What a scam

I have been scammed! After all the warnings I have had, I fell for the trick. I never thought I would. A text pinged in. It said that it was from my mobile network provider telling me, ‘We were unable to process your latest payment, in order to avoid fees please update your information…’. You had to press on a link.

Younger members of my family have always told me, ‘Never press on a link, on an email or text.’ I know, but I panicked. I cannot risk losing connection to my mobile phone. It is important to me, especially these days. I pressed on the link with fast beating heart. The problem needed solving straight away.

‘If you get a message and it causes your heart to beat faster, don’t press on it. If it excites you or makes you anxious, it’s a scam,’ said my young friend. Despite all this good advice I had pressed it.

It’s the time of year for ‘Trick or Treat’. Children are being advised to stay in. The trick is not good, like the scam, but a treat is what we all deserve. Just a small treat can make the day worthwhile.

I have never bothered too much about all the late apples in our orchard. But this year they are especially delicious and they have cropped profusely. My father bought me a Fiesta apple tree 25 years ago and now it is so heavy with fruit that the boughs are in danger of breaking. The apples are crisp and sweet and if we pick them, and store them in our garage loft, they will last until April next year. What a treat they have become.

There were apple trees in our orchard when we were young. But they were cold and hard and bitter. We threw them at each other and at walls to make them splatter and to make us laugh. They must have been cookers because I remember my mother making delicious apple pies in the autumn. We took it all for granted then, but now with COVID19 things have changed.

What our garden can offer is valued more than ever, and I treasure every little act of kindness from friends and family. We call it ‘COVID kindness’ – much better than a trick or a scam.

Luckily, when I pressed the link on my phone, I was in the countryside and out of reach of a good internet connection. It did not make contact. Back at home, I phoned my network provider who told me it was a phishing scam.

The next day, I had the same message again, ‘We were unable…’ but I knew it was not true because this one purported to be from a mobile network that I do not use.

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)

So many apples in our orchard - what a treat!


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