This is just an Odd Thing which I'll note here unflocked and uncut, for obvious reasons. I got a phone call yesterday afternoon from Centrelink. It was a very friendly, polite and nice lady from Centrelink, ringing to apologise about not getting back to me. There had been delays in processing queries.
She couldn't tell me anything about the actual query, as she just had my name and number, she said. But she was very friendly and polite, and very apologetic, and was hoping that whatever my query had been about, that it had been resolved.
Then she asked if there was anything I wanted checked. I was rather curious, so I said yes. She said (very politely, very kindly) that she'd need my DoB in order to process my query. For privacy reasons.
Hmm. I explained that although she was very kind and polite, I'd have to ring her back at a number I could verify before I'd be able to do that, because she could really be anyone on the phone. She explained that there wasn't really any number she could give me then for me to call back on, but was very polite about it, and we left it at that.
Although the odds are very good she was entirely legitimate (it makes sense that they'd have polite people doing this kind of work), and the call didn't even set my spidersenses off, I'm still glad I didn't tell her my DoB. It really could have been anyone on the phone, and a successful con-artist is successful because they don't set your spidersenses off.
Never trust a lack of spidersense reaction to support taking risks. Don't trust that the nice security guard who's always keeping an eye out for you won't assault or rape you if you find yourself in a vunerable position. Don't trust that the friendly neighbour who takes your rubbish bins out if you forgot them won't assault or abuse your child if you ask them to keep an eye on the little tyke for 30 minutes while you pop down the shops for ice-cream. Don't trust that the work colleague that you've had on your team for a while and who pulls their weight won't nick the credit card you left lying on your desk and spend up big on Pr0n Sites on the Internets.
Trust people you have a long and close relationship with. Trust the people you spend lots of time with. Trust people you've seen in their pygamas. Trust people whose flaws you know, and who know your flaws. Trust people whose close friends are your close friends. Trust people you have good reason to trust.
Don't trust people without good reason. Much of the time, you'll get away with trusting foolishly, but when you don't get away with it, you'll know it.