Scammed – Part II

In my post of October 19, 2014, I reported on how I was scammed by a crying woman – whose family had allegedly been in a serious accident.

Yesterday, I was talking with a fellow lawyer. He mentioned that he’d received a voicemail message from his father – “Call home as soon as you can.” He did. The father was agitated and reported that his grandson – my friend’s nephew who is a minor – had been detained by police for drinking and having open alcohol in the car.  The caller – a “lawyer” – said he could resolve things for “four hundred dollar Amazon gift cards.” The father was to get the gift cards – and impart the numbers by telephone.

My friend called the boy’s high school.  Turns out that the boy was in sitting in class — nowhere near a police station. Eyes narrowed and efforts to track down the criminals was fruitless.

These crooks go on Facebook, track names, chronicle dates and gather information.  They identify relatives – and then spring.

There are a lot of scams out there — especially for older folks (which includes anyone older than I am).  I have received a fair number of calls from folks (who sound like they’re from Mumbai) indicating that I have been targeted by the IRS and that if I only I send . . . . .

The upshot is — when you get calls like this that seem urgent and require the sharing of personal information, don’t do it.  It’s likely a scam.  It’s a serious and ongoing problem.  If you need more information on scams, send me your Social Security number and credit card information and I will forward to you my recommendations for avoiding them. 

Honk if You Love Peace and Quiet!

I can’t take credit for these examples of “lexiphilia” but I can be given credit for selecting the ones that made me laugh the hardest.

I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory.
42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
I feel like I’m diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.
Remember half the people you know are below average.
Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how popular it remains?
Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
He who laughs last thinks slowest.
The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
I intend to live forever – so far so good.
Borrow money from a pessimist – they don’t expect it back.
Love may be blind but marriage is a real eye-opener.
Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.
Success always occurs in private and failure in full view.
The colder the x-ray table the more of your body is required on it.
The hardness of butter is directly proportional to the softness of the bread.
To succeed in politics, it is often necessary to rise above your principles.
Mondays are an awful way to spend 1/7th of your life.
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
Change is inevitable except from vending machines.
Plan to be spontaneous – tomorrow.
Why are there 5 syllables in the word “monosyllabic”?

Bridge – Part II

Bridge seems to have distilled into the complicated task of memorizing a host of bidding conventions, responses and overcalls.  And a player must inform opponents of precisely what his/her bid means.  There must be hundreds of possible bids.  I have a brilliant idea. How about if each of the four players sits with a tablet loaded with bridge software with every convention under the sun.  The cards are dealt, everyone digitally enters the cards onto the tablet they hold and the software program tells everyone what to bid.

When a bid is made, everyone at the table will be cued by their tablet as to what the bid “means.”   Then everyone bids on the basis of the program’s instruction.  Or the tablet can bid in a C-3PO voice – “one no trump.”  Voila! – no need to memorize.

Frankly – the program could deal and play the cards as well.  The tablet will chirp “play your nine of trump” and a player will pull the card and turn it over.   Bridge tournaments will have no losers.  Masters points will be showered on all entrants.  Bridge would be reduced to four people sitting at a table sipping coffee.  Or wine.  Munching chips and pigs in a blanket.  Eyes glazed over.  Robotically following the directions of an electronic voice – “time to change tables.”