To reminisce about “the good old times” probably means . . . well, you’re old.


Okay, I’m not a spring chicken anymore, and did advance another year recently.


But I do try to stay fairly current, and see the good that we have available now that we didn’t used to.


But in one way, at least, I think most everyone will agree that “the good old way it used to be” was better.


It’s about trust. It used to exist. Now, it’s almost impossible. You have to be cautious about almost everything, constantly vigilant about being taken by a scammer, thief or con artist. Constantly suspicious. I hate it that one has to always be on the alert. The internet has only amplified the problem.


I mention this today because of some new scams that I’d have probably fallen for, had I not been vigilant. Stuff I haven’t heard of before.


It all has to do with the sale of a mini-bus that I’ve listed.


Someone comes along expressing interest. You exchange some information, and they’re (supposedly) about to come see the vehicle. Then you get the email: before they come see it they’d like a report on the vehicle, and the standard “CARFAX” report is inadequate, so they need you to send one from (a url link that looks like a vehicle assessment service.)


The first time I got that, the scheister was a little too aggressive too quickly, and I was immediately suspicious. I think if I’d have clicked the link I’d have given away enough information for the scammer to get into my computer and create havoc.


I simply deleted the email. He (or “it”, if it was a bot) dropped interest in the vehicle. Never heard from him/it again.


The second time was much more subtle. Had I not had the first experience and thus had my antennae up, I might have been taken. When it came, using a different link this time, I responded by explaining that, due to the many scams out there, I do not furnish such reports, that my Certificate of Inspection (which I attached) should be adequate for a commercial vehicle, and that the Certificate included the VIN number, which the client was welcome to search.


Then I googled the name that the url seemed to imply. What came up was not a vehicle assessment site.


I did not hear back from him, either.


Now I have a guy offering to buy the vehicle without even seeing it. No reference (yet) to a report, just wanting a lot of details about how to make out the cheque, etc., etc. Might be legit, but who knows? My guard is up.


It didn’t used to be that way. You didn’t have to be leery of everything; you could be much more trusting.


– You sent your kids to school. You didn’t have to walk (or drive) them every day.


– You didn’t have to lock the house every time you left for a few minutes.


– You didn’t need an anti-theft device on your vehicle.


– The packages you bought in the store didn’t need to be so protected that you have to keep a utility knife handy, just to unpackage the things you buy.


– You trusted your neighbours to look after your place when you went away.


– Lids didn’t have to be “child-proof” (or is that “adult-proof”?)


– You didn’t need to sign 23,000 forms when doing a business transaction just to prove you were real, a resident of this country, not a money-launderer, and that you recognized the amazing benefits of dealing with your chosen third party supplier.


– You didn’t need to create a password-protected account to engage even the smallest business transaction.


But, I guess that’s the world we now live in, like it or not. Vigilance is the new primary virtue.


At least that’s how I see it . . .


P.S. – I’ll give a discount to anyone who wants to buy a 21-passenger mini-bus, and doesn’t require some third-party-supplied report that will require a password to access or another bunch of signatures, or a click of a dubious url link.