I read recently in an AARP publication, and then again on Next Door, that there are bad people who are taking advantage of us in new and inventive ways. I think scammers are kind of like the people who sell umbrellas in metropolitan areas like New York City and Rome. A few drops of rain, and within minutes, the streets are full of people offering umbrellas at a ridiculously high price.
Scammers, like umbrella salespeople, react quickly to whatever tragedy is happening in the world. As soon as the word PANDEMIC hit the air waves, people were apparently getting phone calls or email messages about the coronavirus. We have a cure. We have masks for sale. We have an herbal vaccine. We have toilet paper. I’m happy that I never got such a call. Not because I would have fallen for it, but because it would have made me so angry.
The ink wasn’t even dry on the legislation that created the economic stimulus package, whereby many Americans received loot to use to stimulate the economy, before the scammers were making phone calls again. Give us your account number and we’ll invest your money and make you a millionaire. Someone got your check instead of you, but we can fix it if you give us all of your personal banking information. I’ve got some swamp land in Florida I will sell you.
I am very careful about texts and emails that I get. In fact, I don’t answer my telephone if it’s a number I don’t recognize. I always figure if it’s legit, they will leave a message and I can call them back. Also, my email provider does a cracker jack job at recognizing spam. Oh, they get it wrong once in a while. Poor Café Rio can’t get a break from Comcast. But mostly they get it right.
I checked my spam folder yesterday, and learned that someone named Daniel Sullivan was alerting me to the fact that the government discovered they owe me $4.7 million dollars. What a boo-boo. Unfortunately for me, a woman named Annette Stillman was masquerading as me and trying to get my money. The nerve. However, Mr. Sullivan smelled a rat and was going to foil Ms. Stillman’s efforts. He wanted me to give him my bank information so that they can deposit my riches into my account leaving poor old Annette penniless.
Here was the first paragraph of the email, verbatim:
We apologies for the delay of your payment and all the inconveniences we might put you through, while we were having some minor problems with our payment system which in all case not meeting up with fund beneficiary payments, we apologize once again.
Obviously, I was totally unconcerned about the fact that the sentence made no sense, nor did it contain any punctuation at all. Bankers, after all, are left-brained and worry about dollars and cents and not commas and correctly spelled words. Ha!
Seriously, these people are evil. But they are also stupid. I know there are, sadly, people who fall for these scams. But I am puzzled by anyone who can read the above paragraph and not stop and wonder.
I’m letting my $4.7 million go unclaimed.