Ah, Vermont’s esteemed Secretary of State… champion of transparency, guardian against election tampering, epitome of the principled politician…
Turns out, he can fall for an Internet scam just like the rest of us.
You may have heard about the Facebook ad for discount chain Costco, which offered customers a $75 coupon if they reposted the ad and provided some personal information.
Err… problem is, it was a fake. The real Costco wasn’t involved, and there was no $75 offer. But a lot of people fell for it, despite the fact that this same offer (or a very similar one) has been posted — and debunked — multiple times in the past.
One of those suckers: Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos.
Yeah, sorry about that, Jim. No coupon for you!
Condos was unavailable for comment, but his chief of staff Eric Covey confirmed the story. “The Secretary did repost a chain-style Facebook post offering a $75 Costco coupon on his personal Facebook page,” Covey said. “Within minutes, he realized his mistake and deleted the post.”
So wait. In so doing, did Condos destroy a public record? No, because the post was on his personal page, not his official one. In addition, it had nothing to do with his day job. “Had it been related to his official business, we would have preserved it regardless,” explained Covey.
According to Covey, Condos is on safe legal ground. But if nothing else, it’s an embarrassing moment for the guy who spends a lot of his time warning Vermonters of the dangers of hackers and scammers.
“The Secretary freely admits he made a mistake, he screwed up,” said Covey, and applied a bit of lipstick on the pig: “This shows the importance of being careful about linking.”
It can even happen to Mr. Careful himself.