All the modern things: a cautionary tale

I did a big dumb thing today. Bigger than regular, I mean.

Today was busy. I’m still adjusting to my new job–this is week four–and every day my brain is rapidly recording new names and faces, the organization’s processes and systems, and all the little things:  how to make the printer staple, where the bathrooms are on each floor, and why my badge gets me into here but not into there WHERE I NEED TO GO.

This day was a regular flurry: driving my daughter to school, feeding the dog and cat and goats, and on my way to work dropping my daughter’s homework off at the school because she forgot it at home. Then I get to work and because it’s legislative session there is NO PARKING in the garage that’s a ten-minute walk away from my building. I find a spot and rush to a meeting. The meeting ends, and I rush off to workout during lunch. I rush back to another meeting. I try to do good work. I rush out to get home.

Everything is undone. The dishes, my bed, laundry. My daughter wants to read fan fiction instead of the book on which she’s supposed to be writing a book report. My animals want to be fed. I’m hungry. My driver’s license is expired.

I choose to start with my license. It’s been five years since I’ve renewed and in that time I’ve heard you can do it online. I grab my phone, type in “renew driver’s license wa” and pull up the site. The form looks vaguely familiar and includes all the security assurances: VeriSign, Truste, and a bunch of logos that are designed to make a person feel better about an online transaction.

I start filling out the form: name, address, phone number, gender. Pretty straightforward form. I thought the mobile site worked well…better than many government sites.



This is a fraudulent site.  

So yeah, I get to feel stupid and shameful because in my wanting to get something checked off my list, I wasn’t careful. I didn’t read close enough. This site telling me it was for driver’s license renewal was actually for scamming me out of $22 and adding my chumpy self to their database. Likely the latter is worth more to them.

Where I used to only have the task of renewing my license, now I get to add calling the site to get them to refund my money, cancelling my credit card, and generally feeling inept. Also I get to lie awake at night worrying about who’s using my personal information for nefarious purpose.


Tomorrow’s a new day, I guess. I’ll just figure out a way to schlep my physical self into a licensing office, old school. I need a new picture anyway.




6 thoughts on “All the modern things: a cautionary tale

  1. Yay! So happy to see you. I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve seen you. Not sure if it’s because you’ve been gone for a bit, or if it’s because I have! Either way, I’m glad to see you and hope you have a better experience at the licensing office than you did with the scummy site!

  2. I did almost the exact same thing when I moved. Googled “mail forwarding,” found a pleasantly easy site, and filled in my info. Of course it cost $25, and somehow that wasn’t a red flag for me even though I’d moved before and forwarding cost nothing. I immediately realized what I’d done wrong but of course the scam site didn’t have any way to contact the company (big surprise). Try not to beat yourself up over it. We all make mistakes sometimes!

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