How dumb do they think we are? Wait, don't answer that.
I got an e-mail today from someone purportedly representing the customer service department at Bank of America. It was advised that someone was using multiple computers and a variety of password combinations in a bid to secure entry to my Bank of America online banking account. It was urgent, said the e-mail, that I re-confirm my account information to them by tomorrow, or my account would be suspended indefinitely, "as it may have been used for fraudulent purposes." There was one really big problem with this e-mail. I don't have a Bank of America banking account. But you know what? I guarantee that someone, somewhere who also did not have a Bank of America banking account nevertheless sent personal and/or financial information to the site included in the e-mail. Why? Because they're dummies. And scam artists such as the ones behind the Bank of America ruse count on a certain percentage of their targets being stupid people. That's how they make money. There were other signs in the Bank of America e-mail that would lead any reasonably intelligent person to recognize they were a target of a scam. The bank logo was a grainy reproduction, and the entreaty concluded with thanks for my patience in this "mattern." We hear all the time through the media about dummies who give thousands of dollars of their life savings to people they've never seen or heard of, just because they're told that thousands more will be coming back to them if they do so. And yet people fall for this stuff again and again and again. There's an element of greed at work here, but the biggest factor is that some folks are just a few sandwiches short of a picnic. Anyone can fall victim to an identity-theft crime, but for some of these scams, you really have to be a dope to get shafted.