My cellphone rang in the middle of the day yesterday. It was a Las Vegas number. Las Vegas is only a couple hours away so I answered it. The woman on the other end of the line was breaking up, but sounded very official and bored–like a government worker. After making her repeat herself a couple times, I figured out that she was calling from the Warrant Office of Las Vegas to verify my information. I was confused as to why someone from the warrant office of Las Vegas would be calling me. After giving her my birthday and address, she said, “So you are no longer on Langara Street?”
“I’ve never lived on Langara Street. I’ve never lived in Las Vegas.”
“Were you in Las Vegas in June of this year?”
“No, I haven’t been in Las Vegas this year at all. Why are you asking me all of this?”
“Because there is a warrant out for your arrest, Mr. Harris.”
“Our records show that your driver’s license was revoked in June, but if you weren’t in Las Vegas in June, then it is probably a case of identity theft.
“Yes, Mr. Harris, I would recommend you contact your local police department.”
After hanging up, I immediately told my wife what had happened and then called our local police department. The police department operator said they would send an officer out to the house as soon as they could.
As I waited for the police to come to my house, I began to wonder if they were actually coming to fill out a police report, or if they would simply arrest me because of the warrant. Would they ask me any questions? Do I look like a criminal? I realized that since I had been working from home, that I hadn’t combed my hair or shaved and that I probably did look scary. I quickly ran upstairs and cleaned myself up. I stood in our closet trying to decide what clothing would make me look the most honest but also would work best if I got thrown in a jail cell. I imagined the other inmates looking me over trying to decide if they were going to beat me up for looking like a wuss.
“A revoked driver’s license in Vegas. You?”
“Beating up a wuss.”
I was getting used to prison life, when my wife interrupted my thoughts. She had a look of concern on her face. She said, “You do realize that the police are just coming over to fill out a police report right?” Of course I knew that. I laughed that she would even think I had been concerned. I got off my chair and made myself useful.
An hour or so later, the phone rang. It was our local police department. An officer asked me what had happened. He told me that he had checked my name and that there was no warrant for my arrest in Nevada or Utah. He said it sounded like a scam and wanted to know what information I had given the woman. I felt like an idiot. How could I have not realized that? I had been conned. I had given her my birthday and address. The officer pointed out that something real like that would have been done through a letter. He said to be more watchful now because someone now had my name, phone, birthday, and address.
I felt like a real winner–now I wished that they would throw me in jail and beat me up. I considered asking the police officer if that was an option, but I was too much of a wuss to ask.