Spammed by a Taxi


Spam isn’t just for email anymore. I just landed at Kansas City International airport. They don’t have a taxi line; passengers go to a special taxi phone, lift the handset, and the taxi dispatcher said, “Taxi 1515 will be there in 2 minutes.” Less than a minute later, a man approached saying, “I am the taxi you called.” His car was a black Nissan sedan. Sort of like getting a spam email message that contains spelling errors, he was giving away clues that he was bogus.

I decided not to click. In other words, I thanked him and walked away.

He came after me, showed me an airport security badge that looked official, and reassured me that he is the taxi I called. I asked him what his taxi number was. He made up a number 1212. I told him no, so he jumped in his car and sped away.

Soon, a taxi showed up, painted like a taxi, with the number 1515 on the windshield. That’s the taxi I expected. The driver said that kind of thing goes on frequently, costing real taxi drivers income.

So the concept of spam messages, bogus people trying to get users to click, extends beyond email. In fact, that misleading problem has likely been around ever since business started. The victims are trusting of the wolves. Spam is no different. Teach your workers, and your family, to follow the admonition: Trust, but verify.

And how did that guy get an airport security ID anyway?


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