When I received an email stating that I had been selected as a candidate to join the latest edition of the International Executive Who's Who, I immediately exclaimed: "Finally! Recognition on the world stage."
The document suggested that once formalities were complete, my listing would share space with the top tier of executive talent available on the international market.
I couldn't wait to share the exciting news with my family, as I gleefully printed out a copy of the invitation.
I waited patiently during the dinner preparation for somebody to ask what sort of day I'd had. Normally, I would just grumble about the level of humdrum politics in this Godforsaken country, tethered to MMP, and about the difficulties of producing cartoons about a bunch of wannabe hopefuls, struggling asymptotically to make their way into Parliament in the coming election.
Tonight, however, was different.
I was able to casually produce my email and grandly announce to everybody, "I've at long last been recognised by the international community of top executives and invited to join their ranks."
After a moment's silence, and reading the letter, the caregiver responded glumly, "I trust you haven't replied to this yet?"
"No," I replied, "I thought I'd leave it until the morning. I didn't want them to think I was too eager."
"This is nothing more than a phishing ruse, an internet scam from somebody who wants to steal your account login information or host malware on your computer," the caregiver concluded, tossing the email back at me.
"How do you know it's a scam?" I responded weakly.
"Well, for starters, they'll next be asking you to verify a profile you haven't created, and you can bet they'll have a form requesting your personal and financial details to 'accept the candidacy'. Also, have you not noticed the mismatched sender's name and email address?
"This indicates an automated message sent via cloud botnet solely to attack the recipient of the message, like a spam intrusion."
My young son joined the conversation, adding direly, "you don't want zombies taking over your computer, Dad."
"Zombies, phishing and cloud botnet?" I murmured nervously, sensing my newly found status as a top-drawer international executive evaporating by the minute, leaving me with no option but to hastily retreat back into my shell as a doddery old cartoonist.