I have a friend who, for the purpose of this blog post we’ll call Glen*. That’s not his name, but it is the first name of the person whose music I last asked Alexa to play, so it’s as good a name as any.

Now Glen is a salt of the earth kind of guy. He’d give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. This is the guy who fulfilled our youngest’s dream of being driven to his prom on the back of a big, powerful bike just because I asked him. What he isn’t however is computer literate. In the dozen or so years I’ve known him, it’s become common for me to have to slowly explain something to him 4 or 5 times, then write it down step by step for him to read once I’ve gone. He’s seen me on TV a few times, and knows what I do regarding scammers. Glen is the person I try to aim for when I write any scam information. He openly admits he doesn’t understand it, but will follow any steps given to him to the letter.

This weekend I was at Glen’s house, installing and explaining some new hardware for him. As usual I was telling him about the stuff that’s been going on and what to look out for. Today I had a call from him. The first thing I thought was that he couldn’t work out how to so something with his new hardware, but instead he told me that he’d almost been scammed.

Someone claiming to be from Amazon had called, saying he was due a refund. Being the trusting fellow he is, Glen followed along with the steps he was being given up until the point he was asked to put in his bank details. Thankfully, at that point he remembered my telling him to NEVER give your bank details to anyone he didn’t know, and to hang up if it happened. That’s exactly what he did. He hung up, spoke to his bank, and when they said he should speak to someone who understands computers so they can check everything for him, he called me. Luckily he cut off contact with the scammer before they got any information they could use, turned off his PC and even unplugged it from the wall to make sure they couldn’t do anything. Those who work with computers right now will likely be wishing everyone they dealt with was like Glen.

The good news is that Glen didn’t lose any money, the bank will call him should anything unusual happen with his account, and he’s now more than aware of how these scams work so won’t even let them get as far as they did this time in future. All in all, a good result. Plus, while I was up there I taught him a few new tricks he can use with his PC.

Glen isn’t PC literate. He still managed to save himself from being scammed though. All it took was for someone to talk to him about how scams work at a level he understood and could sink in. We all know a “Glen”. We all need to remember that we need to keep things simple enough for our “Glens” to understand when we talk to them. If we talk above them, then we may as well be talking to brick walls. We were all “Glens” once, let’s remember that.

Why Glen? I live in the UK, but have been an AOR/MOR fan since I was in my early teens. Last night I was listening to Glen Burtnik. That’s the reason. There’s never any deep meaning where I’m concerned.