Saturday, March 27, 2010

What? Me Scammed?

Bit nervous about this. Apprehensive, too. But I have to write it as it will be of use to you if you are in a similar situation, which as the internet expands is very likely. If it can happen to a net-savvy (or, so I presume), techno-geek, such as me (har, har!) then it can happen to you also.

It came as an innocuous offer. I didn't initiate it, they did, from whatever source, I don't know. The salary was a fantastic GBP 4,200 a month, with allowances adding up to GBP 2200 a month. The job was of an au pair teacher for a child aged 4 only for four hours a day five days of the week in Scotland. Heaven. I was tempted; naturally I would even die for that kind of pay. I did the usual research. The address actually exists, the email was genuine. (I know that emails can be re-directed, but that didn't hit me in the money-minded brain [yes, I have been accused of this, people. But a man with a child in college lives a tenuous existence teetering on the edge of bankruptcy; you know, fees, private tuitions, and all. If you are one, you will know.].) By now I was panting and salivating like a hound dog on the trail of the prey. Was this the big break? Was this my nest egg? Of course, being a bit gullible I believed the emails. I should say I was totally taken in. I was dreaming of the glens of Scotland, the, sort of, impressions I would make of being from India - an ancient civilization. The courtesies I would display to impress. I had willingly suspended disbelief and discretion. I was being led by the hand into, I don't know what. I was walking on air for a few hours.

Hm. And then…

Read on. Then, being the wary and careful sort, I googled everything. And this is what I found. I couldn't believe it. Gullible me, sucker me. How depressing it sounded. I found the same words were repeated verbatim, the same mistakes in the scam warning as in the communications I had received. But look at the ingenuity, the unscrupulousness, the willingness to cheat deliberately, to emotionally blackmail people. It's the age of scams and scamsters, caution is advised.

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