Driving into the setting sun

The glare of dusty gold speckles on the windscreen

They glisten like jewels, but are just dead bugs

Combined with the silver bright halo of haze

I am blindfolded

For minutes at a time

I can’t see the edges of the road

The middle is a bright white blurr

I slow slightly

The sun suddenly drops, blocked behind trees

I can see

Squinting as my eyes adjust from bright to dark again


Time speeds up

I am almost home, I breathe deeply, it’s been awhile of holding my breath

I’m just not there yet

The sun sets behind the horizon

I drive on, into the indigo turning dark

The first stars come out




I turn into my driveway

Tense shoulders relaxing


It’s a special kind of feeling

*yesterday my plans changed and I ended up driving straight home again after my appointment. Eight hours round trip. Driving doesn’t bother me, I quite enjoy it. Several good podcast episodes and the time flew by, apart from the last hour driving directly into the sun setting in the west – I hadn’t done that in awhile and had quite forgotten how blinding it is, how dangerous it can feel.

Anyway, nothing happened. No wildlife injured, no dents, and I arrived home to a cold house in the dark, and then spent two hours on the phone to Telstra trying to sort out a scammer who has stolen my mobile phone number and is using it to ring people.

It sounds crazy. Bazaar. It’s called spoofing and a technician working from home in Melbourne slowly, painfully began sorting it out while chatting to me as we discussed the best Netflix shows and pros and cons of different series to the side of what he was doing.

After two hours we were best friends, had enjoyed quite a few laughs and I had some new shows to look up on Netflix.

But the anxiety continues to lurk. He couldn’t guarantee that the measures he put in place would prevent further nonsense occurring with my phone. 89% success rate.

Here’s what happens – someone calls me and tells me I have rung them. I haven’t rung them and don’t even know who they are. There is no record of a phone call to the number on my phone. It’s weird. A number calls me, I miss the call so call it back – I get an eerie voice mail that could be my husband (except the voice is slightly off – it’s someone doing a good job of imitating him) speaking and giving our details and his mobile number to ring. So there is a random number also out there that if people ring it – it sounds like us. But it isn’t. And it’s bazaar and frustrating and deeply concerning.

They apparently do all sorts of things with this set up including trying to defraud people of money, and then when the people work out what has happened they come for me. Because it’s my number they are using Telstra assures me that I can’t be charged with anything as it has the case on file now and is fixing the problem.

But it all makes me VERY ANXIOUS!

This is the world we live in now. It’s disconcerting. Every day I get scam emails – download this file. Click the link. Some are more legitimate sounding than others. Some could actually be really people that want a house built and are sending me plans – I don’t trust any of it now though.

I get phone calls from people saying they are from my bank and requesting details. That’s an obvious one and I hang up on them. I get calls from people saying that my Amazon Account has been hacked. I also hang up on them.

I actually got a legitimate call from my bank once, but from a different branch in Melbourne, following up on a business loan issue – I wouldn’t speak to them until they went through my local branch manager first – it was a rigamarole to put them through but the guy, when I would finally talk to him, said he wished all bank customers were as thoroughly distrustful. Because it costs the bank millions in claims, but also many people because the bank doesn’t always pay.

Fraud is big business and every day people are getting ripped and gouged just for being trusting

I don’t like being doubtful. I don’t like being mistrustful. Yet it has saved us and our business from fraud dozens of times over by this point.

My solicitor sends all clients the advice that before depositing funds into their account we must ring and check over the phone that the details are correct. Because they are prime targets for hackers who intercept emails and change the bank deposit details. New home settlements are lucrative. I always ring and check. My solicitor told me last time I did so that almost no one does. And it’s a pity because yes – money goes awry and to the wrong parties. And everyday people end up out of pocket.

Last year my sister had a client call her to say they had paid an invoice already. She said she didn’t send an invoice. The client had apparently received a legitimate looking invoice with letterhead and everything perfectly reconstructed but the bank details were different. The client paid the invoice. They never got their money back

It’s terrible! This happens to thousands of people everyday.

Our sense of trust is being eroded

This is who we are becoming. Distrusting. I don’t like it, yet it has saved me numerous times from fraud.

There could be anything out there at any time and like driving into the sun – I cannot see it clearly, until it jumps in front of me

But I just have to keep trusting that somehow, it’ll all be okay.

And keep the car on the road, keep driving – until I get home

Except that I don’t even know where home is or where we are going anymore. The world is becoming increasingly virtual and it’s difficult to call someone and know they are really who they say they are.

Our details are out into the hands of strangers who say they will use them for good. How do we know? Government departments and apps that hold our entire identity within this virtual world that abounds with malevolent forces.

Is this really progress?

I’m not sure

I’m sorry I can’t end my post on a bright note. But perhaps this is a reminder that may help. Don’t trust blindly. If it feels off, trust your gut. Don’t be embarrassed about seeming paranoid. Protect yourself and your information. With all the best practices and firewalls in place your security may still be breached – if it is, seek help immediately. I hope you never need any of this advice but unfortunately this is as common as catching a cold or Covid now, and all of us are would be targets.

24 thoughts on “Blindfolded

  1. I hope that you get things sorted fully with your phone company! I appreciate your concerns about trusting blindly! What is the saying? It is a vice to trust all but equally a vice to trust none? 😉
    On the plus side, your writing is beautifully evocative and wonderful!
    Stay well Kate and don’t let the ba5tards dim your light!

  2. I’m distrustful, too. The scammers are getting smarter. I recently received an email from a friend in New York asking for money. Very uncharacteristic behavior for her. It took my friend a week to realize that someone had hacked her email address.

  3. As soon as my father moved into an assisted living facility, the scammers came out of the woodwork. I think someone must have published his name as a new resident. He’s already had three or four close calls where he actually allowed someone access to his computer. As we all catch on, it’s going to be harder and harder for businesses to communicate with their customers.

  4. It’s so sad that scammers are increasing and getting smarter. I feel so bad for trusting people who get scammed. You’re so right, we have to be vigilant in asking questions and requiring proof. My friend in Melbourne had a text from “his sister” saying she was out buying groceries and forgot her bank card, and to send money to a bank account that had payment details. So glad he checked by phoning his sister first!

  5. Beautiful poem about your journey home, Kate. I’m sorry you’re having problems with these fraudsters, and I hope that Telstra are able to sort it out very soon. This sort of thing, as you say, is happening more and more with everything being virtual these days. I’m glad you’re so on the ball about being scammed. Not everyone is that cautious.

    I was one of those people who got caught out a couple of years ago. I’m a very trusting person. I got a phone call from a man on my bank’s genuine number. He told me money had been taken from my account and I needed to move my money into a new, ‘safe’ account. My mental health wasn’t great back then, and I fell for it, hook, line and sinker (as they say). I lost a lot of money; money that my late Mum had left me. I was devastated as you can imagine. My bank, at that time, was very unhelpful and accused me of fraud! I was grilled by their fraud department for nearly three hours! I was so traumatised by this, that I had to get tablets for awful anxiety from my doctor. In the end, the bank refused to reimburse me. I then went to the Ombudsman. It took two long years for my case to be heard, but I won it in the end and got the money back, thank goodness. I learned the hard way, very hard. I won’t get caught by a scammer again. Needless to say, I changed my bank after that! Take care, Kate. X 🦢💗🤍

  6. That’s so scary! I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. Sometimes I get spooky texts telling me to run. They usually include horror scene photos. It’s annoying, but having someone impersonate you sounds much worse!

    I love the poem ☀️

  7. Scammers have become so common these days that it’s hard to know who to trust. I get those emails and things all the time and it’s really annoying. We always have to be extra careful these days especially online.

    • It’s endemic to anything online. I’ve had my Instagram faked twice – probably would be more, that is just twice that I know of, I don’t check it much so I’m probably asking for trouble.

      • Yeah people often steal images and profiles on IG. It’s quite annoying but it is what it is when you’re present online.

  8. I HATE thieves. I’ve almost been duped over the phone with a couple of really good scams, one claiming to be my bank and one claiming to be my car insurance company. They’re getting better and better every year. Now I put my kid on the phone with them. That’s so much fun lol! I tell him what to say when they ask him what house or car insurance he wants. “Yes, I have a one bedroom tree house I’d like to insure… no it doesn’t have any bathrooms I just pee outside. thanks so much” LOL

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