Saturday, December 09, 2006

Would Richard Wiggins like to rent a condo from Richard Wiggins?

In a time when spam has doubled in three months and phishing is out of control, you're a little suspicious when you get a commercial solicitation involving your own name. A couple weeks ago I started receiving e-mail from asking if I'd like to rent my condo in Naples, Florida. It was addressed to Richard Wiggins. Since I don't own a condo there (or anywhere) this seemed odd to me. I marked it as spam.

Good Afternoon,We just received a booking inquiry from John Doe who is interested in staying at a Vacation Rental similar to yours in Naples for 2 adults to stay 20 nights (Ref. 2377758).

When a few days later I got another inquiry from them, I Googled my name and Naples, and found a hit that appeared to be someone named Richard Wiggins wanting to rent his condo there.

So I hit the reply button, explained that somehow Rentalo had looked up my e-mail address and started using it, and the other Richard Wiggins might want to fix that.

No reply. On Friday, I got another rental inquiry. This time I called the phone number listed for Richard Wiggins and we had a nice chat. Turns out he lives in Massachusetts and he and his wife do own a condo in Naples. He said that he'd thought my e-mail was a joke from a realtor. I told him my wife thought that their place looked kind of nice, and maybe we might want to rent it someday. Richard said he'd have his brokers update their address records for him.

Then I received this note from Richard Wiggins:


I appreciate the call and I will take care of this with rentalo. As my wife said "Tell him you are the real Richard Wiggins" Any way thanks again and if you and your wife have any interest just drop me a line and we can work something out.


The real Richard Wiggins
It will be kind of strange making a check out to Richard Wiggins if we ever end up renting this place. But before then, Richard, have your wife Google our name... :-)

Probably the most prominent Richard Wiggins I'm aware of invented digital speech synthesis products for Texas Instruments. Remember the Speak and Spell toy from 1978?