Friday, 25 October 2019

Detective work

A letter arrived which didn't seem quite right. I was immediately suspicious of it when I saw the hand written envelope, it looks like a child has scrawled across most of it in large letters. I was expecting a letter from a young person. The logo at the top of the envelope and the franked postage mark didn't match up with the handwriting. Why would a company address an envelope in that fashion. Why wasn't the address printed. Almost correctly I may add, except that there hasn't been a 'South Humberside', for many years.

Inside, a single piece of plain A4 paper, no header, with my address in the top left hand corner, and a four paragraph typed letter. Name of sender at the bottom but no signature. On the back of the letter in the centre, 'Dear Ilona' in the same scrawly writing. Why, I wondered.

Reading through the letter, the first impression I got was the grammar isn't very good. I know mine is not perfect, but this is supposedly from someone who calls themselves a PRODUCER/DIRECTOR of a TV programme. The request was very brief, with minimal and vague details. The subject matter did catch my attention, and for a brief moment I was tempted to call the mobile number.

But then caution kicked in. Something in my brain said be careful. This letter could be from anybody, someone could have access to a franking machine which also prints the logo. My name was scrawled over the top of the postage frank, meaning franked first, addressed after. People from the media always email or telephone first because they want a quick reply, they don't go to the trouble of writing and posting a letter.

I am going to follow my gut instinct and not reply. I may be wrong, it may be a genuine request, and I might be missing out on something interesting. But balance that out with getting myself into a whole heap of trouble which could bring me grief, I would rather not bother. Scam or not, I am always on my guard.

Toodle pip.  ilona

13 comments:

  1. Definitely sounds a bit fishy, professionals wouldn't send things like that, not official looking or sounding at all.

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  2. I think the childish/unofficial/casual appearance is intentional, to put you off your guard. File appropriately - under WPB - as the saying was back in the olden days when everything was on paper.

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  3. I would not ring it at all.A professional place would not do that...maybe even worth taking it to the police and letting them ring it,as it is someone who knows your address.The police would look into it for you then you will know just what or who it is.xx

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    1. I second this idea. As a woman living alone, you can never be too careful ...

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  4. We had a business card posted through our letterbox with a post-it note saying one of our neighbours said we might be interested in this ...... Oh no you don't get me with that one. Be on your guard all the time because unfortunately things are not always what you think they are. Sharon

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  5. i wouldnt ring it could be a premium rate number scam and cost you a fortune; but you can google phone numbers to see what company they belong to and it often comes back with who they are, a call centre etc., so that might be interesting - you sometimes find google brings up a history too of other searches made for that same number, so that highlights whether the number is under suspicion by others.

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  6. Wise move Ilona I would do the same. Another wet day here and my two fur babies are enjoying home life eating being loved grooming and snoozing. Lots of love Liz Amy and Benny.xxxx

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  7. You made the right decision. Sometimes those calls are very expensive because they are actually routed to a country on another continent. When I get telephone calls from an unknown number I search it by typing the number in online and sometimes find out who called and if it is a scam.

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  8. Good choice. Only other thing I have seen recommended, is if you still have the letter, turn it over to authorities, so they can monitor this type of dodgy activity/put out warnings to other folks.

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  9. It does sound odd Ilona.I think you did right and if it's genuine they will get in touch another way I expect.There seems to be some very strange people about these days sadly x

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  10. I think you're right to go with your gut instincts. As you say, people from the media always call or email first. If it really is a genuine request hopefully they'll read your post, realise the unconventional way in which they've approached you and contact you in the correct manner. x

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    1. If it was genuinely from someone at ITV they could have found my number and email address because I have been in contact with people there before. Also, email is the normal way of contacting and my address is on my sidebar, that's if they read it. The address on the envelope was the full address apart from Hunberside which hasn't been used in years. It's still on some mailing lists, so I guess they got it from a list.

      The letter was poorly worded, I could have written better myself. Also, initial contact is not usually from a producer/director, it is mostly from a researcher testing the waters to see if there is any interest in their idea.

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  11. I am not going to take this any further, the police have plenty to do. I posted about it here to illustrate just how cautious you should be when receiving unsolicited mail, phone calls, text messages, and emails. Criminals are phishing for information all the time. Be on your guard.

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Comments are welcome from anyone with a Google account. I have had to change the settings due to the amount of troll comments coming through. My apologies to genuine readers who have been with me for a long time.