Worst-Case Scenario…

woman-208723_1280Imagine, for a moment, you are old. Your partner is gone now; your children are living their own lives far away. Your health isn’t what it was, and the technological world of today is often confusing. You are lonely.

One day, the phone rings. You answer, hoping it might be one of your children. But it isn’t.

A man’s voice speaks. ‘Hello, it’s Davie Millar. Is that husband of yours there?’

John died in an accident at work many years ago. You explain, and Davie makes shocked noises and offers belated condolences. You ask how he knew John.

board-784349_1280Davie explains that he worked in the same company years ago, then went out to Australia. His proposed two-year stay there stretched to twenty, but now he’s home again and looking up some of his old friends. John had been a kind of mentor to him, the older man who helped a young apprentice find his feet in the company.

You can’t remember John ever mentioning Davie, but you hardly like to say, and it was a long time ago, anyway. Davie asks if you have family nearby, and you start to tell him all about your children. He’s interested – he remembers how proud John was of the kids.

Before long, you’ve agreed to Davie’s suggestion that he comes over for coffee and a chat about the old days. You hang up, pleased to have found an old family friend.

Little do you know you’ve just invited a conman into your home.

display-161036_1280We’ll stop the story there; I’m sure we can all imagine what might happen next. This is the kind of scenario I based the plot of Ward Zero on. Originally, the idea came from a consumer TV programme here in Switzerland, but after writing the book I discovered that I actually knew two people who had direct experience of this kind of scam.

One was an elderly lady, quite a long time ago, and she fell for it. She lost a lot of money. The other was much younger, and fortunately realised almost straightaway what could be going on. She hung up, and became one of the conman’s failures.

So what’s the moral of the story? Be very careful – nowadays especially be careful online. And keep an eye on elderly family members, friends and neighbours. Because fact and real life can be stranger – and far crueler – than fiction.

 

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10 Responses to Worst-Case Scenario…

  1. ellenbest24 says:

    It shows that what we write, someone somewhere has experienced it. But on a good note writers can warn! ( This could happen to you!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindahuber says:

      Exactly! The scary thing is, though, that people often don’t realise what they’re getting into.
      But as someone once said, if you can’t be a good example, you can at least be a horrible warning…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. beadyjan says:

    Sounds really scary!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ellenbest24 says:

    Great saying… there are some miserable excuses for humanbeings out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I worry about my elderly mother falling for such a scam. She’s lived in the country all of her life and if pretty trusting, and naive. Glad you wrote about it. Will help get the word out and who knows, it might save someone, or many people, from the same situation. Take care, and have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindahuber says:

      You too! I think nowadays banks are looking out for this. There have been several reports in our papers over the past year or so about an older person going to withdraw a large amount of money, and then the bank became suspicious and stepped in to prevent anything happening. Take care of your mother – forewarned is forearmed.

      Like

  5. jenanita01 says:

    Far too many situations nowadays trying to trick us… it’s getting very confusing…

    Like

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