Thursday, October 29, 2009

A New Scam!

I know my last scambaiting experience was met with hilarity by all. I had been considering finding another one. Imagine my delight when someone found ME before I even the chance to go looking! This scam is actually fairly widespread, and a lot of people are falling for it. It takes a bit to even realize it IS a scam. Since most of us would always help a friend in a bad situation, it makes all of us vulnerable. Read a news story about it here.

Players involved in conversation:

Jason is a good friend of mine from high school. While we have drifted over the years, I really like him. If he really was in trouble, I would give him money. However, he wouldn't ask for money from me unless he is in really dire straights.

Tara: Tara is a mutual friend from high school. Also a lot of fun. Jason and Tara have maintained a very close friendship throughout the years, but they are JUST friends.

So, this morning I was on facebook while the kids were eating breakfast. Facebook has an instant messenger application, and I had the following conversation. I will differentiate between REAL Jason, and Fake Jason.

FakeJason: Hey Wendy, how are you?

Me: I'm tired, want to go back to bed. How are you?

FakeJason: I am really bad

Me: How come?

FakeJason: I am in London

Me: Well, that sounds really good. What happened for that to be bad?

FakeJason: I was robbed at gunpoint last night

Me: That sounds so scary, are you ok?

FakeJason: I am injured on right hand bitter about that. But, Thank God I am ok.

(hmmm, never heard Jason say "Thank God" before. And Hmmm, I think I'd know if Jason had gone to London)

FakeJason: I talked to embassay and they talk about getting plane ticket home not until March.

Me: Why so long? How long were you SUPPOSED to be there? Did the robber get your passport or something?

FakeJason: I am raising money to buy new plane ticket home.

FakeJason: I still have my passport and health Thank God.

(ok, I was now 99% sure this was a scammer. I decided to do a little test. But first, I sent a message to Tara to double check because I didn't want to harass Jason if he really WAS in trouble)

Me: Was your girlfriend with you when it happened? Is Tara ok?

FakeJason: NO, she wasn't there.

Me: Did you actually go to London without her? I keep telling you that you should go out and enjoy being single a bit before you settle down and marry her.

(note: Tara and Jason have never been romantically involved. She is a lovely girl, and I would never say mean things about her for real. I thought she'd be amused at the way I was portraying her because it is so far from the truth)

FakeJason: Can you wire money for plane ticket home? I will pay back at atm when I get home.

Me: Which home are you trying to go to?

FakeJason: West Jordan

(this is his actual hometown, but not where he lives).

FakeJason: How is Jim?

Me: So, is Tara stranded there too? I can give you money for her plane ticket too, even though I think she is too controlling. I don't want her stuck in London too.

REAL Jason: Um, I think you sent this to me by mistake

Me: No, I meant to send it to you. I feel like I have to tell you my feelings on your relationship with Tara.

Real Jason: HUH?! What are you talking about?!

(during this time, Tara manages to get a hold of Jason and brings him up to speed)

FakeJason: I need money so I can buy plane ticket home. Can you please help me?

Then, both Jasons log off.

I was DYING to mess with FakeJason some more, but I was pretty sure it was all over. I also was almost late to take my kids to school. So, I left my computer on, and took off to school and kickboxing. On the way, RealJason called me. He was glad to hear that I hadn't fallen for it.

I got home, and Fake Jason was gone for good. I was sad he didn't play more with me.

But, this is a very real scam, and part of the reason I'm telling about it, even though the interaction wasn't that great is because I want everyone to be warned and to not fall for it. Make sure you get some sort of confirmation that your "friend" in trouble is really your friend before you do anything.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My Affair with Donny Osmond

My mom begged my to blog about this, since it was such a funny story. Since it will also totally embarrass my 11 year old, which really is my ultimate goal in life (just ask her!), I think I will oblige.

Back in 2002, I volunteered with the Salt Lake Winter Olympics. I got to do opening ceremonies for the Paralympics Games. It truly was one of the highlights of my life. To work on that caliber of a production, with the amazing people I met was incredible.
One of my primary responsibilities was to make sure the "talent headliners" were happy, comfortable, and to their spots and cued at the proper time. Donny Osmond did a number in the opening ceremonies. He was absolutely a blast to work with- very down to earth, polite, and nice. I figured he would be as much, his reputation has said as much. Plus, I casually knew his older brother, Tom. Tom was my mailman when I was going to Snow College, and Tom was a great guy. He'd come to our house after he finished his route and would visit with us. Really nice guy.

The night of the performance, I brought my camera, and took a lot of pictures. I asked someone to take a photo of Donny Osmond and I.

I got the photos developed, then scanned into my computer, and kind of forgot about them. We had our screen saver on our computer set up to just show the photos that we had on our hard drive, and the kids loved to watch the slide show of pictures.

A couple years later, J comes to me, laughing. Apparently, K had been watching the slideshow of photos and saw the picture of Donny and I. She was deeply concerned about this, and came to J. She told him that she was really worried because her mommy had a "secret boyfriend". J asked her how she knew this, and she replied that she'd seen a picture of me with another man, and HIS ARM WAS AROUND HER MOMMY! J had her show him the picture in question. I have to give him credit. He managed to keep a straight face, and gently explained that Donny was just a friend, and that he had a wife, and that she shouldn't have to worry about that sort of thing. I laughed til I cried when I heard about it.

So, here is the infamous picture. I have to admit I HATE this picture of me. I really wasn't as fat as I looked- I have always had a double chin, and this is just a really unfortunate angle. Just look at the picture of me with the torch. Not nearly as bad, isn't it? Figures I'd get a super bad picture of myself when I'm being photographed with a celebrity doesn't it?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

the kids

I took the kids up in the mountains to look at the leaves this past weekend. Unfortunately, I think we were about 3 weeks too late. I was a bit disappointed, but it was still pretty. The reds were all gone, and that is my favorite.

While up there, I decided to take some pictures of the kids. In general, it didn't work out at all well because Z hadn't napped and was a little cranky.

This was the best group shot I got, though I'm not that pleased with it.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why my cell phone is hidden while I shower

Whenever I take a shower, I usually take the phone into the bathroom with me. That way, I know whether or not I miss any calls, and I don't have to worry about shenanigans involving my children and the phone.

Unfortunately, the other morning, I was distracted. I had a closing coming right up, and was thinking of that while I was at the gym. I got home from my workout, and got Diego to babysit the kids while I took a shower.

After I got up, S came up to me and announced that I had missed a call. But it was ok, she said, she told them I was taking a shower. Uh oh. I forgot to bring my cell phone with me. I find my phone, and sure enough, there is a voice mail. No missed call though. Hmmm. This means that she answered the phone (or so I thought). I checked my voice mail, and discovered that one of my little darlings had tossed my wallet out the window of the car while I was buckling children into their car seats. Thank goodness I belong to a gym full of honest women!

I trek on over to the gym to claim my wallet. The girl working the front desk laughs a little as she gives it to me, and tells me the story. Someone turned in the wallet (with every penny accounted for). Employee tries to call me and tell me where it is. She was in the middle of leaving me a voice mail when she sees another call coming in, and that it's my phone. She ends the voice mail and answers the phone. A little tiny voice said, "My mommy is in the shower right now so she can't talk to you."

All I can say is that I'm really glad it wasn't somebody calling me from the professional side of my life.