I once had a romance scam – pulled on me. But I didn’t fall for it. And I wrote about these – on this blog:
Well, recently I started corresponding with a female friend – on Facebook. I’ll change the name and location, to protect her identity. Let’s call her Mary Kate Danaher from Ireland. And you might have guessed it. This is really a fiticious woman, in the John Wayne movie – The Quiet Man.
Anyway, Mary fell for this man, on a popular, social media platform. And It was a fake Colonel Richard Kemp. His real website is Richard Kemp. And in case you think it’s the first time, type in the keywords “Colonel richard Kemp scam”. And you find some forums, talking about this particular romance scam. Anyway, this scammer asked for money – for a sick child. And money for someone kidnapped by ISIS. And Mary fell, for a fake person.
What is the difference between Mary and me? I was a peace corps volunteer, in Liberia, West Africa. And I lived among all kinds of rascals. And they tried to scam me – all the time. So I learned a lot. That’s not to say I can’t get scammed. It’s just much harder to do.
What should Mary have done? Well, the main thing is insist on a video chat first, via some media like Skype, WhatsApp or Google Hangouts. A fake Richard Kemp can’t really look, like the real McCoy. Unless they have good costume artists and voice technology. And I doubt that they, will go through all the trouble.
Here’s one example Mary wrote me about:
Please try to bring out the money part and the promise to repay it I have with me the letter signed by the guy and the fake receipt of the Ghana hospital where 36000 dollars were spent on the child.
What would I have done? Call the Ghana hospital myself. See if this person was even a patient there. A receipt is easy to forge.
There were other scammers – posing under the famous assumed name. Actually, Mary encountered 3 or 4 – each claiming to be, the “real” Colonel Richard Kemp. And this is very important. Each is asking for money, for some story you might read, in a comic book. And they are probably still out there – scamming people.
The red flag is when someone you don’t know – requests money. Unless you know the person personally…and have met them and interacted with them over time…don’t do it.
It’s like a discussion I got into – via a forum. Part of which centers around fake news.
Fake news is like scams. Suppose i get a call, from the IRS. They say I owe some back taxes. They will take me away in handcuffs, if I don’t pay via debit card.
Well, I never heard of this. And the IRS normally sends several letters – by mail first.
Now I can’t find this IRS procedure, on either social media or a Google search. So it’s fake news. And costly too – if I send the phony IRS agent some money.
Now I read a supermarket tabloid story. It says Trump took a ride – in a UFO. Well, I don’t buy into it. But if ALL supermarket tabloids, were running variations of the same story. Guess what? I might say, it’s in the realm of possibility.
Same goes for a story, in the New York times, CNN, etc. If one station or newspaper runs it – it’s probably fake news. But if everybody runs it (including the international news sources – like the BBC). Guess what? It’s within the realm of possibility.
What I look at – is this. The number of news sources (both nationally and internationally), are reporting variations of the same story. Meaning they are approaching, a bell shaped curve. Which means that both liberal and conservative news bodies, should be fact checking it.
It’s now a part of my framework. Or my existential, phenomenological perspective.
If later some fact or aspect, renders the story incoherent – guess what? I alter my framework or my existential, phenomenological perspective – ever so slightly.
And for learning what goes on, via the Dark Web. I follow Dark Web News.
Let’s end on a lighter note. With a recent sharing, from the Sunil Bali blog.
$95 million dollars has been found in a flat in Nigeria.
The poor guy spent the last 10 years trying to share it, but no one responded to his emails.