A Blue Marlin
Tanned and elated, my neighbour who had been on a fishing holiday in Spain, showed me photos of a blue marlin he and his son had caught. One photo in particular made me gasp, because it showed the magnificent creature at the weigh in; this was an exceptional, shimmering blue specimen - enormous, the likes of which many fishermen would give an arm and a leg to catch. I was reminded of Ernest Hemmingway’s, ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ that tells the story of Santiago, an experienced old fisherman, who battles to bring home a blue marlin he caught way out in the Gulf. After killing the fish and fighting off sharks that devoured his prize he finally managed to make it back to land with nothing but the marlin’s skeleton - he himself had almost been overcome with exhaustion.
Both of the aforementioned blue marlins took the bait - my neighbour’s in reality, and Santiago’s in the realm of fiction. I too, like those marlins have been lured by bait, but unlike them, to date, I haven’t been taken in, because I’ve fortunately spotted the difference between the real thing and a fake. As I sat at my computer downloading emails I became aware that someone was ‘phishing’, because there dangling before my eyes was a tempting morsel that wasn’t quite right. My eyes focussed on the words, ‘Security Check from PayPal’ and immediately, warning bells rang. A closer inspection confirmed that the email in the form of a web page was a fake with several links, any one of which, had it been opened, could have compromised my computer by invading it with ‘worms’, or a particular link could have filched personal details of my bank account, pin numbers etc..
‘Phishing’ is a fraudster’s method of obtaining information with the purpose of stealing money from a person’s bank account via the Internet. Scammers have tried their ‘phishing’ lures on me before and I have become very aware of their cunning deceit and persistence. Apparently one in twenty users of the Internet is taken for a ride, and yet these immoral cowards who steal from them, continue to hide behind the cover of anonymity out there in Cyberspace, constantly improving their sophisticated techniques. Few of these criminals are brought to justice; therefore, be aware, be alert and be free like the blue marlin who is not taken in by fakes and lives another day!