I find it bizarre and alarming that someone claiming to be from the ACC Business Centre rang me a few minutes ago offering me payment options on a bill that is apparently due in about 3 weeks time.
Caller ID on my phone indicated a Private Caller.
The worrying thing is that I took the call at face value and handed out my postal address and date of birth when the caller asked for them. Seeing as they were pretty well the first things the caller asked for I became suspicious at that point. After all, this invoice isn’t even due to be paid for several weeks. Surely ACC have better things to do than call their, umm, what are we?: customers?, and offer payment terms.
Having become suspicious I asked for her name. She wouldn’t give me her last name, but offered an extension number and freephone number. We terminated the call.
I thought that might be it, but then spent several minutes worrying that I might have given away useful information to a scammer of some kind — anyone can give away an accurate freephone number and make up an extension number, so I called ACC back at the number on their website.
They confirmed that someone by that first name worked there and offered to check my records if I handed over all kinds of info I neither had to hand nor wanted to locate and give them, such as my tax number.
So here we have an organisation I’m compelled to give money to requesting all kinds of personal information from me from behind a screen of anonymity themselves: private caller, no last name. That’s annoying.
Oh, and by the way, I’m not actually complaining about being compelled to make payments to ACC — after all, that’s the way our system works. Just last year I made several osteopath visits for a crook back where ACC picked up half the bill. That wasn’t such a big thing, but it’s good to know if something big does happen, it’ll be taken care of.
And a note for visitors from the US: New Zealand isn’t a place where we’re naturally suspicious.