The Life and Times of Fausto Carro


Ah, Fausto Carro

Last week, after doing some work for an online magazine, I was asked to send along the details of my online payment account. I won’t say the name of that payment company, but Scooby Doo would probably call it RayRal.

I didn’t have an account there, so I began to set one up. And that of course is when I found out I had an account there.

Memberships to websites, online magazines, and services are as forgettable to me now as the magazine subscriptions I signed up for in college in our quad. I’d use a false name – Larry D’Urberville – with my sights set on a free T shirt. Free T shirts were gold when the alternative was washing your other 75 T shirts. Ah, the carefree and extremely dirty days of yore.

Anyway, while I was mildly surprised that I might sign up for an online payment system and had no recollection at all of creating one, it wasn’t completely out of the realm of possibility. Especially if they were to send me a T shirt in the mail. So I requested a new password via email.

It’s then, as you will have probably guessed at this point, that I learned that the account wasn’t in my name at all.  

No, according to RayRal, I am Fausto Carro. Exotic. Italian. A racecar driver or a grizzled submariner. Not a university teacher who talks to his cat, whose body can’t digest certain kinds of cheese, and who has a vegetable schedule.

The possibility of identity theft is a terrifying reality in our world, and one with which most people have had some sort of an unpleasant run-in. But like many things we take precautions and then put it out of our minds. That someone is out there facelessly using your name to run up debt or engage in shady dealings is something you might not worry about until it happens.

I instantly wrote to the company. Judging from the fact that they seem to ignore the content of my emails and simply castigate me while referring to me as “Fausto Carro” suggests that they staff its customer service branch with bots who weren’t good enough to land work at Amazon.

So for a week (or longer, I guess), in the eyes of RayRal, I have been Fausto Carro. I have been penalized with a “limited account” by the company and have been scolded for “unusual activity.”

I have searched my own inbox and found three emails to me as Fausto Carro. One welcoming me to the RayRal family, the next reminding me of all the neato benefits of being a member of the RayRal family, the third telling me about a sweet deal for preferred customers. I suppose that one of those was willy nilly using an email address that you can’t check.

In any event, Fausto Carro doesn’t seem to have a wild life, even RayRal seems disappointed with him. Perhaps I should take on the demeanor of an Italian submariner, buy myself a peacoat and a striped shirt, but there’s a chance I’m mixing that up with some other national stereotype. I think I’ll check him out on Facebook next and see what comes up.

I wonder if that son of a bitch got my T shirt.  

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