Saturday, August 19, 2017

Is the quality of our scams falling?

I have heard of confidence men and scam artists of old.  They are still around but maybe the quality of the pitch has fallen.  Maybe, on the other hand, we are still too gullible to withstand the dangers that lurk today.

I have heard of an elderly woman getting a call that informed her that her beloved grandson had been arrested in a far-away country and needed a couple of thousand dollars for bail.  She is reported to have replied,"Well, I don't have a grandson but I'd like to help out."  The story did not go on the reveal just what happened after that.  Seems possible that a wily older woman might have found way to involve the police in quashing the practice.

I still wonder about how clearly scammers are thinking these days.  I got a message from somebody identified only by a first and last name that I didn't recognize.  The message said,"It is very important that you call this number immediately."

What kind of scam is that?  C'mon!  At least we should be able to muster decently made scams!  Suppose a guy comes up to you on the street and says,"Psst - call me immediately".  You never saw him before.  Are you going to call?  Is it even as likely that you will call if you get an anonymous, unsolicited email from somebody you never heard of that you should call this number? No wonder that scamming is a dying occupation.  

You might think "What harm can making a call do?"  Maybe none but in general if crooks are involved, I don't like to cooperate in any way.  I have heard of a scam where a voice asks if they are speaking to ---------------.  The Yes voice answer got recorded and then got misused to agree to some misbehavior or dishonest charge.  I realize it is hard to make a dollar these days, much less enough dollars to make a decent living.  But I still think what with the failures, the exposures, the bunco squads, there is not a promising future in swindling.  Sure, your occasional unusual person is going to make out ok but in general, there are better lines of work.

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