Got Scammed?

“Beware of an offer that sounds too good to be true.”

giant chocolate?

Giant chocolate? Nope. Seat cushion.

I think we’ve all heard about money schemes involving older adults. Prizes are promised in “enter to win” notices (and the actual terms and conditions are written in fine print).

Nowadays, there are dangerous Internet lurkers. Online dating sites have been a ripe opportunity for those ready to lure in unsuspecting seniors. People masquerading as potential love interests ask the elderly for their money.

I’ve been a victim of several scams myself because I’m so gullible. My most recent iffy encounter was with a woman wandering a parking lot near a grocery store. She said she wanted money for food for her kids. I didn’t see any children around, but I thought: What if she truly needs assistance? I keep a bundle of restaurant gift cards around for just this reason, so I gave one to her–along with a little cash. But who knows what her real story was?

The disturbing part about scammers is that they hurt the victims (of course) and themselves (by perpetuating a cheating lifestyle). Furthermore, scams actually harm society because we turn into harsher and more suspicious people.

Have you ever been scammed? 

 

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Comments

  1. This is so timely for me! Last night I sat in on a webinar.During the webinar the presenter did two things that showed me that buying her product was not what it seemed. The first was that in giving us ways to get more business she actually told us how to lie to get our way in to the decision maker. I was a bit taken back by that but just thought “not for me” and kept listening. Then she told us that there was a free gift for those who stayed until the end of the webinar. No, there was a free gift for 10 people who ordered her “class” from her and paid her $495.

    Now the class sounded like it might be worthwhile until I thought about how she had told us how to deceive people and then lied about the “free gift”. Somehow it seems hard to believe that she will deliver on the class when she can’t tell the truth during the pitch.

    I have often wondered about people who scam other people. What if they “used their powers for good instead of evil?”

    • Jennifer J. Chow says:

      Lying to get what you want? That really rubs me the wrong way. I like your idea of switching the focus, kind of like Catch Me if You Can’s Frank Abagnale.

  2. I can’t recall a time I was scammed, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t. I’ve given to beggars and homeless before, and though I’d like to think they were all in need, I suppose someone could’ve been scamming me. I love your idea of carrying gift cards around for that purpose. That’s really thoughtful!

  3. Romelle Broas says:

    It is sad that scammers do give the honest needy people a bad rep. I’d like to help but you never know who is genuine and who is a scam artist. Btw, I love that seat cushion!

    • Jennifer J. Chow says:

      It is tough to decipher, Romelle. (Thanks about the cushion! It was on display for a chocolate exhibit at a museum.)

  4. It’s interesting that I read your blog today, since I was just talking about this with my daughter. If someone asks for food, I will give it to them. Money, not so quickly. There will always be dishonest people, but that can’t stop us from giving to those who need help. We try to be wise with giving. I have asked people for more information if they are collecting for something and research charities.

    • Jennifer J. Chow says:

      Thanks for visiting, Donna! I think you’re right about conducting the proper research. For charities, I definitely like to give to those I really know about or have heard about through close friends.

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