I’m pleased to report that the United States Post Office is still getting a sliver of the venerable spam-scam business. In today’s mail I received a rather benign-looking yellow postcard. It was headlined “Parcel Notification” and informed me that what I had in my possession was not a “postal card,” and that I should not, therefore, call the post office. Further reading explained that some unknown package awaited me in some undisclosed location somewhere. But if the phone number I’ve been asked to call—if, of course, I want my package delivered to me—is indicative of its present coordinates, it’s not very far away.
But I only have five days in which to place this call and set my mystery parcel in motion. If I don’t do exactly as instructed in this allotted time, it will no longer be held for me. Now that hardly sounds fair.
The most unsettling aspect of this preposterous solicitation, with both its mailing label and stamp askew (always a bad sign), is that a small percentage of its recipients will, very likely, call that number. And, I fear, a certain percentage of that number will supply the purported package holders with personal financial information or some such thing they have no business having. After all, that mystery package may contain an expensive mink stole, the keys to a pricey condo in tony Riverdale, or maybe two passes to an all expenses paid day of fun and frolic at Six Flags Great Adventure.
Every cloud has a silver lining. So, once again, let me reiterate that it’s truly heartening to see that the post office’s fraudulent mail biz has not been completely cast asunder by the World Wide Web and e-mail. It’s important in life to look on the bright side of things whenever and wherever possible. Why not look at it this way: Some enterprising sorts are actually using physical postcards and either paying somebody to print them, or printing them on their home computers and buying the necessary card stock from another business enterprise. They are, too, purchasing potential sucker mailing lists, which for some reason unbeknownst to me included my name and address, from still another entrepreneur. Then there's that mess of twenty-eight cents stamps from that aforementioned institution that desperately needs the business. Economic stimulation and good old-fashioned American capitalism at work.