So recently I got hooked on watching American Greed, Con and few other documentaries of that genre. I heard often about some of these shows but never really got into it until recently. Greed seems to be a really common objective. Scam and fraud seem to be a common occurrences nowadays. I can’t speak for everyone however little bit of greed can’t be that bad can it?
Little bit of greed to be more, to have more, to achieve more. But greed as a driving force to take from others well that’s not acceptable. Wanting more in life is not a bad thing but stealing or cheating to have more in life, well that’s just crossing a line. After all I still believe we live in land of opportunities.
Scammers and victims
From all the episodes of all the American Greed, Con and similar shows one of the worst ones that stayed with me is Martin Shkreli. This scum increased the price of a medication that helped millions of people. Now from business standpoint he might not have done anything illegal but from humanity stance he is the devil.
Another one really stuck with me is Elizabeth Holmes. This woman promised a groundbreaking revolution in medical science. The length she went to deliver what she had promised to the public and the investor, it’s actually horrifying.
The greed of wanting more no matter what it does to others is criminal. Personally I feel most of us want more out of life but I want to earn it. As the New England Patriots coach says there’s no shortcut to greatness. Well same principle for success, at least I am naive enough to believe that.
Well I am sure all of you have seen these individuals and their con on the news, social media etc. What bothers me the most is their absence of remorse and lack of compassion. Not just them, there are so many high profile scammers and con artists simply denied or chose not to accept any responsibility.
Pain of the victimization
Few years back I had been searching for a new career opportunity. Linkedin, Indeed, Ziprecruiter pretty much every job site I searched and applied. And one day my prayers were answered, at least that’s what I thought. Better salary, a great title I was on cloud 9. I turned in my two weeks’ notice. On my last day I found out the new job offer was a scam. The scammer had me cash checks through my account for expenses. Over $5 k worth of checks bounced. I felt too humiliated to stay at my current job, so with no career prospect I left. In hindsight it was not a smart move but at the time I was ashamed of how naive and clueless I was. I called the authorities, but it didn’t lead to anything.
What I had been through is nothing compared to what many have gone through with their life savings, health, business and more.
Do your research
One thing I regret not doing is research before jumping at the prospect of a better career. Guess what? Now I do. So, from my humbling perspective I hope everyone of you do the same. Even ample research may not give you everything you need to know but you would know more than you did if that makes sense?
I’m not sure if there would ever be a full proof approach to eliminate all scams however being proactive could help our odds. Scammers have a rather systematic way to target their victims, so we should be systematic to counter it. “Ask questions”, yes working in financial sector I learned individuals who ask many questions make more informative decision.
If your research leaves you with more questions than answers, well that might be a red flag.
Don’t feel embarrassed
Remember, assuming someone is not a scammer is not a flaw. It only means you are a decent and trusting individual. If you were taken advantage of, it’s the scammer who found a way to use decency against you. If and when you realize you have been a victim of a scam inform the authorities. Talk to friends and family you trust to be reliable source of advice. You might come across someone who has been through the same situation, and you could ask for their insight.
More and more we rely upon technology and internet. Which gives bad actors with nefarious objective target a wider range of victims. So, scam and fraud are far more common than we might think. Especially around the holidays scammers are on high gear. So use caution. No matter what under no circumstances divulge any personal or sensitive information without confirming who you are speaking with.
Furthermore, during this recent crisis in globally be extra vigilant against any online scam or fraud.