Friday, December 02, 2011

Almost a big winner

"You have won $15,000!"

Well, maybe not. But it's a good story for the blog.

Yesterday, the phone rang. I answered it and was asked by a woman if I listened to WBLK. I said no. She didn't seem to care, and said that the station was giving away $15,000 to selected listeners, and I had won.

When I asked how my name had been chosen, she was incredibly vague. She mumbled something about getting names from lists compiled around the area, including businesses. When asked what I thought I said, "Well, when something is too good to be true, it usually is. But go on."

She said there were four winners already of the prize, including people named Baker, Bailey and Bailey. Think she was going down the phone book or something? She added that I had to come over to the offices in order to pick up the check by Saturday afternoon before 4 p.m., and that there were 50 prizes to be awarded. If I didn't get over to the office, my prize would go to someone else.

OK. Fifty prizes times $15,000? The station's entire operating budget probably isn't that big. A look at the address given as the offices was not WBLK's, but in a rather, um, poor portion of the city. I don't know if there's a course for rip-off artists, but this woman flunked it.

So ... I mumbled something and got off the phone. I wrote down the name and number of the call from Caller ID. Then I called WBLK, to let someone know that someone was using the station for a scam. (Oddly, no one there seemed too concerned.) And then I got in touch with the police, and presented them with all the information I had. They said they would send someone over to the address to take a look. If I had gone, I might have wound up with a conk on the head and an empty wallet for my trouble.

It's too bad I'll never get to hear how the episode turns out. But, hopefully, the community will become a little safer.

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