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About scammers by Slate R. Raven
or someOver the evolution of our species there has always been things we call parasites, better known to everyone else as “Scammers!” These loathsome creatures have been among us from the first civilization. Back in those days they came door to door, how horrible that must’ve been for us regular folks. However, as time progressed from snake oils and miracle cures, no wait we still have people trying to sell us that today. . . What I meant to say was as technology got more advanced the easier it was for these infestations to invade our daily lives. It started with the telephone, and that was bad enough. They called at all hours until a regulatory force was placed in charge of them disrupting our natural cycles.
Internet and emails
Next came the internet and a thing called e-mail, that brought new trouble with it. They now had ways to find out information on you to try to make it seem as though they were friends there to bring you aid just when you needed it the most. We put out all our information out in our profiles because it was new it was neat and exciting! At first, we didn’t think to hide or mask ourselves because who out there would want to do us harm? (Enter forehead slap here.)
As a generation we grew more intelligent, at least more aware of what people were trying to do. According to an independent news source, new scams and shams are created at a rate of a single new one every two minutes. What can we as consumers do?
Well lately they hide behind email address blinds, so always check who you’d be replying to, the e-mail may say “Amazon” or “Best Buy” but it’s usually “firstname.lastname@example.org” or some other bogus email.
With phone calls if you don’t recognize the number don’t answer it, if it’s worthwhile a message will be left. Caution Scammers will also leave messages with numbers to call, unless you have a reason to dial that number; don’t! We’re even getting calls from what is supposed to be our banks, with notices of fraud. This is alarming and most people will immediately call back the number given by the recorded message, they “verify their information” now the scammers have access to your bank information. Always call the number on the back of your credit or debit card.
You’ll also probably run into these fantastic deals, free stuff if you only pay shipping and handling. Here’s the rub. As an author I’ve sent books via mail before, so I know the approximate cost. In almost all cases of free books or free items the shipping is at least 5-10 dollars higher than it really costs to ship items. Amazon Prime didn’t bankrupt Amazon when they released it so you can be sure cheaper shipping exists. I’m a patriot so I get a lot of mail from second amendment groups and other groups that are trying to make a difference. Mixed in with that lot is always a jerk telling me how guns will soon be outlawed, and they can show you how to make your own gun with tools you have in your home. Just pay for shipping and handling and their book will be on your doorstep.
If they wanted me to have that book for free, they could have set up a download for a PDF, for free. You’re gonna tell me that your sixty-page book costs $12.95 to ship to me? Please give the general population a break we’re not all idiots, but too many people are. Don’t get me wrong. . . there are some great deals out there if you watch what you are doing. I got a fantastic knife, of outstanding quality, for $4.95 shipping and handling; however, it took seven pages of me saying no to their other offers to finish the transaction. That’s another key, take screen shots of the order page and everything until you’re done. Never leave your credit card number hanging because you don’t want to say no seven or eight times. They can take that as consent to you wanting all those extra items.
Also, you’ll get friend requests from hot girls or hot guys depending on your gender. 98% of these are phony profiles. Within a week or two they’ll ask for what they came for, a lot of men ask for naked pictures. (insert eyeroll) and many women ask you to help them with their phones so they can continue to talk to you. Of course, most of them have fallen madly in love with you within the first week. My personal favorite thing to do if I feel like playing with them, is wait until they ask for money then request, they send me their naked pictures. They become offended at the idea and ask, “how could I make such a horrible question?” I ask if it made them feel cheap and used, they usually say yes. Mainly because they stole these photos and don’t have nude photos to send. I tell them that’s how I feel when tramps I barely know ask me for money. This effectively ends the relationship, which is the main point.
Main thing to remember is to keep your wits about you. If you get a call, find a reason to disconnect and dial a number you know goes to that institution. The same goes with e-mails, chances are if you didn’t enter in a contest to win something, the awarding company isn’t likely legitimate. Always check email addresses, never use the call back numbers you’re given; always use the numbers you know. Your banks and credit card companies don’t mind, they’d rather you’re safe than sorry as well. Until there is a way to find and prosecute these scammers, we’re going to be stuck with them. So keep yourself educated and if it seems too good to be true, chance are it probably is too good to be true.
© Slate R. Raven, June 2021
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