Hi folks, and thanks for the useful information here. I hope I will be able to contribute from time to time. Like many contributors, I have a personal interest, in my case stemming from an interaction with fortune tellers or “psychics”.
For much of my life I maintained a “there but for fortune” philosophy, believing that most criminals are either mentally ill or forced into criminal acts by unfortunate circumstances. Until a couple of decades ago, when my wife was the victim of a long con perpetrated by a family of gypsy fortune tellers. They obtained all of her personal information and some of mine, and the cost to us to repair the damage was well into six figures. From then on I became aware that there are truly evil people among us, and among the worst are the con artists. They are very capable of driving their victims to bankruptcy and suicide while pretending to be friends.
Over the years we paid off all the debts and regained an excellent credit score, and this had become all but forgotten. Until a few weeks ago I was polishing a car in my driveway, not the same car but the same distinctive make and model that we had owned earlier. A car stopped outside, and the women inside asked me if it was for sale. My response was a little undecided, whereupon one of them said “I’m sure your wife doesn’t want you to sell it.” I agreed, and they drove away. As I walked back to the car I thought that exchange was a little strange, then I thought they looked a bit like gypsies, then I realized that I had given away the fact that my wife was still alive and still living with me at the same address. The next order of business was to freeze our credit and hope we got it done in time. These people are professionals, they are very good at what they do, and you don’t have to be superstitious to get taken.