Auto-renewing his cyber naivety

Scott Saalman

By SCOTT SAALMAN
Guest Columnist

Recently, after seeing countless headlines about cyberattacks, ransomware, viruses, data breaches and other computer and phone hacking horror stories, naturally, I became increasingly wary of every link I haphazardly clicked; every Spam Risk notification call that I immediately answered; every Post-it note password sheet that I stuck to my computer monitor; and, basically, every suspicious, unsolicited email sent to me that I hastily opened (apparently, the consensus is I should “enhance my performance.”)

Luckily, my online angst was short-lived due to a growing number of very concerned, total strangers alerting me via a frenzy of emails how each one had activated an auto-renewal function linking NORTON to my bank account with the noble mission of protecting my computer from cyber goons intent on creating planetary havoc through digital destabilization.

That I was not even a NORTON customer showed how much they truly cared for my cybersecurity. That they chose to not disturb me with such trivial administrative matters as requesting my bank account number said a lot about their customer care philosophy. That they had apparently accessed my bank account without my assistance told me they were top-notch cyber sleuths. I took comfort knowing I could benefit from their cloak of invisibility. I felt fortunate having them on my side. Finally, someone to trust during these distrusting times. In appreciation, I pondered replies to my digital lifestyle protectors, for providing positive feedback is necessary to any important relationship. What more can I say? Mama didn’t raise no cyber fool.

Dear Liam Thomas: Thank you so much for your 6-16-21 email letting me know that my NORTON subscription has successfully been renewed and updated via the auto-renewal amount of 599.49 USD. It’s a relief knowing that someone like you is concerned enough about a total stranger like me to provide protection from the cybercriminal element. This favorable customer service experience has inspired me to repeatedly play Ella Fitzgerald’s “Someone To Watch Over Me” on Spotify — but I suspect you already know this. God bless.

Dear Himelton Holton: Thank you so much for your 6-11-21 email letting me know that my NORTON subscription has been successfully renewed and updated via the auto-renewal amount of 252.52 USD. It’s a relief knowing that someone like you is concerned enough about a total stranger like me to provide protection from the cybercriminal element. Tell Liam Thomas I said hello. I’m sure you see each other in the NORTON coffee bar. Your auto-charge of $252.52 is a good deal, especially knowing Liam charged $599.49 for the same service. Though honored by your offer, something seems fishy to me. I worry you made a mathematical mistake. Please take another $346.97 from my account to match Liam’s $559.49. I don’t want to be the cause of anyone’s job loss. You are there for me, and I am there for you, Himelton Holton! Scammers beware!

Dear Dip Avi: Thank you so much for your 6-10-21 email letting me know that my NORTON subscription has been successfully renewed and updated via the auto-renewal amount of 298.98 USD. It’s a comfort knowing that someone like you is concerned enough about a total stranger like me to provide protection from the cybercriminal element. Your $298.98 charge falls between Himelton Holton’s $252.52 and Liam Thomas’ $599.49. It is a fair, honest offer. Despite the escalating costs I am facing for your cybersecurity services, I consider the current “triple wall of protection” provided by you, Liam and Himelton to be, in the long run, nothing short of priceless.

Dear Sammy Dibble: Thank you so much for your 5-19-21 email letting me know that my NORTON subscription has been successfully renewed and updated via the auto-renewal amount of 210.29 USD. The cheeky little way you misspelled “Hey” in your email’s salutation, “Hay Valuable customer,” made me laugh where normally I would groan over the sender’s ignorance. It’s as if you knew my reputation for being a spelling snob. Thanks for this wink-wink moment between customer and supplier. Only through shared laughter can the bridge of trust be built. Please join me and my family for Thanksgiving dinner this year if you are in the area. I trust you can figure out the street address. FYI, house key is beneath front door mat. Please tell your colleagues Jitrub, Cyndi, Hung, Anntonu and Porter Mcehorter that I appreciate how they cared enough to also inform me that my subscription had successfully been renewed via the auto-renewal amounts of 259.71, 236.16, 325.78, 301.24 and 299.13 dollars, respectively. Beware: My account that NORTON is siphoning money from likely, at this point, lacks sufficient funds for added cybersecurity services. But don’t you worry, Sammy Dibble, after I send this email, I promise to dial the overseas phone number conveniently provided at the bottom of your email and share with Billing a second bank account number — plus my social security number, my mother’s maiden name, and my first pet’s name (Target) — as a good faith measure to assure you that I’m not trying to scam NORTON (not that that could be possible). Thank you for protecting me from the bad cyber seeds out there. Please tell Liam, Himelton, Dip, Jitrub, Cyndi, Hung, Anntonu and Porter Mcehorter, “hay” for me. Wink. Wink.




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