Saturday, January 11, 2020

Beware of scammers and crooks

As my grandmother used to say: "to trust is good, not to trust is better."
When I was a child, this sounded to me like something mean to say. Why wouldn't I trust other people?
I thought that as much as I was an honest person, so were other people. 
Oh, the innocence of the age. Quite soon I had to learn that she was right, but not because I needed to believe that people are all evil, and I should protect myself from them. Her teaching was meant to make me think twice before trusting someone's words. 
My father used to say: "Question everything and everybody. Use your brain to understand whether you can trust someone or not."
His invitation was just to push my emotions a bit on the back burner and think rationally before deciding whether to believe what people told me. The message was clear to use my brain with as few biases as possible.
He would include even himself within those not to be trusted. As I grew up, I understood what he meant.

The Internet era brought great advantages to everybody, access to fast information, news from the world in real-time. However, it also increased exponentially the risk to fall in the net of those scammers, attention-seekers, and shady people.

The examples are many, but there was one recently that grabbed the attention of many authors I am in touch with. 
I am talking about a person who back in the years I have friended, and I have also hired as editor, for my second novel.

She took an insane amount of time to do the job (which also needed to be redone by another editor I have hired).
She justified herself telling that she was going through difficult times and had serious health issues. I didn't have any chance to put into practice what my father said, and I trusted her words. She started to put on funding requests to pay for medical treatments. Recalling the teaching of my father and grandmother, I never sent money without proper proof to anyone, so I never participated in her fundraising campaigns. I have my way to do charity, and I stick to that plan.

Now, recently it came out that all her fundraising campaigns were nothing else but a scam. I feel sorry for those who generously sent money, trusting in the honesty of other people who, like her, are abusing of the good heart of those willing to help.

I personally think that people like that, not only abuse of the generosity and goodwill of the others to help, but also cast a shadow of doubt over those who honestly seek help. This is probably the worst consequence of their actions.

It is like laughing at those who really have problems and might need the help of a community around them to get them solved.

I hope that people will understand that scamming is not going to pay, and in the long run, those lies will come to the surface. Maybe there will be someone who will also take legal actions against those scammers. The problem is that many times those belong to fake accounts that are not easily traceable, making it a lost war.

My only advice is, that of taking the wisdom of the elderly people as a treasure and trust, but not trust until you can have tangible proof.

That said, I wish you a great weekend from the (unbelievably) sunny, Helsinki.

1 comment:

  1. You grandmother had it right. Of course there are many decent people in this world, but there are also those who are only out for their own best interest. It doesn't hurt to be skeptical and verify. Once burned, twice warned. I like the saying: "fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." I am so sorry that you were taken advantage of by this person. Hopefully, karma will win in the end.


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