It is incomprehensible that some people are so exasperatingly stupid! I was going to say gullible, but stupid is the better choice of adjective, and more appropriate in the circumstances.
It is beyond belief that anyone would be fooled by an email scam that asks you to send money to people whom you do not know. The annual amount of money – and it runs into millions lost to these despicable scammers is astounding, and still people refuse to learn. Every day someone falls victim.
There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind: If something sounds too good to be true, it will almost certainly be, ‘too good to be true’. Remember: the greater the return, the greater the risk.
It has been reported that an Australian, middle-aged man has allowed himself to be scammed of $650,000. It is too sad, but reading the facts of the story there is only one possible conclusion: unadulterated greed, coupled with profound silliness! He is quoted as saying the chance to make so much money, so quickly and so easily, was too good to pass-up. If you are offered a fanciful interest rate, and I repeat, from someone whom you have never met and based in Africa, then there is a one-trillion-to-one possibility that you are going to be relieved of your savings. Robbed! As we know – a fool and his money is soon parted.
How many times do people have to be told? When you receive one of these emails, and they abound, hit the delete button. Do not bother to respond; to open the attachment; or to take any other action than to DELETE the item. They are preparing to steal your money!! It is a financial scam. These people are common, clever thieves, and they are expert at what they do. Have you understood what is being told to you?
As a general rule of thumb, banks do not contact you by email asking for personal or account details; nor does the Australian Tax Office. Take a moment to check the address at the top of the email. We are not talking MENSA. If the address has some other name apart from Telstra, or whomever, then you should be suspicious. They are not going to close-down your email address if you do not you respond. If you have a doubt, call the organisation, or ignore the email. They will contact you again if it is bone fide. Even then you should telephone and check.
The same thing applies to those ‘lonely-hearts’ who go on-line, day-after-day, night-after-night, in the sad, pathetic, vain hope of finding a partner. Do not be duped. These websites are a money making concern for tech-savvy, opportunistic, entrepreneurs. I wager, that those frequenting these websites are looking for the love in all the wrong places. I do not want to seem harsh, but it is safe to say that some tall, ludicrously good-looking, 20-year old male, with body of an Adonis; or some ridiculously curvaceous, blond-haired, longlegged, blue-eyed, full-bosomed 21-year old female, is not going to fall-in-love with a fat, balding, 70-year old man with action-stopping halitosis; or an overweight, short legged, cellulite riddled female with pendulous bosoms. I am not being ageist, racist, or sexist, just brutally realistic. The only thing they want from you is your money, and will, in the long or short term, prove to be the only thing you have in common. Ignore the tear-jerking stories about having some incurable disease and needing money to pay for the operation. It is not true. They will say and do anything to get their hands on your money. The pitiful pleas of: he/she said they loved me; he/she said they wanted to marry me; he/she said they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with me; is a load of horse manure – and that is spelt with a silent ‘b’.
In the same way, if you receive a callfrom an individual claiming to represent the Australian Tax Office, or some other government department, or from your bank, do not be fooled. The simplest solution is to ask them to put the request in writing, and hang-up the receiver. I have a postman’s whistle which leaves the caller with some days of ringing ears.
Many of the victims are the elderly – those who are more easily intimidated, or hoodwinked. If you have a parent, or a relative, who falls into the vulnerable category, then you should talk with them and explain what they need to do in the event of being so contacted. My late mother was a prime candidate whom I had to watch like a hawk. It took some effort, even bullying on my part, but eventually I convinced Beria– for that read ‘harassed’ –not to engage in conversations with random callers, and not to agree to give any money – to anyone, under any circumstances. For someone who had never been a fool about other people, she did, in her later years, become alarmingly trusting of strangers. She was a prime candidate for charity callers asking for donations, which is why such calls should be outlawed in this country.
The world is filled with rogues and thieves. You have to be careful.
By the way – I own a bridge in Sydney which I am trying to sell. It’s going cheap. If you’re interested – let me know!
Roland can be heard each MONDAY morning on 3BA at 10.30.