The other night I was looking through some work e-mails when I saw a couple from an insurance company I had when I worked for this same company briefly in 2007.
Yes, I said 2007.
In so many words, the e-mail said they were acknowledging that I changed an e-mail address or status on my account, and to verify, go to this web site and/or call this number.
I thought this very odd, again, what would a company I used in 2007 be contacting me for in 2014, especially when I have nothing to do with them?
Just to be sure, I checked with my wife Nancy, she's the "Keeper of The Books" so to speak.
Nope, she didn't have a clue either.
I looked closer at the e-mail.
Then it hit me.
The e-mail was addressed to Mike Patrick
Now, I don't need to use The Cone Of Silence (sorry, dated TV reference) to tell you there are many of us in the broadcast industry that use a different name on the air.
I was not born with the name Mike least not fully...according to my birth certificate.
So then, why would an insurance company, who KNOWS my real name, contact me using my radio name?
Prompted by being the curious kind, I decide to call the company...I do love to poke the bear when I can.
I was directed to "Jimmy" (I'm pretty sure that's not his real name)
Hi, can I have your member ID?
I don't have one "Jimmy", I haven't since 2007 (I then proceed to tell him the whole story).
OK sir, I can probably fix that, I'll just need your Social Security number...
As Scooby Doo would say at this point....Ruh Ro!
Sorry "Jimmy", I'm not going to do that. (I then explain how I work in the media, in particular the News Department, and we check on potential scams all the time...not saying this is a scam "Jimmy", but under the circumstances, I'm not comfortable doing so.
OK sir, I understand, in that case I'll just need your date of birth.
I then proceed to tell "Jimmy" to stick it where the sun don't shine.
Well, it was a bit harsher than that, but you get the point.
Sir, if you don't give me that information, I just can't help you.
I believe at that point I made reference to "Jimmy's" unwed parents, his lack of IQ, and I also requested he perform a rather unnatural act on himself.
Not sure who hung up first.
I then discussed this with the News Room staff, that's when Tom Rigatti says HE remembers getting a very similar e-mail, upon checking, yup, he did.
I feel bad for folks who will, unfortunately, fall for stuff like this.
Make sure you're not one of them!
Mike Patrick