Who, Me?

This morning, the Today show ran a segment on an identity theft ring who, courtesy of a hospital admissions clerk, specialized in stealing the identities of the dead. It's a damn shame that a person can't register for a hospital stay or get their taxes done without having to worry about someone taking their personal information and using it to establish credit and run up thousands of dollars of purchases.

While these people were completely innocent, it pays to be alert. This reminded me of an e-mail I recently received, from a "student" at a high school who said she was doing a paper on her favorite author, and asked me to answer a couple of questions so she could turn in her paper on time.

This alone raised my suspicions (it must be the New Yorker in me). Doing a paper on me? Why, for heaven's sake? She then proceeded to ask me for a) my date of birth, b) my place of birth, c) the names and ages of my children, and a few other questions that had nothing to do with my writing, everything to do with my personal life and were, frankly, none of her business. (I half expected her to ask for my mother's maiden name, but even she must have thought that was going too far.) Apparently this "student" was hoping that I will be so flattered at being her favorite author that I will blindly provide all kind of personal information to her.

Not a chance.


Gwyneth Bolton said...

Oh. My. Goodness. They are getting very crafty! I'm glad I read this today. Thanks for sharing.


bettye griffin said...

Trust me, even without having seen this post you definitely would have sensed something suspicious in those questions! They were really personal.