Beware Of Internet Scams

Lura Zerick

Lura Zerick

I  believe I am an intelligent 84-year-old, with good mental and physical health. I am mobile and able to do all that is necessary. One of my passions is to encourage others near my age to stay active as long as possible. That is a wonderful fact and this helps me to continue my own activities. However, I recently temporarily lost all my ‘common sense’ and fell for a scam —- and this can apparently happen to anyone. Yes, it was too good to be true!

I was informed that I had ‘won’ a large sum of money ($600,000.) in which my name was ‘chosen’ as the winner. I hadn’t even ‘entered’ any contest, which should have been my first clue. I know that soon I must make a decision not to live alone (with a son visiting fairly often) and go to live with one of my other three children. I really don’t want to intrude in their lives; I would prefer to go to an Assisted Living facility. THAT was the reason I sent the fee asked for – so that I might ‘receive’ the check for my winnings , which would pay my assisted living expenses. I was led to believe that was the only requirement for me to be ‘paid’.  NOT SO !!!

I am active on Facebook and email, and this is where this wondrous news came from. I hate to admit that I acted foolishly, but there it is. Since I voluntarily stopped driving at age 80 (trying to be ‘sensible’), I had to find someone to drive me to get a money gram. I sent this to Loretta McE, as I was told by Benny L.C., my ‘Claim Agent’ and the THIRD person who had urged me to send the fee. Initially, I had resisted, not wanting to get ‘taken’ in a scam. With so many EAGER for me to get this check, I fell for it! NOW I am angry at MYSELF!

As soon as I reported that I had sent the $550.  fee, I was informed that in order to get my winnings, I must send ANOTHER FEE, this info from the facebookclaimdept@aol.com – urging me to send $1,500.  MORE  and then my check would be sent IMMEDIATELY to me. That day I also received a letter from Patrick W., from the Diplomatic Office – via the USPS, right in my mailbox at home, reassuring me that my CHECK was REAL AND LEGITIMATE; that he had a Certificate of Authority and when the $1,500  was received, the government would ‘sign on it’ and he would then proceed in the delivery of my check. This ‘letter’ was not dated or signed (the sender’s name was typed) and was very UN-business like. Another clue —–

THIS is where I bowed out — feeling so angry that I had fallen for this diabolical, deceitful scheme!!! Even then, the guy kept saying, ‘trust me’ as he urged me to send more money. He REASSURED me that my winnings would then be sent to me.  I told him NO, I’m NOT sending more money. If I could, I would KICK MYSELF for sending ANY money. I am very independent but I truly didn’t want to be a burden on my children and their families.

Life is a series of lessons and this was a difficult one for me. I admit that I was temporarily stupid and it won’t happen again. I realized years ago that too many are not honest. I’ve also known many who are devious. I know that some enjoy their days only when they have ‘outsmarted’ someone else. How sad that these are so numerous in our world today. How REFRESHING it is to meet a GIVER, rather than a TAKER… even someone who is HONEST — but that is an experience we don’t often have.

I am admitting to my stupid actions in the hope that this information might prevent someone else from falling for this scheme. Today I can’t believe I did this!

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