This incident happened to me moments ago. You are reading about it because it is a real-world example of how identity information is valuable, and you should guard yours.

Today I received a call and the person claimed to be from the US Border and Customs Office. They told me they were calling about a package they had intercepted at the US and Mexico border with my name on it.

Normally, I would just hang up on calls like this. Because I travel to Mexico monthly, I listened to the caller.

The “so-called” Border Agent said before he could continue talking to me he wanted me to confirm my birthdate. I said, “I have no way of confirming your identity and therefore I am sure as hell not giving you ANY personal information. He responded, “We already have your personal information but need to “verify” it before discussing this matter. I said, “You must think I was born yesterday?” But since I was not born yesterday, I said . . . well, this is a family blog so I’ll leave it there. Then I hung up and blocked the number.

Photograph of the lower right corner of a modern computer keyboard and a computer mouse. The words Get me out of here are written on the keyboard.The conversation serves as a reminder that we must always be vigilant. You, me, everyone. This probable scammer was phishing for a small piece of my identity information. Why? Because it is worth something. For this person and the organization for which they work (rest assured, this person is part of a big crew of people) knowing something about my identity is valuable.

Personal and financial information . . . a birthdate, for example, can be a significant key to financial information . . . must be protected. It can be used against us.

Please review this consumer advice from the Federal Trade Commission about how to avoid scams.

It is amazing to me how some people do wonderful things for others and sacrifice for the common good. On the other hand, some people are dishonest and create trouble and misery for other fellow humans. I can only pray that there is a special place in HELL for this type of person.

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