Oct. 24, 2012 —
Yesterday afternoon, my home phone rang. Since I have "caller I.D.," the identification record said: "Ohio Cellphone." OK, I have friends in Ohio with cellphones, so I answered. The caller claimed to be stranded (and homeless) at a motel in Portsmouth. And, she wanted to know: "Could you pay for a night's lodging at this motel?"
It struck me as analogous to an email from someone in Nigeria wanting to have the routing number for my bank account. If I had taken a telephone number and responded with a credit card number, it seems likely my bank account would have been cleaned out. Yes, it is possible the woman is in distress. But, why would she be calling a clergyman in Kentucky, if her problem is located in Scioto Co., OH? And, how did she come by my telephone number? It seems suspiciously like a scam.
As an old friend of mine is wont to say: "I might have been born at night, but I wasn't born last night."
The Rev. Dr. Laurence J. James