I just came across another scam that thankfully I was able to catch onto before it went any farther.....
I’m a music teacher and was hoping to expand my in-home business with a few more students, so I posted an add on Craig’s List. I’ve done this a few time before and God has blessed me with some wonderful families. Only, this time, I did one thing different.
Yes, I was foolish... I supplied my real email instead of allowing them to use an anonymous one that would serve as my own. So, I do take full responsibility for what happened.
But anyway... Shortly after, I was contacted by a Dr. Matthew Medley in reference to his son Erin, 14 years old, for him to take lessons. This man claimed that he was working with the United Nations in Dublin, Ireland and his son would be visiting the States for a month. He wanted his son to be doing something constructive. I thought, “cool!” But at the same time was a bit skeptical (though, I always am).
The man asked what my charges would be for 3 hour lessons per week for an entire month, and I gave him a figure. 'Figured' it was harmless enough. Lol no pun intended. X)
Well, some of the main things I started to notice was that this person, this Dr. Medley, had poor English, typing skills, and would often even spell his own name wrong. That was what started me really questioning.
As we conversed back and forth a bit more, he never once asked about who I was.. If my son were going to be spending time with a teacher 3 hours a week away from his parents, I would certainly want to know who that person is! Right? But nope. Nothing. That was another key element to my scam radar. I proceeded to the United Nations website and found a page that mentioned how some people are claiming to be in association with them when in actuality they are not. DING DING DING!
So, once he found out what the total would be, he said to supply him with an address so he could have his associate, not even himself, mail me a money order. AND the only thing I would need to do was forward part of the money order to his “nanny” that would be driving his son around.
That was the last bit for me! I wrote him back and.. well.. probably didn’t act as Christian-like as I should have. I pointed out what I was reading, especially the lack of interest in who his “son” would be spending all this time with. Then I concluded by telling him to grow up and get a life, and while he was at it to learn how to speak English and type. *cringe* Yeah, I’m not too proud of it.. But, I guess it could have been worse.
Not long ago, I caught an episode of Oprah that was on this very topic of scams. Some of them I had come across before, so when this Dr. Medley came around I was a little more prepared. But there are people out there that have fallen for stuff like this and it wound up costing them, often times money. It’s sad.
But, what concerns me most is that people actually fall for this stuff. I mean, lets admit something... These scammers don’t suck us in. We are not hypnotized or controlled like puppets. All they do is lay a pleasing choice before us, feeding off our own greed/need for money. We are the ones that lack in the sufficient wisdom to see it for what it is. A trap. And these scammers know it too, otherwise they wouldn’t try. Says a lot about us, doesn’t it?
Seems to me that there is a great parallel with this. Satan is the same way. He is a scammer. Truth be told, he is the best scam artist out there -making things like drugs, alcohol, and premarital sex pleasing when in reality they are just plain stupid. Yet, almost every day I see someone else willingly stepping into his trap of ignorance.
That’s right, I said it... Ignorance. To do these things, it is nothing short of throwing logic and reason out the window. Yet, nothing good can or will ever come out of these things. Say for, oh, a “good time.” But at what cost? Your health? Your heart? Your soul? Your life? Nope, sorry.. Not worth it. There is way more to life than a meager "good time."
Call me skeptical or untrusting or even a fun sucker.. But, for one, I think being skeptical has helped me many a time and protected me from dangers that would otherwise prove to harm me. Two, I trust people when they show me they can be trustworthy -when the evidence is clearly before me. And three, fun is not what I would call willingly being blind and dumb to the obvious. Sorry, I prefer to be wise rather than stupid. I figure I’ll live a lot longer that way.
“For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil,” 1 Timothy 6:10. One of those evils is most definitely ignorance. And, luckily for us, that makes scammers fallible and easier to distinguish. Just look for the signs. Be skeptical.
God NEVER expects us to be blind or stupid. That is one of the biggest myths out there about the Bible and Christians. In fact, with what I’m growing to understand, God and the Bible are the beginning of knowledge and wisdom. But, that is a topic for another time.
Be happy, live smart, and know that scam artists are forever in our midst. Lets show them we make for bad prey, shall we?