stevenson column sig 2

Local opinion columnists

When an email is too good to be true

By From page A8 | December 11, 2012

I wrote two-thirds of a column last week about the kind of email I got. Then I realized that anyone who uses email regularly probably gets the same assortment of junk.

I had a treat a few months ago when some enterprising airman from my compound – there were 60 of us of different services and even nationalities – got a list of the men who served in MACV 1 in Quang Tri Province. We exchanged a lot of emails – kind of fun after more than 40 years.

One thing I thought I had learned after more than 15 years of using email was which ones are real and which ones are phony. But I got an email Monday morning that seemed real and worthwhile. Let me see if I can duplicate the form I received:

From: Postal Service [email protected]
To: bsteven254
Subject: ID (N)EG62 881 835 4033 5366
Order: SGH-5287-2410728373
Order Date:
Dear Customer,
Your parcel has arrived at the post office at December 7. Our postrider was unable to deliver the parcel. to you.
To receive a parcel. Please go to the nearest our office and show this postal receipt.
Best Regards, the FedEx Team

So, what do I do? I go to the Cernon Street post office in Vacaville, because I work just a few blocks away. The postal clerk says, “Oh, the post office right off Peabody takes care of these cross deliveries,” and he gives me directions.

I get there, and once again, there’s a long line. This time there’s a helper to see how you can be helped. He looks at my “receipt,” and has one word to say: “Scam.”

“What?” I ask, and he says, “No question, it’s a scam. Sorry about that.”

Two hours down the drain because I was too naïve to realize what I was looking at.

Bud Stevenson, a stockbroker, lives in Fairfield. Reach him at [email protected]

Bud Stevenson

Bud Stevenson


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