In public interest !

Pirates. Robbers. Thugs. Mafia dons. Hoodlums. For a normal person, these words would get the adrenalin ready to flow. Either in flight or fight. Movies over the years have heaped on us villainy in such abundance that even the nicest guy in town can be the subject of an average mind’s serious investigation, because of a shuffle of feet or a lurking look!

Whats caused this recollections of the criminal kind.

There was a mail from the Income Tax department which let me know that I was eligible to a tax refund of Rs.40,135/-. Now, the amount, a mail coming in from the IT department and all of that, should have relegated the issue to the status of ‘get real and move on in life’!


Rs.40135/- was a mouthwatering amount. The scenario outlined was so plausible. ‘typing in a letter A instead of G makes your incorrect..’ and that seemed tailor made for types like me. Types that perpetually are in a race to outdo themselves in such stuff. The mail harmlessly had a ‘click here’ sweet spot. Before the mind could say t-h-i-n-k , the finger went ‘click click’ as an embodiment of ‘reflex action’ !

Which lead me to this incredible looking website. Having much congruence to the Income Tax season and innocuously asking me the detail of the bank the refund request must be send to. Before you could say j-i-f-f-y, my fingers were on overdrive, I came face to face with the HDFC login page.

The allure of getting what rightfully belonged to me ( a tax refund is about money that belonged to me), saw some ferocious typing ! The keyboard resonating with spirit ! Midway through, reason reappeared. The fingers paused.

“…..” instead of the usual ‘netbanking’ URL caught my eye. Doubt crept in. The fingers went off the key board as though they were fraught with hot oil ! Realisation dawned that another fluttering presses of a few more keys, I could have been swiped clean of whatever small sums that honour the bank account with their muted presence!

In a short while, colleagues confirmed that it was what they called a phishing attack.

There I sat. With relief plastered all over my face. Realising that I was almost mugged. By someone sitting perhaps languidly infront of a computer screen somewhere ! I was almost mugged by someone who didnt resemble the hoodlum with yellow pants, villainous laugh and a Tata Sumo powered battery of thugs like they show on Tamil movies!

This must have been some wise guy who thought I would cough up my customer ID and password, promising the unthinkable. He sure is a wise guy. Atleast half of one. He almost got me!

So, my bank account remains safe. Atleast so far. Life goes on.

On another note, a dear friend asked me what was the closest that I came to blogging in the ‘interest of the general public’. ‘Socially Responsible blogging’ he emphasised. Almost as an afterthought, he added that he had read several of my posts and made particular mention of “ ‘loo contraptions’ & such other posts of eminence’.

Well, sir, this post is inspired by our conversation. ! In public interest.

On that note people. Beware ! There are many that lurk the net !