I have an imaginary friend named Fancy. Fancy is a conspiracy theorist with a Cassandra complex and I think she likes to make stuff up just to torture me- she not only has my home phone number, she uses it to press all my buttons.
I was trying to watch the 5am replay of Battlestar Galactica when Fancy called. She had an idea regarding the TV commercial that was playing...I don't know how she knew that particular commercial was on. Perhaps she was watching BG as well? I know that she has cable but I'm not sure what time zone she lives in. No one is.
"Hi! Whatcha doin"?
"Watching Battlestar. Make it quick- there's a commercial on now but I missed the show last night."
"Right! See...I had this idea on how to make some money. Huge money."
"Uh huh. Go ahead."
"First, I'd need some cash. Enough to pay for saturation advertising on late night cable TV. The kinds of shows that stoners and lonely insomniacs watch...then I'd start offering Free Credit reports...for a small fee, I'd even offer to protect the viewer's I.D., credit cards, bank accounts etc...offer comprehensive protection against ID theft, ya know?"
"Fancy, there's already- you'd need- I mean-"
"No, no...all I'd need to do is hire some scrubs to work the phones and run the caller's data through Equifax or some other legitimate agency that gives free credit reports.. most of it could be done by automation...then we give the 'client' a report and offer a 30-day free trial of our "Secure ID" service."
"Well, yeah. But like I was say.."
She interrupted me again. Fancy never lets me finish my thoughts.
"They'll have to give me all of their data", she went on, "every account, every card, social...the works. I'll have complete access to all of it. During the 30-day "trial" period, I'll:
a) drain their accounts, or...
b) wait 29 days and sell their data to other hackers.
Or some combination of the two. "
"Geez, Fancy. I'm fairly certain that's illegal . Aren't you afraid of getting caught?"
"That's where the Free Credit report comes in...those folks will be giving me the data I need. I'll have millions of aliases...I could change ID several times a day for the rest of my life if I wanted to."
"I am really, really glad that you don't know where I live."
"Oh, I know where you live."