Monday, May 2, 2016

Feeding Greed

May 2, 2016

Whether it's the blackjack table, the slot machines, or government-sanctioned lottos, the one thing they have in common is suckers greedy for a quick buck. Every so often when the jackpot really starts to grow, the lines at the checkouts grow with them, every one of them holding "a dollar and a dream," except it's usually more than one dollar, and the dream is usually more of a nightmare. It's one thing for a private individual or corporation to be in the business of swindling people, but when the government gets its fingers in the pot, it's usually the most vulnerable who are victimized. Then there are the ever-present scams that come to us over the phone and now even the internet.

Again, the common denominator is desperate people looking for a quick buck. A few days ago I posted an ad on Craigslist for a plow that fits an 8N tractor. Within hours I had a text message telling me to pull the ad, because he was instructing his assistant to send a check with an extra $50 even, so I would hold it for him. The spelling and grammar were a bit odd, which put me on my guard, but when I got a second message telling me that his assistant accidentally wrote the check out for more money than he should have, and that after taking my money out I should send the overage back to him, the red flags started waving like a military parade in Moscow.

Today I received an almost identical email from another source telling me that a check was on its way, and asking me to pull the ad. Now tell me, what would you do? I'll tell you what I did. I sent back an email informing him that I don't do scams. I haven't figured out where the catch is, but I know it's there. Proverbs 15:27 says, "He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house." None of these scams would work if people weren't greedy for just a little more. Money has a way of blinding us to reality, causing us to do really stupid stuff. There's a reason why the Scripture tells us that the love of money is the root of all evil. I am grateful tonight to have a Biblical foundation that provides wisdom to keep me from falling into traps such as these. I know too many people who should have passed on deals too good to pass up. I wonder how many more of these offers I'll get, and if there is anyone who genuinely wants my plow. I know this much: anyone who has an assistant who writes checks for them probably hasn't a clue as to what an 8N is, and has no use for a snow plow to begin with. I don't think there's much snow in Nigeria.

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