Earlier this year, two blog posts caught my eye:
First: What Happened to Kindness? It's a good question.
Next: Scammers (one man's experience with scammers trying to trick him). After reading this post, you may never trust anyone again.
What depths are some of our fellow humans capable of sinking to, preying on the elderly and other vulnerable populations (among other crimes against our own species)? We've been warned, with the recent death of my mother in law, about
scammers who will try to send us bills "she owes" or try other tricks to
benefit from our loss.
We were told about obituaries that gave out "too much information" - but identity thieves love them.
Why? Because there are people who use obituaries to steal from the dead and their families.
It's not just the old "burglarize the house of loved ones while they are at the funeral" but outright identity theft. One of the first things we had to do after getting home from the funeral was contact credit bureaus to make sure her credit was frozen and she was marked as "deceased".
Do you need to fill your car's gas tank? A skimmer may steal your credit or debit card information.
Can you depend on anyone, anymore? Even the government warns us about scams (a warning well worth reading, by the way.)
Is this what has happened to kindness? We can't trust anyone in everyday interactions anymore. Even phone numbers and emails aren't what they seem.
My late mother in law was scammed at least once in her life (by a "driveway repairman") and saw through an IRS scam several years ago only because they insisted on her paying "the IRS" with Rite-Aid gift cards. The "IRS agent" knew enough about her late husband to scare her.
I work with someone who witnessed a family member trying to deal with the "grandson" scam - it was so realistic. Turns out the scammers have ways of finding out personal information. That is what happened with my mother in law and the "IRS" - they had personal information on my father in law, who (at that time) had been dead over 10 years.
There are the new Medicare card scams.
Scams targeting those who are victims of recent natural disasters. And it goes on and on.
If you think you are smart, and it can't happen to you - well, it can. I received a scam call from someone pretending to be from my insurance company shortly after my spouse was injured in an accident (perhaps I should blog about that one day). Fortunately, I decided to check into the phone call (it was a message left on my machine) with the insurance company, using their normal customer service number - and their reaction was pretty interesting, too.
Back to the blogger who asked "what happened to kindness" - she now tries to look out for acts of kindness in her everyday life.
Maybe that is what we need to do, too - if not out of self defense, then something enabling us to reconnect with our fellow human beings.
Don't let the bottom dwellers defeat us.
Easier said than done.
Has anyone you know been scammed?