we just had to swim back upstream.

So, availing ourselves of the *67 dial-back capability of our service provider, we captured the caller’s phone number: 800-454-9078. Next, and exemplifying we are tech types, we hit Google and searched on the number. We came up empty handed. We then dialed the number — after using another of our service provider’s capabilities to block our number — and reached a now-defunct number at the Whirlpool Corporation.

With the trail now seemingly ended — and the kids needing to be at their school five minutes prior — we ended our Dick Tracy routine. But we’ll report what happened to the Massachusetts State Attorneys General Office. We know these schemes are very hard to trace, but by alerting that group, we’ll settle for even the small hope that it might preclude others from being victimized.

And though it might’ve cost them some late-to-school demerits, our brood just got a real-life lesson on how not to share any personal information — just because someone asks for it. There are times when doing so is warranted, but it’s surely not with unidentified callers. Or their online equivalents.

Our Holiday Wish — since we can shoot for the stars on those, right? — is hoping that those who do get busted for this kind of crime get full force of the law brought down upon them.

And that Santa skips their houses later this weekend…