In part I of “I’m writing this with tears in my eyes” I told the story of a fraudulent email that was sent to everyone in my Yahoo and Verizon Yahoo emailÂ accounts.Â Here’s a copy of the email everyone received.
“I’m writing this with tears in my eyes, I came down here to United kingdom for a short vacation unfortunately i was mugged at the park of the hotel where i stayed,all cash,credit card and cell were stolen off me but luckily for me i still have my passports with me.Â I’ve been to the embassy and the Police here but are not helping issues at all and my flight leaves in less than 3hrs from now but am having problems settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won’t let me leave until i settle the bills,I’m freaked out at the moment.”
The email was obviously an attempt to get people to send money to those who hacked my email accounts.Â Fortunately no one fell for the scam even though the email freaked out many of my friends and family.Â Just this week I walked into my credit union and everyone asked me if I were ok?Â I said “yes, the balance transfer went through without a glitch.”Â They said that’s not what we are talking about.Â They wanted to know what happened to me in England.
In part II I wrote about 3 quick knocks on my door atÂ 11:00 a.m on June 15th, 2011.Â 2 FBI agents came to pay me a visit.Â The CSI looking agents, with hands on their pistols,Â opened a folder with my Facebook picture on the front page and asked “are you Mr. Cope?”
What was going on?Â Was this just a bad dream?Â Unfortunately it was real; so very real.Â They soon began questioning me about 2 five minute phone calls I received last June from Afghanistan.Â They asked to see cell phone call logs. Were the 2 incidents related?Â No.Â That’s why I said more than once that this was the most intriguing week of my life.Â How could 2 such episodes happen in just one week?
Well it was just one big misunderstanding.Â Our family has been in the real estate business for nearly 50 years, beginning with renting rooms in the late 60’s, moving on to renting homes ever since.Â To this day we are still renting homes that were purchased in the 70’s.Â Due to this hands on experience the next natural progression was to move into the property management of not only our properties, but that of others.Â At this particular time I’m sure my brother manages nearly 50 rental units.Â For those of you who don’t know what property managers do, they collect the rent, make sure the property is kept up to speed and unfortunately have to evict those who stop paying their rents or violate their leases.
The first hint that FBI visit was related to our involvement in the real estate business came when one of the agents asked “do you know Larry W?” I said “yes, he a real estate broker whose office we run our property management operation from.” The agent went on to ask for the address and phone number.Â He said they would be soon paying him a visit and it would be nice if I could not tip him off regarding the impending visit.
A day later I asked my brother, the actual property manager,Â what this whole episode was all about?Â He said it was all a misunderstanding.Â One of the people whose property we manage is a member of the United States military, deployed in Afghanistan.Â He called 2 times in June 2010 checking up on his property.Â One 5 minute call went to a cell phone, the other to real estate broker’s office.
Obviously the FBI and Homeland Security were monitoring all calls to United States from Afghanistan.Â Obviously they made a big mistake in thinking that the 2 five minute calls were in anyway related to terrorism.Â
In conclusion I have mixed feelings about this whole episode.Â The calls were received nearly a year ago.Â Obviously the Feds had been monitoring and watching me since then.Â They should have known that I wouldn’t have done anything to harm our nation.Â Were they doing their jobs? Yes.Â Could they do it a little better? Yes.
And for those of you who believe I made this whole thing up, all I can say is that I’m not that creative.Â This was a real life experience.Â One that I hope will never, ever be repeated again.Â Tomorrow, July 3rd is my birthday.Â I want everyone to celebrate it by having a great time the following day.Â Happy 4th of July everyone.
Â©2011 by Lloyd Cope for Gather.com.Â All rights reserved.