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Wiser’s Wramblings: Scams, the Wiser Curse, and what’s a Conservaliberal ?


By Chuck Wiser, I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels

I feel as if I should be writing this with a tumbler of single malt whiskey sitting beside me. I have been sleuthing all morning getting to the bottom of yet again another scam attempt. Maybe I should “hang a shingle” offering my services to others as I find that stubbornness, hard headedness, patience and persistence are necessary to avoid (or recover from) payments made to scammers. We have been pretty successful dealing with Amazon, and have been “lucky” for the most part and pleased with their products and service.

Several months ago, we were a SCAM victim, which started when  we had ordered a product for which we never received a shipping notice. Upon contacting the seller and getting a lot of “run around” I was finally advised of shipment already being made and was then given a tracking number. Upon checking that, I found that UPS had reported the item delivered already. Upon further research it was learned that UPS (supposedly) logged in the delivery at an address on Charles Street here in Scio. It wasn’t delivered as the address did not exist.

This same scenario played out this week with an Amazon purchase. My wife found a decent deal for Lorna Doone Shortbread Cookies.  BJ’s, where we had previously purchased them as a bulk quantity of “vending machine” packets, no longer carry them or are unable to get them.

Several days after ordering the item online we received a message through Amazon that the seller advised that their product was damaged and so they could not fill our order until the 3rd week in January. I was then advised that I could cancel the order. Here is where I possibly made a mistake. I sent the seller an email asking if the product would indeed be available around the 3rd week in January, and if that was the case, I would not cancel the order. The seller replied: “yes, they would,” so I advised to keep the order active. This is where it, and this explanation, gets confusing.

Just 2 days later, we received a notice that the item had shipped and would be delivered between Jan. 10th and Jan. 13th and we were provided a tracking number. Great! We thought. We figured that they had gotten a supply sooner than expected and we looked forward to getting them much earlier than expected. The next day we received a notification from Amazon that the order was “out for delivery” by UPS Tuesday morning. As of Tuesday night, well after dark, no UPS delivery had been made.

Wednesday morning, upon double checking the delivery status via the Tracking Number supplied to us by Amazon, we read that the item had been delivered to our porch Tuesday afternoon at 2:28 PM. We checked to see if it was on the porch, and it wasn’t. We then checked with our neighbor just in case it had been dropped off there, and it had not.

Herein begins the persistence and diligence part. I started the rounds of checking. The seller said it shipped. Amazon emailed that it shipped and to check the status via the tracking number, which we had already done. I called UPS Customer Service and failing to get to discuss it with a live person, I sent them a message via “Messenger”. At this point I sent an email to the sender, and followed up by going to my Amazon account to report the problem. Amazon gave me a link to formally report the problem , and then immediately followed that up before I could send a formal inquiry, by sending me an email that the full purchase price would be refunded. I then received a similar email response from the seller forwarding me the same Amazon response.

Following additional message swapping with UPS providing my name, and shipping address as requested I received the following…


Thank you for your reply. By tracking 1Z09272X0319059411 in our system, our records show that the package was delivered to a different address. In this case, I need to make you aware that the package was not addressed to you. It does not have either your name or address. For security reasons, we are not allowed to provide you with the address to which the package was delivered. I will kindly ask you to contact your shipper as soon as you can since any further action that may be required for this shipment must originate from the sender since the package was delivered to the address provided by the vendor. — Joshua ❤

In my family we have what is known as “The Wiser Curse”. The Wiser Curse has been with us for years, and is directed mainly at ourselves, but, can also be perpetrated upon others acting on our behalf. We first noticed this years ago when it manifested itself in the form of TV Program cancelations. If we found a TV Program or series that we liked, it would soon thereafter be canceled. If we found a food or product that we really liked, it would soon be taken off the market or discontinued. Thus, liking the Lorna Doone Shortbread Cookies and finding them available in “quantity packaging” at BJ’s in Olean, that became our source. After a few purchases they quit carrying them in Olean. We then discovered them via Google, in the Henrietta BJ’s, so that became our source. After a couple of purchases there, they stopped carrying them. That is what led to our online purchasing adventure.

The “Wiser Curse” story continues. A former URMC, Flaum Eye Institute,  Opthalmologist Dr. Kalifa, also came under the spell of the Wiser Curse. While performing the last, of two, surgical procedures on one of my relatives, the Doctor had significant difficulties, requiring a second attempt, which was successful. The Doctor had performed the same procedure hundreds of times and thus was surprised that there was a problem. Showing his frustration, he exclaimed: “I have never before had this procedure not work on the first attempt.” I told him about the curse.We have a lot of fun sharing our curse stories with others, especially when something like a failed IV insertion occurs. I have a humorous story to tell along those lines but perhaps another day.

 Going back to, and wrapping up on, that order/shipment/payment theme, I am convinced that the above described, and previously mentioned episodes are examples of very sophisticated Scams.It doesn’t take very much investigation to run across examples of just how devious, but talented, these scammers can be. They have the knowledge, skill, and inclination to be able to hack into and/or to utilize components of  business entities such as UPS, to emulate their activities like providing bogus tracking numbers. They also links imbeded to said entities so as to provide a connection that you access thinking that you are within a “Customer Support” system of say, Mirosoft, when in fact you are in the hands of the scammer. They will attempt to get your banking, or credit card  information.

Well, scammer rhymes with scanner so I might as well offer a few real Wramblings to lighten things up a little, starting with “Scanner Calls”. Heard recently were:

  • 911 What is your emergency? Yes, I have run out of cigarettes, could you have an ambulance bring me some?
  • 911 What is your emergency? “I would like to report a domestic in progress.”

The call continued but I can’t share the actual dialog that followed except it was a real “eye popper”.

  • 911 What is your emergency? I need to have my ring removed from my finger. (This one I can relate to as following an injury to my finger I had to go to the ER to have it cut off. I did not have to call an ambulance though.
  • Not really humorous but odd for the first of January when a 911 call was received due to an allergic reaction to a bee sting.

Have you ever noticed a sailor’s white hat and wondered why on earth would they have to wear such an odd looking thing? Two reasons. One, and maybe this is why I don’t wear a hat all the time as many do. When you wear a “billed” hat your upward vision is obscured and if aboard a ship with numerous things hanging above you it’s easy to bump your head. Happens to me all the time and thus, no hat. The second reason for the design of a sailor’s hat is to provide some flotation if you were to fall overboard. You “unfurl” it so it takes an inverted bowl shape and pull it down on the water trapping air inside. Another survival technique to be used by an overboard sailor is for them to take off their pants, tie the end of each pantleg into a knot, then, again inverted, pull it onto the water trapping air in the pant legs.  

Saw a news item yesterday stating that only a quarter of the money allotted to New York State for Covid relief has been doled out. I wonder what they are saving it for.

When the debate on Covid delves into political beliefs the antagonists start throwing the Liberal (left wingers) versus Conservative (right wingers) titles about, often with more slanderous variations of those political sides. I take offense at being labeled one or the other, especially when the terms are demeaning or vulgar. We are all different. We should have differences of opinions. Those opinions should be our own, they should be developed with age and experience, not dictated to us by others. We can disagree…we should. But, how we resolve those differences and settle our disputes is a measure of our humanity, just as is how, or if, we treat the Covid Virus discussions. I stated my political leanings and position in a poem prior to the 2018 election. I still hold the same feelings.

I Am A Conservaliberal

I detest being labelled a “liberal”

I am “conservative” in numerous ways

My political beliefs tend to follow

A path based on conscience these days

I prefer to be known as a ‘thinker’

Who can decide what is important to me

I resist following dictates from others

With  my eyes and my heart I can see

I do not follow a path built by others

For they know not just how my life plays a part

In the journeys through life that I’ve travelled

I have always followed my heart

I guess that you can say I see from both sides

How a divide can exist ‘tween right and wrong

So, I guess I can be called “Conservaliberal”

 And together in solidarity where we belong

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