Stayed up very late again last night, finally calling it quits when I realized that the Food Channel programming rotation had lapped itself (aka closing in on 3:00 am). For some bizarre reason, I decided to do a final check of my email and committed a ridiculously stupid mistake. I fell for a fake email.

I know how to check emails from companies to see if they’re legit. Normally just a quick hover over any link in the email or a quick check of the full email address will shine the spotlight on a fraud, but I didn’t. It was from AT&T, supposedly, rewarding me with some bonus rollover minutes for being a longtime customer. Now, that part is true – I’ve been with them 14 years now – and the last few digits of the account number they cited were actually correct. All I had to do was input my cell number to confirm and that would be that. And I did it. I NEVER do anything like that. Never. But, I was fuzzy-headed enough with that hot headache feeling you get from being three exits into way-too-overtired country. Cut to this morning…

Though still uncomfortably groggy from being pulled fully awake at 7:30 am by two unsympathetic dogs demanding their morning offering of Snausages, I courageously decided to start the day. My morning ritual for weekend or vacation days is always the same. Fix coffee, pour cereal, boot laptop, turn on TV, sit on floor using coffee table as breakfast table and go online while watching whatever is on the channel I left in place when the cable box powered down the night before. So, while watching a fresh Food TV show, I do an email check and there’s that “AT&T” email still sitting in my inbox. My marginally-clearer brain whispered that said email deserved another look. Another long look… actually, it didn’t take long. It took about a second and a half to see the thing was a fraud. Everything about it was wrong if you knew the signs. After calling myself every synonym for stupid I could think of, I was racing to log on to my AT&T account to make sure nothing dire had happened overnight.

Now, the real danger of anything happening was next to nil. Likely, the number would become part of a list to sell to telemarketers and even if they had my full AT&T account number, they’d still need my password and my security question answers to make it past the login protocol. But, I wasn’t willing to take the chance and, after ascertaining that no one had bought ten new high-end phones on my dollar, I put a call in to AT&T customer support to get a new number for my phone.

I am not a prideful person. Ask any of my students, I own up to every mistake I make, don’t really care if my makeup is crappy or my hair refuses to cooperate appropriately. But, for some reason, when the rep asked me what the problem was, I couldn’t fess up. I gave her the whole story, minus the part it was my fault, ascribing the complete idiocy to my non-existent husband who was currently somewhere buying me breakfast to atone for his mistake. Yes, I even embellished. I guess this time, I amused the gods, because the customer service rep turned out to be a part-time rep/part-time technician who also owned her own computer repair business on the side (BA in electrical engineering) and whose husband just a couple of weeks ago downloaded a virus on to her computer that require a virgin sacrifice for her to exorcise. So, we commiserated about our technologically-impaired spouses while she gave me a new number (and waived the normal $36 fee) and tested to make sure the new number worked on my phone. We also spent a nice bit of time discussing the fact that my iPhone is as old as the hills and why waiting for Apple to settle down a bit from releasing new versions was a good idea.

I very rarely use my cell phone. I keep it on only when I am expecting a call while out and about and when it has to bail me out of some automotive emergency that has left me stranded (which happened as recently as a month ago). It was also my time-wasting device for things like DMV trips before I got my iPad. So, I have an iPhone 3G. Not a 3GS, mind you, the old 3G. I had the earlier version, and only upgraded for the promised increased speed from a 3G connection. I am incredibly eligible for a phone upgrade right now, but have been holding off. The iPhone 5 is rumored to be coming out in near future and already talk is circulating about features of the iPhone 6. I’ll bide my time and only strike when the bait is worthy. But I will stay with an iPhone. I was one of the lucky bastards that had an unlimited data plan for both my iPhone and iPad before the guillotine fell on that sort of thing. You can’t get one now, but if you had that plan you get to keep it. Even if you get a new phone or a new iPad. So, I’ll stick with my iDevices since it’s the only way I can hold onto my unlimited-access bliss…

So, I now have a new phone number, some confidence that my account won’t be used to provide new phones for the entire Delta Delta Delta fraternity and am working off the new headache I received as punishment for being a deity-sized doofus. And it ain’t even noon…

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