On the third ring, Jack finally picked up the telephone.
“Hello?” he said unenthusiastically.
A pause, which Jack assumed meant telemarketer or robocaller. Which would it be? The suspense was killing him.
“Hi, is this Jack?” a woman’s voice said, with a faint echo, as if coming from a great distance. It sounded human.
“This is he…”
“Hi Jack, this is Angela calling from your bank. I have some important information about your account. Do you have time to talk?”
“My account?” Jack was immediately suspicious. “What bank did you say this was?”
“This is your bank, Jack -“
“- National Federal.”
Yes, that was the name of his bank, but this still sounded off. Phishing?
“How do I know that you’re really from my bank, and not some scammer?”
“I can assure you this is no scam, sir. We’re calling to invite you to a new trial program.”
“New trial program?” Jack’s suspicion blended with curiosity.
“That’s right, sir. We’ve selected a special group of customers such as yourself who qualify for an extraordinary no-risk opportunity to increase your wealth ten-fold in one month and a hundred-fold by year’s end.”
“No risk? How is that possible?” Jack wasn’t born yesterday.
“We will back your investment one hundred percent into a new kind of coin associated with our bank.”
“You want me to put my money into Bitcoins? My wife will never let me, sorry.”
“It’s not just Bitcoins, sir. It’s actually a basket of coins, secured by our industry partners.”
“Basket, eh?” Jack was intrigued. “Still, I don’t see how you can offer that without any risk to me. Do you have some kind of insider information about where the market will go?”
“I assure you the program is fully legal, sir.”
“All the same, I think I’d like to see it in writing before I can make any decision as important as this.”
“Shall I forward the information to your email, sir?”
“Please do. Do you already have it on file?”
“I do, sir. Thank you. The message has been sent. Let us know when you’re ready to discuss it and we’ll be happy to get you signed up.”
“Great, thank you. Goodbye.”
“Thank you too. Goodbye.”