How safe is your personal information?

It happened exactly fifteen minutes back. I am still confused about how I should react about it. It’s still so fresh in my mind, that without letting any more thoughts cloud my mind I decided to write about it.

I recently participated in a writing contest and luckily secured a winning spot. I was approached by the organizers of the contest for my contact details so that the prize be sent over to me. I was happy about it all and replied promptly. All these interactions were through e-mail.

I have been expecting the prize to reach my doorstep anytime. In today’s age and times courier services have taken over the usual services of the Indian postal department. I am aware of this fact and am alright with it. I also understand the importance of providing one’s mobile number along with these parcels to help contact the recipient in case of any need to gather information. All this is routine and we all do it habitually, so do I.

Let’s get back to what happened 15 minutes back. I was relaxing, listening to some 70s hit songs just when my mobile buzzed. It was an unknown mobile number. When I answered the phone, the male voice on the other end greeted me with my full name. As the conversation moved on, he mentioned the item I am expecting to receive as my prize, as to whether I had ordered it. My mind jumped to connect him to someone from the courier company.

On my query who was I speaking to, the person asked where was I talking from (as in what part of the country). I know, I should have caught it right then, but without giving it a second thought I uttered the place I am from. Before I could stop and snap back, the man continued ” madam what is your husband’s name?” (a smart trick to determine my marital status)

Cutting him short I retorted, “Who am I talking to?” to this there was no answer.

My question met another question, “What does your husband do?”

Excuse me!!

I had literally had enough. I know, I could have disconnected the call and ended the conversation if it was disturbing me, but I decided otherwise. I snapped back at him, ” I hardly know you and you don’t even have the courtesy to introduce yourself. I am not interested in divulging any personal details to you.”

The man got a STOP signal right then and he mumbled, “OK, OK” and the line went dead.

I know the conversation sounds pretty normal and I seem to be over-reacting. Had he asked to confirm my address or the location of my house, I wouldn’t have been thrown in the thought process I am currently in.

The thought that’s been ringing in my mind since this call ended is,

If this was a call from anyone of the organizers of the contest or from the courier company, wouldn’t they have introduced themselves before talking to me?

Why would a courier person be interested in my personal life, just because he read the mobile belonged to a female?

How tacky can people get if they get hold of a girl’s mobile number (no-matter if they have no clue of the girl’s age)?

Or was it a call from someone who actually knows about this blog and is curious to know my personal details, because for the contest I had written the entry on this blog, because he actually mentioned the prize item and asked whether I have ordered it (this is a very rare possibility, but a curious soul and a sleuth mind like mine, can think of anything).

I simply hope I don’t get any more crazy fraaandship calls, else only God can save the caller from this paranoid soul.

P.S. - I am not mentioning the contest and the organizer website for I am hoping they’ll respond to my complaint e-mail and will be careful in future.

The song on my mind:

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14 thoughts on “How safe is your personal information?

  1. I liked this part “else only God can save the caller from this paranoid soul.” :)
    not to worry ME.. if you reply the same way no one will dare to call again..
    this is a lesson for all of us.. I am very poor in maintaining my personal details.. Can you imagine I gave my bank acct number to a caller? Luckily I realized it soon and blocked the account.. Later I came to know from bank that an anon had tried to withdraw amount from that account many times..

  2. I would keep a pistol ready ;)
    Jokes aside.. these things are actually annoying. Some people just have to get a girls phone number and they start calling up. Sometimes I wish making calls wasn’t so cheap!
    But you shouldn’t be worried because you divulged nothing.

  3. This sounds so scary.Good you disconnected the call.

    Recently i sent a recipe for a contest and they asked me for my address.I didn’t give them my mobile number but i gave my complete address.

  4. Gosh, scary! Contact the organisers of the writing contest and complain in strong words since there seems to be a clear connection between the contest and this call. In Hong Kong, there is an office of the privacy commissioner who can be complained to for these matters and they will take it up seriously with the company involved. In India, I am sure no such recourse but the organisers really should have been more careful.

  5. That’s so scary. if he calls again – just get ur dad or some male dude to speak and for some reason that scares the weirdo’s away!

    Be careful sweetie! next time maybe just tell them that u will pick up the gift from the courier place

  6. These days safeguarding our personal details has become so difficult.We all need to be careful.Good you dint get scared and gave him a peace of mind.Take care dear.

  7. Good that u disconnected the call!! And just be blunt in ur answers next time (if it happens) and dont show them that u are scared!! Take care.. Hugs to u on that…

  8. blimey .. good you put it down..
    It is a big fiddle .. because of some call centres being in india.. a random person calls you and asks for details .. It has happened to a few here.

    No one shud ever be asking you details over the phone,

    take care and be careful

  9. i never answer unknown numbers or numbers that are not on my phone’s contact book because two years ago, I called back on an unknown number as I saw 100 missed calls from it. It was an international number and the man to whom this number belonged to gave me sleepless nights. I thought of discontinuing with my phone number, or run away and hide somewhere that no one finds me. Finally, I stopped reacting and the phone calls went down.

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