My project: 365 Creative Writing Prompts
Day 165: Elizabeth Ray – scam artist
You probably pride yourself on being smart, but how smart are you really? Can you spot a scam?
Yesterday, I was approached by Gloria Allendorfer-Anderson on Facebook who told me that she was awarded a grant of $50,000 and that I might be eligible too. All I had to do was get in touch with Elizabeth Ray (email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Just for fun I sent Elizabeth an email and of course she let me know that I was eligible for a $50,000 grant too. I knew right away that I was dealing with a scam artist, but I decided to have some fun with her.
When she asked for my name, address, phone number and monthly income I gave her bogus information and when she wanted to know whether I wanted the $50,000 in cash or with a cheque, I opted for a cheque.
Then came the kicker … in order for the money to be delivered to me by UPS she wanted $1,000. Yeah, right, like I was going to send a complete stranger that much money.
I played along and said that I would send her the money. She suggested that I go to Walgreens or a CVS store. When I told her that no such store is in my neighborhood, she suggested I transfer the money via Western Union.
I suggested that I pay her directly to her bank account, but she was having none of that. If she gave me that information, it would be very easy for the police to track her down.
Not that tracking her down is much of a problem for those who know how. With her I.P. address they have her in a matter of minutes if not seconds.
This kind of scam, or shall I say all kinds of deceit makes me mad though. Generally, people work hard for their money and then a scam artist like Elizabeth Ray comes along and steals folks' hard earned cash. She herself probably probably never has done a day's work. She spends her time sending people emails and hoping that they fall for her scam. If only five people a day believe her nonsense, that's $5,000 for a few hours of 'work'.
I might not have a Harvard degree, but I’m smart enough to spot a scam a mile away. Unfortunately, scammers are smart too.
In the case of Elizabeth Ray, she will change her name and her email address and bamboozle who knows how many more people.
In conclusion … be wary of Elizabeth Ray and her partner in crime Gloria Allendorfer-Anderson, they might even be one and the same person.
If you keep the following in mind, you should be safe:
Never trust that a stranger wants to give you money. Nobody is going to give you money out of the goodness of their heart.
Never give your real name, address or phone number to a stranger.
Never trust a stranger who wants you to use Western Union as a money courier.
And last but not least … if something seems too good to be true … it usually is.