Someone is impersonating me. This person has created a fake account using my name. They’re going around asking for money on Facebook. And worse: they’re using bad grammar.
And I just think that’s tacky.
For starters, I don’t ask for money. The last time I asked for money I was 16. I was trying to get to Miami Beach for spring break along with my friends Ed Lee and Tater Log.
We told our mothers we wanted to attend a very special Bible camp in Coconut Grove.
“Bible camp?” Tater Log’s mother remarked, doubtfully. “And does this Bible camp also have wet T-shirt contests?”
So we tried my mother next.
I asked Mama for a modest $1,200, which I thought was an honest estimate for travel expenses and gas. Mama laughed so hard she had to be calmed with buttered Saltines.
So anyway, my wife was the first to bring this Facebook scammer to my attention. She thought this person was hysterical. She located the imposter’s Facebook profile and howled with laughter.
“He isn’t even cute!” my wife announced, cackling at the computer screen. “Look at his cheap haircut and that idiot grin.”
The impersonator, as it happens, is using my actual photo. And it’s a recent photo, too, which features my current haircut and my current grin.
Moreover, it turns out this hoaxer is trying to sweet talk innocent people into giving them personal information and account passwords.
Well, let me reassure you, publicly, I do not want your passwords. I can’t even remember my own passwords, and I have thousands. In fact, remembering all my passwords has become a full-time job.
Whenever my wife and I try to watch TV, for example, our streaming service requires us to re-enter our password each time.
And since I am the tech-guy in our house, it’s up to me to remember this password. At which point I have to don reading glasses and concentrate very intently.
Then, using my remote, I painstakingly enter my password via televised keyboard. A process which requires you to look at your remote, then at the screen, then at your remote, then at the screen.
This process takes about as long to complete as earning your real estate license.
Also, my passwords are never simple. Oh, sure, at one time all my passwords were straightforward and easy to remember. But today, most services make you use phone numbers, multiple emails, and complicated letter combinations that make the U.S. nuclear launch codes look like “Fun with Dick and Jane.”
Modern passwords must also contain 24 characters, four capital letters, one symbol, one underscore, one ampersand, eight numerals, one hieroglyph, the blood of a nanny goat, and at least one reference to Proust.
The problem is, these passwords are impossible for anyone to remember. Which is why you must be careful to WRITE YOUR PASSWORD DOWN.
And please, whatever you do, write your password somewhere safe so you WON’T LOSE IT. I find that writing a new password on past-due electric bills works best.
Once you’ve gone through the agonizing process of creating your long, arduous, comical and nonsensical password, you’re almost there.
Because NOW you must enter your password without a single mistake. And good luck because you will be entering this password blindly, unable to see anything inasmuch as the characters are all represented by tiny, classified black dots.
But if you’ve been patient and diligent, congratulations. You’ve finished half the battle.
After entering your new password you will be greeted with a cheerful notification informing you that (a) your password is incorrect, (b) there are no accounts associated with your email, and (c) your account has been locked due to too many password attempts.
So believe me, I don’t want your password. I don’t want your personal information. And I don’t want your money, either.
Unless, of course, you’re offering to send me to Miami Beach.
Leigh Amiot - October 19, 2022 7:48 am
The bane of online existence…passwords…even when written down carefully in the only little black book I’ve ever owned, still they are sometimes wrong. Hope your cloned account is dealt with appropriately and soon.
Ann Thompson - October 19, 2022 8:19 am
Summed up perfectly.
Penn Wells - October 19, 2022 9:06 am
If you will send me $5 (American) I will shut this guy down. Oh, and I will need all your passwords. And Jamie’s. 🤓
Go Dawgs. 😁
Laura W - October 19, 2022 9:08 am
All those Facebook fact checkers should spend their days going after the folks that clone and hack accounts. Do something useful with their time. I’ve completely logged out of and changed my Facebook password a few times recently due to these hackers and my password is getting ruder and ruder each time.
Julie - October 19, 2022 9:37 am
Buttered Saltines!!!! My sweet momma used to fix those for me when I was a kid!! Hadn’t thought about them in years. I think that is what I will have for lunch. Thanks for the sweet reminder, Sean. And thanks for this early morning laugh. Passwords!!😡
John Candy - October 19, 2022 9:42 am
Great evening in Fairhope!
Whats a URL?
John Candy - October 19, 2022 9:49 am
Great evening at Fairhope!
What the heck is a URL?
Anne Arthur - October 19, 2022 10:04 am
Yeah…these hackers and impersonators are jumping out of the internet box at any occasion and, unfortunately, many people fall into their traps. I feel your frustration.
Pubert - October 19, 2022 10:12 am
Sorry bout Dat, Sean. Esp. the picture. It’s a pisser, ain’t it? There needs to be someway to remote hack these jackasses and fry their computers. Keep your nose to the grindstone.
Your friend, Pubert.
mccutchen52 - October 19, 2022 10:51 am
You might ask the guy from the middle east that is wanting to share his fortune to help or the people that want to sell you a car warranty but they might be busy with the Camp Lejeune problem. There seems to be all kind of people wanting help and willing to help for a price of a few hundred dollars and your password.
Roxanne Taylor - October 19, 2022 11:00 am
Instead of Miami Beach would you consider coming to Lakeland, which is in central Florida? Then you can go to the east coast to Cocoa, or Daytona, or head west to Clearwater! We sure would love to have you, your wife and Marigold come visit!
Tim Fisher - October 19, 2022 11:14 am
Me too…thanks for bringing humor to a frustrating reality. If I were king for a day, I would hang scammers by their Kahuna’s….password tech geeks too!
Diana - October 19, 2022 11:38 am
Nell Thomas - October 19, 2022 11:55 am
A big revival going on there? Whats the date?
Glad to know i am not the only one that has much difficulty with passwords.
Melanie Hilliard Herr - October 19, 2022 12:04 pm
You help keep life in this crazy, messed up world into perspective and reassurance all of us we are “not in this alone” . . . Eventually all billions of us on this earth understand exactly what you say on a personal level!
Thank you for reminding me how to smile and laugh both at the crazy things and “myself” for having these not so unique to me experiences!
Thank you over and over with each of your publications . . . Keep blessing us (your readers and fans) with the truth laced in humor and love as well as your humor and love that shines thru our truths in this crazy mixed up “new world”!
Bo Tidwell - October 19, 2022 12:14 pm
There is a free app called Last Pass that I now use to store all my passwords on my cell. Beats the heck out of an old worn-out piece of yellow notebook paper that I used to keep in my wallet. Couldn’t live without it. WDE!!
Rena’ - October 19, 2022 12:30 pm
OMG! My husband and I both resemble much of this post. God help us all. Passwords must surely be the beginnings of the Mark of the Beast. We just want to watch Brit TV in peace. Three characters would be simpler!
We think you and your sweet, non-makeup clad, Jamie, are just amazing. Can’t wait to see you in Ft. Payne. Praying the ole Flair safely motors us there from the Wiregrass.
I’ll be wearing my What Happens at the Pig Stays at the Pig sweatshirt. My husband will be the guy six inches taller than the crowd with a beard much like yours.
Yay! Can’t wait to get a signed copy of your book!
Rena’ Averett-Scobie (Not Scoobie, don’t ask) and Jack
Mac - October 19, 2022 1:08 pm
I recently sent you $5,000 in Walmart gift cards along with all my passwords as requested and still haven’t received my signed piece of original Sean Dietrich artwork. You can forget me sending the additional requested $3000 in gift cards for shipping and handling!
Can’t fool me twice!
elizabethroosje - October 19, 2022 1:08 pm
Oh man 😳🤣. BTW you can report this scammer to FB to be shut down. 👍
Suellen - October 19, 2022 1:15 pm
Just went through this when both of us got new phones and every stinking account wanted a password. It so aggravating.
Amanda McKinley - October 19, 2022 1:31 pm
Oh my gosh, Sean, you take everything in stride and make me chuckle every time I read your posts. Thank you – for making things like keeping up with passwords something we can laugh about. The nuclear code reference had me cackling!! And I am screwed, similarly, if someone discovers my password! 😳😳😳
Oliver Rhett Talbert - October 19, 2022 1:44 pm
This one had me howling! I hate passwords, and my FB has beed hacked by so many times that I’m looking for the proper Imogee to accurately convey my sense of idiotic defeat and despair. And I’m still puzzled as to how any student-aged almost-adult could spend/lose that much money on Spring Break … anywhere.
Btw, why does the login for these comments offer to “Save my name … in this browser for the next time I comment” EVERY SINGLE TIME I LEAVE A COMMENT? Is that how you’ve hacked my FB account?
William Pracock - October 19, 2022 1:45 pm
I’d rather go to Beacon Hill
Toni - October 19, 2022 2:05 pm
Get a 3×5 index card file box.
Each streaming service and each web site gets their own index card.
List the service or site at the top with all the sign in information below and file in the box. Now you have all your passwords in alphabetical order.
If you cancel a service pull out the card and toss it. If you have to reset a password, mark out the old and add the new. If you do this often, make a new card when you run out of space on the old one. 😄
Priscilla Rodgers - October 19, 2022 3:46 pm
What a great idea!
Gigi - October 19, 2022 8:21 pm
I love that idea ! You’re a genius! Thank you!!
Peggy M. Windham - October 19, 2022 3:32 pm
So true! Passwords take up way too much of our lives! You are cute too, BTW!!
Stacey Wallace - October 19, 2022 3:38 pm
Sean, thanks for always starting the morning off right for my husband and me. Also, thanks for getting a techie to fix the error which kept me from commenting on your columns. Love to you, Jamie, and Marigold.
Priscilla Rodgers - October 19, 2022 3:45 pm
I’ve always thought that if people worked as hard at a real job as they do trying to scam other people what a much better world we would have!
LIN ARNOLD - October 19, 2022 4:49 pm
OK, I’m old school …. I HATE using a laptop or a tablet, my fingers are too “robust” …. my phone is for calling people, not ordering something from Amazon …. I was a computer programmer/analyst for 30 years, starting back when companies had “computer rooms” and a keypunch department!! So, all these passwords DRIVE ME CRAZY!!!!! That’s why I have this little book right here on my desk that looks like an old school address book. But it has all my passwords in it, alphabetically for site name. And the actual passwords are in pencil, so when the site REQUIRES me to change my password, I can erase the old one and enter the new one. It has made my life SOOOOO much easier. Just a thought for you. Oh, and I got this nifty little book out of that “All the Junk You Never Knew You Needed” catalog, LTD Commodities. (Great source for stocking stuffers at Christmas!) My little book stays right beside my full-size keyboard, right on top of my Bible. Oh, and I do hope you reported your scammer! That crap makes me FURIOUS!
Bobbe Thomas - October 19, 2022 5:49 pm
why in the world would you or anyone else want to go to Miami Beach?
Shoshana - October 19, 2022 6:11 pm
Another reason I don’t watch TV!
As always, I enjoyed your wrassling with Life.
Mike McGinnis - October 19, 2022 6:40 pm
I laughed out loud several times while reading this story. And now I’m snickering to myself as I type this note. Thank you!
Bill E. - October 19, 2022 7:03 pm
Sean, exactly how I feel. The bit about the password being blocked so you cant see it to be sure you are putting it in incorrectly. Supposedly that’s so someone walking by can’t see your password. The only one walking by my computer is our cat and she doesn’t want it. Maybe the cat is going to sell it. The cat, however, can’t type. She skipped that class in kitty school. So I’m stumped.
I have another site I frequent where by my password never works and I must create a new one. Amazing, just amazing… and dumb. I spend too much time trying get things done on my computer that I wonder if it’s worth the time.
The only option is to start writing letter, but that is .60, I believe.
Linda Moon - October 19, 2022 7:13 pm
Were you flattered that someone wanted to impersonate you? I’m thinking you weren’t. I say let’s go back to actual PHONE calls or porch-sitting for communicating with each other. So, the only thing I’m offering is a porch-sit or-swing and a personal call to my land-line phone if you want to chat with a Real Face human. My granddaughter has sometimes asked my why I don’t own a smartphone, and my answer is always the same: I don’t need one because I have a Smart Brain!
Patricia Gibson - October 19, 2022 7:30 pm
I saw that scammer but thankfully knew it was not you. You are so right about passwords🤣🤣
Gigi - October 19, 2022 8:35 pm
Ah yes, passwords……the bane of my existence. I have all of my passwords typed on a piece of paper I keep in a “special” folder. It’s worked for me for 20 years, but I like the idea Toni came up with, putting them in an address book (or a similar book like a journal) that you use exclusively for passwords.
As for the hacker, they need to get a life! For Sean’s fans ~ I have found that keeping my FB account to where “only friends” can see my posts, and I also keep my friends list to where “only I can see who my friends are” solves a lot of problems with scammers & hackers.
Karen - October 19, 2022 9:37 pm
Sean, you had me laughing. Passwords drive me crazy.
Karen Howard-Goss - October 19, 2022 9:40 pm
My goodness, butter you because you’re on a roll!!!! Laughed a lot, thanks Sean!
Holly Decherd - October 19, 2022 9:42 pm
No one would ever believe the hoaxer using bad grammar! That’s our thing, too. And pronunciation of regular vocabulary. Recently, I had to ask about water on the golf course, where jugs have not been allowed since Covid, and were the sinks delivering Potable water(rhyming with notable). I keep being told that is Pottable. I don’t want to pot it!!!!
John Gunn - October 19, 2022 11:23 pm
Sounds like we are cut out of the same cloth!
Laura - October 20, 2022 12:17 am
For your wife, beauty must be in the eyes of the beholder since she didn’t recognize your current photo. She still sees you from your glory days! A sweet sentiment.
C. Krawczyk - October 20, 2022 2:06 am
Love, Love Love reading your writings, which are entertaining, thought provoking and hilarious! Keep up the great work! 🙂
Chasity Davis Ritter - October 20, 2022 2:18 am
This is me constantly… enters password.. password incorrect…. Hits forgot password so they send me a link to change my password.. types in what I want it be..computer says cannot be the same as old password…. Ok so yeah if would let me see what I’m typing in the first place maybe I would get it right and I never remember is the first letter capitalized or not. It’s all frustrating for sure!
Peggy lewis - October 20, 2022 7:25 am
Valerie - October 20, 2022 9:46 am
Laughed out loud! Buttered saltines calm me, too. Loved it.
Carol - October 20, 2022 6:03 pm
Thanks for the smiles, giggles and yes a belly laugh, too! The truth is so hilarious sometimes….
Mary - October 21, 2022 10:39 am
Couldn’t stop laughing ! So true though 😆
Pubert - October 22, 2022 3:22 pm
Toni, I enjoyed your cardfile suggestion, but as someone else suggested, there are numerous password apps on IOS and Android that really make this much more secure and convenient- and EASY! This way, you have them with you all the time. When you update a password on one device or add a new one, it automatically updates on your other devices such as computer, iPad, etc. Same if you add new password. Most important, they have a password so that your teenager can’t go in the box and get to Amazon or Apple password and go to town. I have had one called mSecure which is a one time charge but has military grade encryption and is very handy. Not to mention if your house burnt down or flooded (Ian) PS Sean I know you already use one of these. You ain’t no tech dummy!
Julie, RN - October 22, 2022 4:09 pm
There, but for the Grace of God, go any one of us, caught in the snares of the scammers, who are lurking everywhere. They are the Devils in Disguise. God, please protect us ✝️🙏
Pubert - October 22, 2022 4:49 pm
Like guy said about LastPass. Get a password app. It’s Secure, with you all the time, updates or adds new passwords to all your computers or other devuces automatically, and you’re not screwed if your house burns down or floods (Ian ) plus your teenager can’t get into your shoebox and go to town with the Amazon or Apple password. I use mSecure which has military grade encryption. May not be as quaint. But works a lot easier and safer. Saun, I know you’re on to this.
Robin - October 23, 2022 10:36 pm
Even in times of frustration, you are a hoot Sean!