Much ado about Gia

Aug 27, 2014 | Random

William Shakespeare is pretty much my all-time favorite playwright. One of my few regrets during my college years is that I did not have the opportunity to more fully study the depth and breadth of his works.

Suffice it to say that ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ is my favorite of his plays. If you’re not into reading 17th century English literature (I don’t blame you…it takes a lot of effort, but it’s worth it…), do yourself a favor and rent the movie. It is beautifully done and brilliantly acted by the likes of Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Denzel Washington, and Kate Beckinsale. The only downside to sporting such a brilliant cast is the way they, by contrast, show what a horrible actor Keanu Reeves is. I mean, the man is embarrassingly bad. His attempt at making his California-Surfer accent sound Shakespearian is the theatrical equivalent of shoving a hippo into a Honda. As far as I am concerned, Keanu’s acting prowess peaked when he played himself in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”.

Over the past week, I have delved ever-deeper into the situation surrounding the mysterious Gia. (See previous blog here) My first order of business was to contact MX CoolCo and see if I could verify what Gia had told me. I explained to the person answering the phone (after getting transferred, of course) that I had been contacted by someone claiming to work for MX CoolCo who then said she worked for BestSysEver who did sales leads for MX CoolCo, and he said, “Stop right there! Sure, BestSysEver does all kinds of sales/lead generations for MX CoolCo. It is quite common in our business to outsource these kinds of things.”

At this point, I started to feel like I had just lived through a mild version of Much Ado About Nothing. For those unfamiliar with it, that particular work, in my layman’s interpretation and with my full apologies to William Shakespeare, demonstrates how smoke-and-mirrors deception works on and with human traits such as assumption, presumption, emotion and insecurity. At the end of the play, that which was true at the beginning was true at the end, entirely to the contrast of all the appearances in the middle.

In short, I’m feeling a little embarrassed at my abundance of caution.

From the work, Friar Francis to Leonato: “Call me a fool… trust not my reading, nor my observations… trust not my age, my reverence, calling, nor divinity if this sweet lady lie not guiltless here under some biting error”

Had Gia been falsely accused?

Only one thing left to do: Call BestSysEver and speak with Gia.

Receptionist: Thanks for calling BestSysEver, how may I help you?

Me: May I speak with Gia Calliani, please.

Receptionist: I’m sorry, who?

Me: Gia Calliani…I believe she works in your sales department.

Receptionist: There is no Gia who works here.

From the work, Don Pedro to Benedick: Wilt thou make a trust a transgression?

I now call MX CoolCo back, asking to speak with Gia.

Receptionist: I’m sorry, who?

Me: Gia Calliani…I believe she works in your sales department.

Receptionist: There is no Gia who works here.

Wow.

Feeling fully vindicated, I did a reverse lookup on the toll free number she had given me.

Nothing. No name, billing address, contact info. Nothing.

I even paid $10 to find out more about the number. Nothing. The company refunded the money because even they could not find any information on it. Nothing at all.

I finally call the number she gave me.

I finally call Gia.

Immediately, Gia answers the phone…only it is an automated device with her voice asking me to leave my business name and contact information. That’s it. So, I try again later. Same thing. And, again, later. Same thing. I called that number over a dozen times during the next several days and Electronic Gia always answers on the first ring… with the same message.

Gia, who knows that MX CoolCo and BestSysCo work together, doesn’t work for either of one of them but pretends to, has a toll free number without published information (not entirely uncommon, but highly suspicious given the other inconsistencies about her), does not answer her own phone ever…and, as far as I can tell, does not even exist.

Gia is One of Them. A con artist. A social engineer. A thief.

In this case, much ado was justified.

This was much ado about something.

Whether you are just a casual home user or an employee at a company, big or small, we all have something to learn from this. There is a THEY, and THEY are out to get us. There will be other Gias (and Giavonnis for you ladies out there); now that we’ve figured out this tactic, THEY will switch to another. And another. And another.

Any security system is only as strong as its weakest link. We all always need to stay on our highest alert. If something does not feel right, it probably is not right.

Be ever vigilant; there is a THEY, and THEY are after us.

Leonato:

Which is the villain? let me see his eyes,
That, when I note another man like him,
I may avoid him: which of these is he?

Author’s Note: Gia Calliani, BestSysEver, and MX CoolCo are not the actual names of the people and companies involved. Out of the abundance of caution, I have substituted the actual names in my experience with these. 


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