By Dr. James L. Snyder
Scams have become the norm of our culture today. If it weren’t for Alexander Graham Bell, we wouldn’t have all of these scams today. Thanks Alex.
These scams go from car warranties to Medicare benefits, and they’re probably just getting started.
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage gets very agitated when these calls come. They show up on our phone as a scam. As soon as it shows up on our phone, she yells, “That’s a scam. Don’t you dare answer it?”
By the time I heard what she said, I had already answered the phone. So, I like to take advantage of these scam calls. After all, it’s my phone, I pay the bill, so it should also be my choice.
For example, when they asked me in the beginning how I was, I said, “Okey-Dokey.” I don’t know what this means, but they hang up immediately as soon as some hear that phrase. When it first happened, I couldn’t have been happier. So, “Okey-Dokey” is part of my scam to those scammers.
Then when some Medicare scam comes through, one thing they ask is how old I am. So one time I said, “I feel like I’m 87.” They said that I don’t qualify and hung up immediately.
I didn’t say I was 87, just that I feel 87. So now I have another response to these scammers.
I am building up of repertoire of responses to these scammers. I had to sit down and think a little bit in the beginning and ask myself, is it okay to lie to liars? I guess it depends on your definition of a lie.
Unlike many people, especially those in my house, I don’t get aggravated when I see a scam call on the phone. I just get ready to go nose to nose with them.
I’m not sure how these people get through a day of calling; I don’t think I could make it. But I am happy to respond as much as possible.
Then something strange happened last week. My idea is that I’m not going to say something is a scam until it turns out to be a scam. After all, it might be real.
The call I got last week was from the government. Our government has selected 1700 people to receive a free $9,000 grant. Something I don’t have to pay back and can use for whatever I want.
My immediate response was this is a scam. After all, good old Uncle Sam would never do anything to scam anybody. They don’t call it a scam; they call it taxes. But that’s a different story.
I listened to the proposal and thought it was a scam. So why would the government want to give me a $9,000 grant that I didn’t have to pay back?
Being curious, I listen to the whole presentation. After all, what if it isn’t a scam?
I had qualified for this $9,000 grant, and the young lady on the phone wanted to work out how they could send me that money. Do I want it in cash or deposited in my bank account?
There’s no way I will give them my bank information over the phone. So, I said, “I’ll take it in cash, please.”
She asked me where the nearest Western Union was so she could send me the money. I told her where the nearest one was and then she gave me the information I needed to go there and collect my money. I wrote down all the information I needed.
I hung up the phone and did a bit of laughing.
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage came in and asked me what I was laughing about. I told her about the phone call and how the government would send me a $9,000 grant through Western Union. Then I laughed heartily and told her I thought it was a scam, thinking she would agree.
She stared at me with both hands on her hips and said very seriously, “What if it isn’t a scam? What if it’s true?”
I was a little setback by her response because if anybody is skeptical about anything, it is her. She can smell a scam three days before it arrives.
And then she said something quite strange, “What would you do with $9,000?”
I just chuckled and went back to my office to work. But I was bothered by that phrase, “What would you do with $9,000?” Suddenly, I began thinking of what I could do with that kind of money.
What if this wasn’t a scam? What if I did qualify for this money? These and other thoughts rolled through my mind for the next hour.
Then the idea came to my mind, what if this was real? What do I have to lose if I go and find out if it’s real or not?
The Western Union was a couple of blocks down the road, and it wouldn’t take me long to go and check out this scam. If it’s a scam, I’ve only lost two blocks of time, and if it isn’t a scam, it’s worth investigating.
Walking back from Western Union with no grant money, I thought of a Bible verse.
Ecclesiastes 7:5, “It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.” It’s better to have empty pockets than an empty head.