Social Security Scam

Whistler | Nocturne in Grey and Gold: Chelsea Snow | “I have chosen the word nocturne because it generalizes and simplifies the whole set of them.” – Whistler. Night gave him opportunity to experiment with patches of light and dark and color as disembodied shapes, functioning as abstract elements in a pictorial design. The night itself seemed to divest forms of their literary meaning by depriving them of detail. A pub ceased to be a pub and became a pattern of luminous rectangles, broken by streaks and patches of darkness. the snow and sky became luminous space. an art of interval. Space has an intense reality and it is the spaces between things that often determine the power of the composition, the night an abstract drama of intervals. – Donald Holden

Our wonderfully weird conversation lasted 32 minutes according to my new cell phone. I was doing a soundcheck run through when the stranger became my first caller – each sentence made more illegitimate. These Social Security scams have skyrocketed. To put it in perspective, the Federal Trade Commission and other governmental agencies are now telling us that in 2018, more than 35,000 people reported the scam, and they told us they’ve lost $10 million. (www.consumer.ftc.gov)

At times, I believed the stranger’s one-dimensional state of being, the busy background noise and the random bits of personal information. But lately my deepening sense of sorrow has made me reconsider the case of mistaken identity for comic relief.

The imposter had me talking and writing this dialogue when the Social Security Administration (SSA) phone number showed up on my caller ID. The SS marshall said my social security number had been involved in a crime, drug trafficking in Texas. He was faking. The Social Security Administration only calls me to see what color pants I’m wearing for the day.

A couple minutes later, the stalker asked me, “Where do you live?” I said, “You know.” A few moments later, the scam artist was still scrounging it, asking if I owned a home. I said, “No. I live in a cargo trailer. They feed me sometimes if I behave.” When the SS marshall threatened to report me to the local sheriff department, I asked if they could bring me some fast food french fries.

I burst into laughter after I told him, “I can’t go to the bank and do this money transfer thing until tomorrow, because I don’t have a car.” And no joke, he asked, “Can you call Uber?”

Some things don’t make sense. He turned out to be a Tofurky all along. So make room at your holiday table for Mr. Tofurky, and wire him all the love and prayers you would for a sick friend – like you and I – and let the symptoms of that love quietly, intentionally do good.
§tacy §weeney