I read an article, linked to below, written by a young lady regarding how she fell for a USPS Smishing scam. She may have learned some lessons, but unfortunately, I don’t feel she learned the most important one. I emailed her. My comments to her in that email are below the link. I hope she takes them in the loving spirit in which they’re given.
Haven, I read your article. Clearly you learned some lessons. Unfortunately, I think you missed the most important one.
You didn’t so much fall for a scam as you did for the myth that intelligent people don’t fall for scams. I believe the truth is that everyone, given the right time and the right circumstances, can fall for a scam. Absolutely no one is immune. I’m a cybersecurity professional, particularly in the area of website security, and I fell for a Zell scam in 2021, purportedly from my bank & would’ve lost $3500 if the bank hadn’t stopped it.
These ne’er-do-wells know how to take advantage of peoples’ stressors and vulnerabilities. You say you have a 1-year-old. That clearly means you’re sleep-deprived. Plus you work. That’s a lot of stress to be under. Peoples’ brains just don’t work as well as they should under those circumstances.
The myth that only fools get scammed is so damaging because it induces a sort of invincibility in peoples’ minds, as in, they’re not stupid enough to get duped. It also tends to keep them from reporting the crime as well, because, after all, who wants to admit they’re “stupid” enough to have become a scam victim? Indeed, one of the members of my writers’ group said when I posted a piece about nearly becoming a scam victim, “I can’t believe you fell for that, being the security professional you are.” What can you say to that?
Haven, you’re not a fool. You’re human. You’re a working mom, which means you’re stressed and overworked. You need to hear that truth loud and clear. So does your audience. There is no shame in being a victim. The shame is in thinking your stupid or foolish or an idiot. The shame is in not fighting back by reporting it, which you did. Congratulations for doing that. Please somehow let other victims know they’re not fools either. They’re just human, they’ve been hurt, and they need at least to fight back by reporting the crime. And perhaps they can help others as you are.
I’m going to link to your article on my website, scam911.org, and also share my comments to you there. It’s a work in progress. I’m a mom, a grandmom, I have a website hosting, repair, and development business, I’m a writer of songs and stories, and I’m also completely blind now. What all that means, unfortunately, is that scam911 is done in my “free time?”.
I’m so glad to see you’re doing so well for yourself. I lost my eldest daughter when she was your age. It always makes you wonder at times like this what she would’ve been like had she lived.
Please accept my fervent wishes that you be blessed with much joy, health, and success.