Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fresh Fish

I’m almost 50 years old.  I have a college degree, and I don’t consider myself to be too naive in the ways of the world. 

But yesterday?  I was “had.” 

I was at work and received a call from an agent with the Drug Enforcement Agency.  Agent John Gilmore proceeded to give me his name, my case number and informed me that my name was linked to illegal drug purchases from the Dominican Republic.

[cue diarrhea]


Yes, that was my response.  I felt my face flush and armpits sweat.  Agent Gilmore went on to tell me that I had two choices of action.  He then mumbled words like, “felony,” “bench warrant” and “imminent arrest” to me.  He asked if I had ever ordered drugs on line.  “Of course I have, it’s cheaper with my insurance to do it 90 days at a time,” I responded.  I kept mentioning my insurance, UnitedHealthcare, 90 days, legitimate prescription, Lexapro.   I'm sure I sounded like a guilty woman.  He continued to scare me and then transferred me to Border Patrol. 


The gentleman at Border Patrol (who sounded A LOT like Agent Gilmore) then proceeded to tell me my fine was $2800.  Now, I don't know about you, but I don't keep $2800 for fines in my back pocket.  He continued that if I paid that, all would be well, the charges would be dropped.  I would be a free woman.


Finally, at this point, a warning bell went off in my head.  Something wasn’t right.  Something was fishy.  the jig was up.  A co-worker of mine, who was in the same room with me during this freaky event,  had been looking on line and discovered it was a scam.  That gave me the courage to tell AGENT GILMORE or the BORDER PATROL MAN that I would have my attorney call him.  (Remember, I work at a LAW FIRM) He fumbled around and mentioned arrest and felony to me again, but I didn’t cave.   I hung up the phone.

I then proceeded to read, for an hour, tales of this scam and how very many people have been affected by it.   I felt a bit better; I mean, when someone identifies themselves to me as a member of the DEA, who am I to question it?  I knew I was innocent, but for a few moments, this guy had me believing I had broken some kind of mysterious international law, and was prepared to pay a fine.  I still feel a bit sick to my stomach about it all, and am amazed at how easily I was manipulated.

And I call myself not stoopid.

I’d buckle under interrogation.

Don’t pick me for your team.

I’d look awful in horizontal stripes.


Colleen said...

What a sinking feeling that must have been. You know, if these criminals would use this wonderful creativity they obviously have for good instead of evil they would be fantatically successful!

On parting could be orange vertical stripes which would be 10 times worse!

KB said...

Stuff like this scares the heck out of me. That's why I hardly ever even answer my phone if I don't recognize the number.

sherri s. said...

What?! How horrible for you. My feisty great-aunt got called, several times, by a scammer. In her delightful country accent, she proceeded to engage with him, telling him she'd meet him down at the police station to exchange the money, she'd ask her nephew, the sheriff, to drive her since she didn't drive, etc. etc. She knew it was a scam, she was just messin' with him! And he called several times!

miscellane-ash said...

ugh...what a p.o.s! i would have felt the same way, though. actually, i would've probably burst into tears...ha!

angie128 said...

Thank goodness there isn't a dark side to my Ju Ju....

And the part where you said you ordered drugs online was my favorite part...

mel said...

This is awful! Poor you - - and thanks for sharing it so we are all prepared. Any kind of law enforcement makes me sooooo nervous even though my brother is a detective. I can easily see how you were fooled. I hope they get this guy - idiot criminal.

Grandma K said...

OMG! I am so wary of phone scams, but this one ... Wow! I think a lot of people would have done just as you did.

I sometimes think I am so wary of a scam that I let some good things go by. But I would rather be that way.

Glad you aren't in any kind of stripes.

Lap Dog Knits said...

I'm just getting to know you...
I didn't know I had a new friend who had such an interesting exciting dark side...even if only for a few minutes.
Stripes...a friend works at the central jail - it's the color stripes they put you in that you need to worry about:-)
have a wonderful day - wishing a not so wonderful day for the scammer.

Darla said...

Did they call you on the office phone number? Did they NOT hear you mention the attorney's names for Heaven's sake?

No worries, I would have visited you in the clink! :)...non-conjugal visit days, of course!