I have trust issues.
It became crystal clear to me just the other day.
A friendly woman approached me in a store parking lot to compliment me on my outfit. She was very kind and chatty and we had a really nice exchange.
As we parted company, I realized I was clutching my purse. Even as we were talking, my mind was doing two things. I was thinking how kind it was for her to offer a compliment to a stranger while I was also thinking maybe she was trying to rob me. I kept the shopping cart between us and surveyed the others nearby.
I went home and felt guilty.
It got me thinking about the fact that I rarely answer my homephone anymore, nor do I answer my door. Any guests have to call ahead. That's just my rule.
A career in media tends to make a person jaded.
Also, I admit I watch too many true-crime documentaries. That is on me.
However, scams are everywhere.
Maybe it is happening more often as we begin a new year and head into tax season. All those robocalls.
Those threatening fake Canada Revenue Agency calls should start anytime. You know, the ones where they say you owe more money and must send it immediately or a police officer will pay you a visit. At least THAT one has gotten a lot of publicity over the years.
I find myself not believing anyone.
For the most part I have stopped giving to charities over the phone. How do we actually know it is truly the charity they claim to represent? Better to just make a direct donation at the office of the agency.
Have you had any e-mails from a bank checking on your account? Easy enough to know its phony if it's not your bank, but what if it is? I have started to take a phone number and call back and ask if they are actually checking on an issue. No doubt, the scammers are 10 steps ahead of us.
The other day, I had a utility company contact me to come do a maintenance check. I am never crazy about having any stranger in my home. While this was completely legitimate, there were things that gave me pause. There were two technicians. It was likely an instructor and trainee, but my suspicious side wondered why there was a pair.
I certainly didn’t go into the basement with them. If they are furnace experts, surely they can find it on their own. I kept the upstairs door open and stayed close to it.
When they showed me what they had checked, I noticed the name on the receipt was completely different from the company name to whom I pay my bills. They explained they were just sub-contractors who do the check-ups.
All these companies changing names and outsourcing labour is just another thing that confuses the customer. Who's who and what's what?
Officials always advise you can check their identification. That may be true, but am I going to know a real one from a phony one?
Would you? Would you actually ask to see it?
It is something I really wrestle with.
I hate to become a cowardly person who avoids social interaction. We are already so isolated in society. We work from home. We stare at our phones rather than interact in public. We keep to ourselves.
I guess that's where common sense and our gut comes into play.
If we can't trust others, at least, we can trust ourselves.