People often like a story about how someone else was scammed. It just makes people feel a little better. The title says I got scammed but really, I scammed myself.
It all started around October of 2012 when a blogger (Journeyman1977) commented on one of my posts. As I usually do when someone comments, I check out their blog. This guy had a fascinating story about his life that also made you feel sympathetic for him. He wrote about how he was framed in Sri Lanka by his family member and had to spend 17 months in a shithole jail. While having posted bail and awaiting trial he made a decision to flee and become a fugitive. His plan was to arrange an escape to France or America where he has citizenship.
During his time spent hiding from the authorities he started a blog and wrote constantly on his blog and others. It seemed so fitting as he had so much time on his hands with limited options. His followers grew immensely as did the heartfelt comments of support for his situation. Many followers including myself were there for every step of his journey through despair, alcoholism, betrayal, ptsd and hope. His comments always appeared genuine as did his reasons for blogging and interacting.
Fast forward to about March of this year and a blog post he had published described a man who was alone on the streets with no funds and losing all hope to be able to ward off capture in the very near future. This is where I go retarded. I wanted to help this person as his story seemed genuine. This is why I say I scammed myself. There was no pleading for a donation of any sort but I took it upon myself to offer a bit of money to him. My philosophy was that I’m not financially starving so if I can, why shouldn’t I help someone out who needs it. He gladly accepted and was very appreciative. I sent him $250 through Western Union…the #1 preferred method of scammers.
It was not much longer after this when things just started to not make sense. He got greedy and so did his story. I’m leaving a lot out cause it would take me forever to give you all the details. With contact through instant messaging via smartphone his stories began to not make sense and mostly revolved around situations where he needed more money. I refused as it didn’t seem genuine anymore. Once I fully realized I was taken for a ride I ceased communication. His whole story was a lie.
So what was the his whole motive from the beginning? I think it was to get attention. He thinks he’s an aspiring writer who decided to test out the waters on WordPress. Every person he deceived was another pat on the back for him and his ego. It wasn’t that his story was so tight and refined that made it believable. It was the hearts of his readers that made it believable cause if any of us thought with our brains instead of our hearts we would have written him off right away.
Believe it or not I’m not as embarrassed about getting frauded in this fashion as one probably would be. I can definitely understand how anyone reading this would think I’m a totally stupid and a naive person. I don’t blame you. Looking back I can think of 2 dozen things that made no or not much sense. It was an unbelievable story to begin with. I think another reason why many of us bought into this guy’s story is that we didn’t think a person would actually take so much time and effort to fabricate a fraudulent story for months and dedicate so much energy deceiving others on WordPress. It was a full time job for him to make up stories, read blogs and to comment on them as well. He told a tale of an ex-military soldier, aspiring writer, fugitive that wanted nothing from blogging but just a way to vent and reach out. In reality he’s just a bottom of the barrel person from a 3rd world country that can’t get any attention with his writing without being a fraud. He talks about how ashamed he feels for his father about how he turned out. I’m sure your father is proud of you now. The worst kind of person is one who takes away from the world, leaving it a shittier place than if he wasn’t born at all.
The $250 doesn’t affect me much. The thought of what I could have done with it instead crosses my mind. Of course I think about what I could have purchased for myself but I also think about how I could have given it to someone who really needed it. I could have given $25 to 10 homeless people. $10 to 25 homeless people. I could have even given it to someone who wasn’t even homeless! Anything would have been better.
The only thing more amazing to me than getting scammed $250 is that I allowed the opportunity for it to happen. This is not something I ever thought I would ever do. Give money to someone that I don’t know in another country for a cause that I can’t even be sure is real? At least when a bum off the street is bullshitting me for money, I can be pretty sure that he at least needs it. It’s not like one of those stories you hear about someone getting scammed off a dating website or from ebay. In those situations people are expecting something in return or their greed got the better of them. I expected nothing. I just wanted to help a guy out who I thought was in a real shit situation. I guess this guy was part of my community at the time and I must have been in a spiritual mood. I fucked up and my guess is that I won’t forget this ever. Suspicions and a scar will always come to mind before doing anything charitable for a stranger again. But then again I doubt there will be another situation as retarded as this so I shouldn’t be so jaded. I’ll take it as another life lesson. I’m out $250 so the least I can do is get a story out of it.