Hey! A new (to me) text message scam! Involving a barfing dog!

Last year Columbia changed our phone system so now we can accept text messages. This can be convenient, and sometimes people reach me that way.

But then the other day this text came in:

And, the next day:

Someone’s dog has been vomiting, and this person is calling from two different numbers—home and work, perhaps? That’s too bad! I hope they reach the real Dr. Ella before the dog gets too sick.

Then this:

And now I started getting suspicious. How exactly does someone get my phone as a wrong number for a veterinarian? I’ve had this work number for over 25 years! It could be that someone typed in a phone number wrong. But . . . how likely is it that two unrelated people (the owner of a sick dog and the seller of veterinary products) would mistype someone’s number in the exact same way on the exact same day?

Also, “Dr. Ella”? I get that people give their doctors nicknames like that, but in a message to the office they would use the doctor’s last name, no?

Meanwhile, these came in:

Lisa, Ella, whatever. Still it seemed like some kinda mixup, and I had no thought that it might be a scam until I came across this post from Max Read, “What’s the deal with all those weird wrong-number texts?”, which answered all my questions.

Apparently the veterinarian, the yachts, and all the rest, are just a pretext to get you involved in a conversation where the scammers then befriend you before stealing as much of your money as they can. Kinda mean, huh? Can’t they do something more socially beneficial, like do some politically incorrect p-hacking or something involving soup bowls or paper shredders? Or just plagiarize a book about giraffes?

7 thoughts on “Hey! A new (to me) text message scam! Involving a barfing dog!

  1. I made a big mistake, a few years ago, responding to an obvious scam email to state I knew if was a scam. Since them I have gotten one or two (different) scam emails a week. They keep trying different things and may get me someday. However while the header of the email (and the corporate graphics in the email) look authentic the @xxxxxx part is always bogus.

  2. “Hey, Evelyn, ready to play golf tomorrow?”

    I used to respond to a lot of spam trying to trace the origins (and was even threatened with a lawsuit), but fortunately that was all with contact info that has long since expired.

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