Chances are you have been scammed and if you have not you probably will be since they are getting insanely common! Rather than some creep in a basement, scammers now occupy whole buildings! Like cock roaches, waiting for the dark to come, to feed on the unsuspecting, they are among us.
Last week I was the unlucky recipient of a very elaborate one. I received an order through my website to give a speech in England. I emailed the “Reverand Burke from Saint Anns church in England” for several days, we yucked it up and finally agreed to an honorarium. The good Reverand sent over the agreement, I printed it, read it and then paused…there was something odd about it, it was not complete enough, it was too agreeable, it offered to pay for everything, it was too generous, it offered to pay half upon signing and the other half after the presentation was over. I signed it, emailed it back and then the “Ask” came. The “Reverand Burke” asked me to send him fifteen hundred dollars because the UK had a new work permit requirement and his “logistics manager” would take care of it just as soon as I forked over the money. Scam alert!
Sadly, people only begin researching about how to avoid being scammed after they have been scammed! If they are fortunate, they are only “out” time, if they are unfortunate, they are out money, which in essence is the same thing. The Federal Trade Commission tells viewers to its website that there are a few common patters with Scammers, they are:
“Scammers PRETEND to be from an organization you know. 2. They say there is a Problem or a Prize 3. They Pressure you to act immediately 4. They tell you to Pay in a specific way.” The FTC website also states that “Scammers will also be very convincing, they call, email, send us text messages trying to get our money, sensitive personal information like our social Security account numbers. And they are good at what they do.”
Yet there are others who are attempting to right wrongs…. vigilantes so to speak, Scammer Payback is one very large organization and Kitboga a lone, righter-of-wrongs, on Youtube -he is hilarious and worth a watch. By scam-baiting scammers, he projects different personas over the phone. Some of his finer work is when he dresses up as a little old lady, changes his voice and proceeds with a conversation between himself and a scammer attempting to get $3,000 dollars’ worth of gift card money from the “old lady.” When he changes back to his strong male voice and tells the scammer the jig is up, the scammer becomes infuriated, starts yelling and acts as if he is the victim!
I suppose the whole thing is not new, its just new technology, the Pharisees tried to scam Jesus many times, from questions regarding marriage, to healing on the sabbath to money. But Jesus always knew these men were trying to trick him, so he said,
“You hypocrites! Why are you trying to trap (scam) me? Show me a coin used for paying the tax, the men showed him a silver coin.”
Then Jesus asked, “Whose picture is on the coin? And whose name is written on the coin?” The men answered, “Caesar’s.” Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. And give to God the things that are God’s.”
The men heard what Jesus said, and they were amazed. They left him and went away.
I wonder if a few of them left changed and enlightened, we may never know but we do know that Cockroaches never change and never go away! It also reminds me of a joke, “How many cockroaches does it take to change a lightbulb? Nobody knows, once the lights are turned on, they all scatter!”