Skip to content

Poor grammar ruins scammers’ chances of validity

Joyce Walter writes about a suspicious email from 'SaskTel'
Reflective Moments by Joyce Walter

When phone scammers make their calls, they often don’t get beyond the first sentence in their presentation so there is no indication whether they have writing skills or at least a working knowledge of proper grammar and phrasing.

I cannot recall ever being overly attentive to the script these folks read when they’re telling me my Visa card has been compromised, that the RCMP is coming to arrest me, or the septic tank in the back yard might be leaking.

Perhaps if I allowed these callers to end their spiel, I would be impressed with their writin’ and readin’ skills or indeed, I might be more concerned with their lack of those abilities.

But lately my attention has been captivated by the email messages that come in frequently regarding what is going to happen with our email accounts if we don’t immediately take certain actions. 

At first we thought they might have some legitimacy, coming as they did with a logo that appeared to bear close resemblance to the official identification of SaskTel, our internet and phone provider. We checked with our close adviser who said the messages were phony, that our service would not be cut off.

But still, when one receives five or six such missiles within a short time period, there’s still that niggling feeling that maybe, just maybe we should pay more attention to the message. When we did that, I knew for sure my high school English teacher would be appalled.

The latest message read as follows: “Valid Customer: We have discover unusual activities going on your mail, and messages is been disabled. To continue receiving new messages, Click Here. Please do not ignore this email to avoid your account been disabling. We apologies for any inconvenience this might cause. Sasktel Support Team. Thanks.” 

There should be numerous red editing marks in that message — certainly not the kind of message real SaskTel communicators would send out.

One phony message was so bold as to send it under the name of the President and CEO of SaskTel to make it look more authentic and to make subscribers tremble in their boots. I’m sure he was impressed to have his name attached to such embarrassing and poorly written threats.

And so we continued to delete every message that came from the identity thieves that weren’t really working on the SaskTel team.

Then came the letter in the mail advising that we should register to receive our e-bill. True or another scam? Inquiring minds were curious.

I punched in the 1-800 number, waited but a short time and got a congenial staff member who asked how she might be of assistance. Upon hearing my concerns she hastened to assure me this was not a scam, that indeed the letter came from the real SaskTel and I should feel free to carry out the instructions offered.

She agreed that the Crown Corporation was well aware of the phony messages and that measures were being taken to get rid of the scammers.

So now we have passwords and user names and we’ve received and paid our first email phone bill.

But care and attention will still be required. As each bill comes in I will be checking for misplaced commas, spelling errors, unlikely charges, threats to cut us off and the use of baffling words.

If that happens, we could call the President and CEO, because thanks to the scammers, we now have his name — spelled correctly too.

Joyce Walter can be reached at

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.  

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks