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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Big Scam

Online Scams

There was a time when your local businesses would knock on your door to offer you a special price on service or product.  Most often the person knocking on your door was the owner him or herself or one of their immediate family members.  The explanation most often for the special discount offer, was that economic times were bad, and their service levels were dropping.  If you would agree to buy at the discounted price you would be helping their business survive the lean times while you and your family would benefit from their misfortune.
The above mentioned savings were such that you could actually see the value, not to mention trust the local vendor that you might actually recognize from church or community events.  However, with the advent of the world economy we are now bombarded with special offers and savings that may or may not be real.  My attitude for offers from across the country or world is that I will buy and take advantage of a special offer, if in fact I am actively searching for such product or service.  I don’t react to offers by mail or over the phone because more often than not the offer is simply a scam to part you with your hard earned money.  I don’t mind admitting that I would rather pay as much a 20% or more to buy locally, and where possible American Made.
  • Most of you have received an email from a member of a Nigerian family with wealth. It is a desperate cry for help in getting a very large sum of money out of the country. A common variation is a woman in Africa who claimed that her husband had died, and that she wanted to leave millions of dollars of his estate to a good church.

    In every variation, the scammer is promising obscenely large payments for small unskilled tasks. This scam, like most scams, is too good to be true. Yet people still fall for this money transfer con game.

    They will use your emotions and willingness to help against you. They will promise you a large cut of their business or family fortune. All you are asked to do is cover the endless “legal” and other “fees” that must be paid to the people that can release the scammer’s money.

    The more you are willing to pay, the more they will try to suck out of your wallet. You will never see any of the promised money, because there isn’t any. And the worst thing is, this scam is not even new; its variant dates back to 1920s when it was known as 'The Spanish Prisoner' con.
Imagine how very powerful email would be as a means of buying and selling products and services, but because of the morons that sit around thinking of ways to make a living without working, email is all but useless.  95% of all my emails are discarded as spam through the security setting that I apply to my email account.  I may be missing out on some very good opportunities, but it’s a chance that I am willing to take.  Even when you recognize the sender of an email, there is no guarantee that the sender hasn’t been hacked.  Remember, know who you are dealing with, not only the name but their style of doing business; if their request of you doesn’t sound like the business you are familiar with, pick up the phone and call them. 
Once a criminal infects your computer or steals your identity, you are looking at untold amounts of headaches and dollars to recover, if you ever do.  Always remember that there is no free lunch, unless I use my skills are brains to earn something, no one is going to give me a dime without effort or transfer of assets in exchange.  I wish life was more like the innocent times we grew up in, where a person’s word or a handshake was their bond.  In today’s digital technology world, even what you see isn’t always what you get.  The best is yet to come…

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