Sunday, March 24, 2019

A New Grift

     Among my many faults, just now this one is uppermost in my thoughts: Most of my life I’ve been excessively willing to believe in the goodness of other people, and perhaps I still am today. This has occasionally cost me heavily. But at age 67, my skepticism about the motives of others might finally be adequate to protect me against the more transparent scams.

     However, there’s a new scam in town, and it’s important that my male readers know about it. (I don’t think there’s an equivalent one targeting women…yet.) It works through the social media sites, and it goes like this:

  1. A young, attractive woman – typically she’ll represent herself as between the age of 25 and 34 – signs up for your social media site.
  2. She posts one post: a very attractive picture “of herself.”
  3. Shortly thereafter she sends you a “friend request.” You accept, because why not?
  4. She direct-messages you to start a conversation.
  5. The two of you exchange a few pleasantries.
  6. She invites you to join her on WhatsApp or Google Hangouts.
  7. If you join her there, she chats you up a little further, usually with some flattery.
  8. THE SCAM EMERGES: She tells you she needs an Amazon gift card worth $10 or $20.

     I’ve been approached by four such scammers in the past three days. Please, take this seriously:

She’s not sincere.
She wants nothing but your money.
Why else would she chat you up, eh, hero?

     I think the reason they like WhatsApp and Google Hangouts is that those two facilities permit simultaneous conversations with multiple targets. That allows them to copy and paste from one chat window to another, reducing the amount of ingenuity they must exercise in their come-ons.

     Be smart. They’re grifters. In all probability the photos they post are fakes. They don’t need; they want. And what they want isn’t your rugged good looks or your chiseled masculine body.

     You have been warned.

8 comments:

Cederq said...

Well now I am heart broken. I was hoping I could rekindle my love life with a girl of my dreams from a social media site...

Ragin' Dave said...

We might not be their perfect target. But a young man full of hormones who has a seemingly attractive girl chatting him up online? That's a target rich environment.

I'm lucky to be old enough that my libido no longer has the control it once had, and that control was prior to the internet age.

Sam L. said...

One more reason for me to not do social media. Antisocial media...maybe.

Andrew Pryzant said...

Sometimes they want iphones.

Linda Fox said...

I've known several men who've been conned by these grifters.
Stupid?
Nope, just lonely.
Sometimes, we forget just how many men lead lives without much in the way of emotional connections.
If a spouse or other family member dies, they can be quite vulnerable.

Mark Clausen said...

Say it ain't so! The next thing you're probably going to tell me is that the kindly Nigerian prince really doesn't want to share his fortunes with me.... ;)

I am on FB in a limited way -- the only people I have on my friends list are those I have either know (or at least have met in the real world), or those with whom I've had considerable interaction with through other web forums (and those are few in number).

Any friend request from someone I don't know is immediately deleted -- I guess your post explains why some of those friend request appeared to be from cute, young women.

Sorry ladies, but my counter-intelligence training tells me that if some cute, young thing starts chatting me up, it ain't because of my intellect, charm, or rugged good looks. ;)

Sarthurk said...

Facebook is SATAN's workshop.

David Drake said...

It's sad that so many fall for these schemes. I think Linda's point is very relevant: loneliness and lack of emotional connections can really make someone vulnerable to being ripped-off. Too much time spent by people looking at "black mirrors" instead of conversing and interacting with people. Taking advantage of people like is despicable.