GETTING AGE UNWONDERFUL: Cheating Story | Lost coastal outpost

I blame the tequila because my 80-year-old body isn’t as responsive to alcohol as my 18-year-old was. Also, there was no email or Amazon back then.

TheCulinaryGeek, Creative Commons.

Had I not had a hearty “Tequila Sunrise” before the meal that sunset, I’m sure I would not have fallen for K’s heartfelt appeal:

Barry, I need an Amazon e-gift card for a friend of mine who has been diagnosed with stage 4 mesothelioma. She lost her only daughter to the disease (COVID-19). It’s her birthday, but I can’t do it now. I tried to buy it online but unfortunately I had no luck with it. Wondering if you could help me get this done online through Amazon? and I will refund you as soon as I get home. Please let me know so I can give you her email address.



Secure! Happy to help! (And yes, I was sober enough to confirm that the from email address was indeed K’s, so of course it was legitimate). sucker that i was i said yes how so i send it?

You can get it done via… Total amount needed is $200, here is their address… Please make sure the delivery date is Now, and I want you to write happy birthday in the message box. Please let me know when it’s ready. So I’ll let her know it’s mine. Please forward me the confirmation when you’re done. Thank you K…

After sending the $200 from my Amazon account (thinking I was a real person) I settled down, only to hear from K that her friend hadn’t received the money. According to Amazon, it takes less than 10 minutes to post on the gift card site, and that was half an hour later. That’s weird…does Amazon think I’m a scammer??? The nerve! I went to bed thinking I’d find out in the morning, I just had to assure Amazon that the whole thing was on the rise only to wake up to this:

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From: [email protected]


We believe that an unauthorized party may have accessed your account.

To protect your data we have:

— Your account password disabled.
— Reverted any changes made by that party.
— All pending orders canceled. You can ignore any confirmation emails you received for these orders…

My brain works better at 6am than at 8pm, especially when it’s not being stressed by the effects of low oxygen/high alcohol. Well, duh, of course it’s a scam! Look at the wording! Check out the weird typo! View…. “How could you – you arch-skeptic, mister science writer – how could you fall for that? It screams “SCAM” on every line!” offered my not-so-sympathetic wife. “What did you think you were doing?” “It wasn’t me,” I said. Feeling dumber by the second.

The real K (of course!) didn’t know about any of these shenanigans, as she told me on the phone that morning, as her email account had been hacked. She assured me that she would change her address and password immediately, and Barry – word to the wise – keep an eye out for future scammers! As if I need that advice. After all, I’m an experienced and smart online user, I would never fall for an amateur scammer, would I?

Note to self: tequila and online solicitations don’t mix, ok? ok got it!