Friends, the scammers are becoming cleverer and conniving every day; inventing and re-inventing. We think we are so smart, but we are so very vulnerable. Just about the time we have it all figured out, the rule book changes.
Many years ago, books were written and future prognostications were made that we would one day lose our privacy; conversely, our freedom. We would become numbers, and “big brother” would know everything about each of us, tracking our every move. Thanks to the amazing technology of today, this is no longer just a dream.
It’s a nightmare!
First Social Security numbers were issued. We guarded them carefully. Then, drivers’ licenses boldly printed those same sacrosanct numbers on the front of the card. Now, these numbers are removed, but too late. That bag of cats escaped from the bag long ago.
Next came the profusion of credit cards, coinciding with scanners matched to our name and personal information; the internet social media; Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and on and on.
If you are not a Facebook-er, there is a communication on FB called “messenger.” Friends can be “friended” by invitation, and become a part of that communiqué. It’s convenient because one can message friends and family from any place on the globe.
Three days ago, an old high school friend popped up on my messenger. “Hi Annie,” she said. “Jan! What’s up?” I responded! I hadn’t heard from her in eons.
“Hey have you heard about the ongoing Such and Such empowerment foundation?” She proceeded to tell me that it is helping the people in the country with funds to pay bills, rents, start a business, get a home, and so on.
Well, I didn’t want to be rude. What’s this about? We have many more interesting things to talk about than this! She explained how she received a lump sum of $50,000 because she enrolled on the “such and such” online application through an agent, giving his name. She told me she was going to start a business.
That’s when my “dumb-dumb” bell went off in my head. Jan wouldn’t start a business. She is 77 years old!!
The con game continued, how I could apply on line, get my enrollment package, and blah, blah, blah. (Of course there would be a fee. I wasn’t hanging around that long to find out!)
How she got into my “messenger” and tapped into my friends, I will never know nor have the brains to figure out. A privacy issue again.
Finally, after patiently enduring her as long as I could bear, I asked her, “I was so sorry to hear of your loss. What was his name again?”
She came undone.
“Why you asking and telling me this right now? Yes. He was great man”, she answered.
“Because,” I typed. “I am on to you. I am so sorry that you are so poor and hungry that you have to do this for a living, cheating innocent people!”
I added then, “I reported you. Your English is poor.”
She answered. “You must be silly for telling me my English is poor.”
I typed, “I have known this person for many years. She does not need money, and she is 77 years old. She would never start a business!”
She argued with me! The crook was peeved!
She: “Then do what I would do. Spend it lavishly”
This cheating, lying, manipulating, privacy stealer, had the nerve to discuss her obvious crooked lifestyle choices with me? Then she called my cell. Eastern jabber was going on in the background. I thought, “Boy, you people! I am going to warn all my readers!”
They don’t give up. They are still trying to contact me through this old friend’s name on Messenger.
Watch out. Don’t send anyone any money. Don’t believe them.
It is obvious that we are the hunted; the prey.
Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at email@example.com or juditabler@awomansview.