Stop Being The Victim!
Scams – most of us have been scammed. You might prefer swindled, cheated or betrayed. It has happened to the majority of us at one point or another in our lives. These episodes usually involve a close friend, relative, a lover, a neighbourhood con artist or even a fraudulent pastor. Yes, you read correctly – pastor, minister of religion.
Scammers. That is a word that my writing assistant does not recognise. So the red squiggly line appears beneath, screaming “warning, incorrect spelling or no such word exists.” Seems to me that there is a need for a similar “squiggly” warning to pop up when some answer their telephones or read their emails.
Many of the stories you read about people being scammed, hoodwinked, bamboozled have as the ‘victims’ the elderly. Seniors living on relatively meager monthly income seem an easy target. Their savings account balance, if they have one, is meant to cover the rest of their years here on Earth. Those who all prey to scams will find those accounts empty. It is no wonder that so many precautions are being put into place now as a vast majority are now doing this online, even e-commerce businesses are being put onto a MATCH list (Member Alert to Control High-Risk Merchants), and Online sellers never want to end up on the MATCH list, that is why businesses need to be scrupulous with their accounts to make sure that nothing can get through their security putting them and customers at risk. Cracking down on scams is a priority, that is why everyone must be vigilant, whether selling or buying.
Scams Targets: Gullible Seniors or Desperate?
When this was first written a couple of years ago, world economies were still floundering. Inflation, low-interest rates, and many economies were struggling across the world. You could understand why Great Grand Aunt Sue was susceptible to scams. She might have been tempted to believe the nice-sounding young man who was so kind enough to tell her she won the lottery.
Grand Aunt did not buy a ticket – so she really ought not to have a chance at winning. Call it dementia, and I am not being unkind here, having led a sheltered life and believing that only goodness resides in all human hearts, Grand Aunt could not be convinced that she did not win.
Oops, there goes the end days money!
Sad, regrettable and unfortunate as that is – it happens every day. So many news reports, Internet stories, children, and friends beseech and try to warn us about these scams. Yet, so many still get scammed as they:
- Look for the love of their lives
- Seek the pot of gold
- Want to get rich, and real quick
- Try to hatch a larger nest egg
Dating, Phone, Social Media, and Fake Business Scams
Being a single woman and getting up in age to boot, women like me are prime targets for these scammers. If you have used or consider giving online dating a try, you must have read the many warning and tips how to spot scammers.
However, scams are not perpetuated on the lonely hearts alone, granted women seem more vulnerable. Back in 2010, The Guardian newspaper published some findings from a study on this very subject. Trying to understand the profile of online scam victims, an online advice site cexperimened with that involved more than 2,000 British online consumers. The aim was to measure “their ability to spot and respond appropriately to seven online scam scenarios. The tests ranged from identifying fake Facebook pages to testing how people respond to competition scams or the sale of counterfeit goods online.”
Although this experiment was over five years ago, something tells me that even today the results might very well be the same!
In six out of the seven tests, the most likely demographic to fail was women. Of those women who failed, they were most likely to come from the 25-34 age group (the most likely age demographic to fail in three out of seven tests) However, the demographic of the most likely “victim” did depend on the scam type. Read more.
Sucker for Pain? Naivety? Denial?
What confounds me is that there are people who fall hook, line and sinker for the same scam twice! How is that possible? Why would you send money, talk on the phone, respond to emails from someone having the same profile in terms of technique, type of conversation and basic approach as the person who scammed you before?
My personal situation with anything is this: “Once bitten, twice shy.”
By no measure would one call me gullible but fooled – in love and money – I have been. Business ventures have gone sour because of the dishonest approach of should-have-been partners. Relationships died as my resources dried up or my refusal to go along with a scheme. As street smart as I think I am, even recently someone tried to trick me into paying for services – related to this new blog site – that he had neither the technical knowledge or skill to deliver. I quickly put an end to that.
Turn the Table On Scammers
How can you turn the table on a wannabe scammer?
From my experience, lots of reading and common sense, these are my three top tips to stop the scammers in their tracks:
- Love yourself so much that you no longer need to seek virtual love
- Open your mind, read, investigate the world, speak to people and educate yourself
- Live within your current means as you work or create the means to earn more
In other words, L.O.L at those who would like to take advantage of you due to your age, your marital status, your kind nature or your seeming circumstances in life. Once you are in love with yourself, live within your current means as you create an expanded life on your terms, and keep informed and in touch with the world around – it will be very hard for a scammer to successfully target you.
Have you every been scammed? Know someone who has been? Do share your experiences in the comments below. Also, share this post with your friends, especially those who might be prime targets for scammers.
Have a great week!