You get these generous offers all the time via email, from folks you have never met. The offer is usually from some high-ranking government official or bank executive living in Nigeria or some other African nation. The offer states that this person has come in possession of a huge amount of money and has chosen of all persons, YOU, to share this windfall. They need your assistance to move millions of dollars to the United States and are willing to share a sizeable portion of this bounty with you in exchange for your assistance.
The proposition is so simple, so easy, requires nothing much from you and promises so much. Literally it is an offer you can’t refuse with nothing to lose and so much to gain. Sure we all could use a couple extra hundred thousand dollars. Your thoughts wander into fantasyland, a new car, renovate the house, and pay off all those bills, oh yes, that money would surely come in handy. In addition, you will be helping some “poor” person whose life is threatened to escape an evil and oppressive regime.
Snap back to reality and hit the delete button. This is a scam, and only a fool would fall for that kind of trickery, so you continue at your boring job, as common sense prevails and you see it for exactly what it is, a feeble attempt to separate you from your hard earned dollars. This is the modern day version of the “three card man” or the myriad versions of trickery con-men use to take money from the unsuspecting or greedy individual.
It is amazing how many people are tricked and lose hard-earned money to con-men who utilize these scams. Usually it is the elderly whose main motivation at times is to help the person with the proposed problem or sometimes they see it as an opportunity to enrich themselves, as they struggle to cope with monthly bills on their retirement income. Mostly though it is the person who sees the opportunity to “get rich quick” and in the process end up losing. We hear little about these as most times the victims are embarrassed to go public as they realize just how foolish they have been.
Everyone likes to get a good deal, everyone likes to get something for nothing, but greed plays a big part of why so many people throw common sense aside and allow themselves to be taken for an expensive ride. The unsettling fact is that such ploys are not only used by the sleazy con-man in Nigeria. The con-game is played by high-paid advertising executives on Madison Avenue, who use slick glossy advertising and play on words to take your hard-earned dollar from you by selling products which do not deliver as they are touted. These are more dangerous than the high-ranking government official who solicits your assistance via email.
Eddy Edwards is host of Caribbean Riddims aired on WTPS 1080 am every Saturday 3-6 pm in South Florida. Visit his website at www.caribbeanriddims.com