Scott Ballard District Attorney
December 26, 2013
You’ve seen the cartoon, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” You’ve probably also seen the movie with Jim Carrey.
For the culturally deprived few of you unfamiliar with the story, The Grinch is a creature who hated Christmas. He decided that he would put a stop to the joyful celebration by stealing all the presents. Of course, Christmas isn’t really about getting presents and The Grinch realized that when, even without presents on Christmas morning, the town celebrated with great joy.
Grinches really exist.
Take, for example, the thief who defrauded about 40 million Target shoppers by hacking into the credit card swipe machine.
Or, consider this. One of our secretaries has an adorable two-year-old daughter. The secretary has been talking about the toy kitchen she ordered. It has a refrigerator. A sink. A telephone. We’ve all enjoyed discussions about how exciting it will be for a two-year-old girl to wake up on Christmas morning and find that kitchen.
Finally, the kitchen was delivered to the house. And somebody stole it before our secretary could get home.
That’s pretty low.
I was almost a victim. The other day I came home from work. Immediately my daughter, Melanie, rushed toward me in panic mode. She had received a text that her debit card was deactivated. That, of course, must never occur.
The message instructed her to call a particular number to correct the “technical glitch”. Melanie had already dialed the number and was thrusting it toward me. A voice recording was telling me to type the 16 digit card number. As I began typing—anything to avert the deactivation of a debit card for even five seconds—I suddenly came to my senses.
The card is in my name. Why are they calling my daughter’s cell phone? Why haven’t I received a message about the “technical glitch”? This was a scam. I cut off the call.
Be careful. Crooks are out there. And they don’t take time off for Christmas.
Grinches can’t really steal Christmas. But, that doesn’t stop them from trying.