Boudreaux — not his real name — called me and was highly agitated.

It seems as though he answered a call from a most pleasant-sounding young lady who wanted to talk to him about changing auto insurance companies.

Now, Boudreaux fancies himself as a ladies’ man, which might be true if the lady were visually impaired and had lost her sense of smell and hearing. That sweet young thing, she poured on the charm and suavity.

Two hundred and fifty dollars later and without securing a date — she was smarter than he thought — Boudreaux found himself the proud owner of an auto policy with FBN (fly by night?) and a deductible higher than the value of his car.

He was going to cancel but — can you imagine — the call back numbers are all to an answering service in Poland, not Texas. Oh well.

One of the greatest assets of a scam artist is their voice and their ability to establish a personal connection with you.

They can talk to you about anything — weather, children, grandchildren, illnesses, pets or the loss of a loved one. You feel as though you really know them and that they care about you. Phooey!

All a scam artist wants is to sell you a product or concept and separate you from your money.

That’s how they make their money. On one of those TV exposés, they backtracked the answering service for one of those “talk dirty to me” services and showed you who was really on the other end, sounding so sweet and saying naughty things in your ear.

What a shocker — an 80-year-old toothless grandma who sounded 18 and she was one of the prettier ones. Amazing what a pleasant voice and an empathetic tone can do.

You can apply the same concept to the Internet and many of the faceless venues that we warn others about.

The message is the same. They “understand you” and they “care for you” when others are on your case.

They offer you freedom and they offer you the life of your dreams. At what price?

Whoooaaa! Does any of this sound familiar? Does it sound like what we tell our children about the Internet, Twitter, Facebook and all of the other avenues of social media?

Pedophiles, perverts and those who prey on our youth use the same basic approach.

We shake our heads and wonder how our children could be so gullible and BAM, find our old adult selves falling for the same malarkey.

On vacation at a resort, we were given the opportunity to visit a new unit and listen to the spiel about timeshares, points and all of the other incredibly critical reasons why we needed to make a decision now before the opportunity slipped away — forever. We listened and listened and listened.

I swear that the incredibly vivacious young lady making the pitch turned into one of the wicked witches from Oz when she realized she was not going to make a sale.

Age is not necessarily a predictor or measure of wisdom. I am living proof of that.

Remember: Think, prepare and execute crime prevention designs. Don’t become a crime victim.

Walt Candelari is a police officer with Dickinson Police Department. He is writing a series of columns on creating an environment of safety from burglars.

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