I hadn't gone to my mail box on Saturday and picked up the mail today. I'm looking through and see this envelope that looks like a check, one of those self-contained envelopes where it's all one piece of paper and the check is attached and you open it by ripping off a 1/4 inch strip on either side. When I looked at this piece of mail, it's addressed to me, but looks very official from the "Payment Adjustment Services" and it says on the outside "Vehicle Return Instructions Enclosed."
Well, for a second, I panicked thinking somehow a rental car I had hadn't been logged in as returned or something... and I owe thousands of dollars -- you know how those wild thoughts go through your mind... so I rip off the little margins and open it and there's a check made out to me for $1000.
Gee, that's when I knew it was a scam. The copy reads, "Records indicate that Patricia Luebke may be in the market for a new or pre-owned vehicle..." So it's not a check (as it states about five times on the face of the check) but some kind of voucher.
As a copywriter myself, I wonder about the people who dream these things up, and whether they feel lousy about it or if they rub their hands together in delight. Yes, they got me to open it, but even if I were about to apply for a car loan, I wouldn't use them.
AOL does a good job in getting rid of spam before it even hits my inbox, but I'd say my spam trap gets about 10 spams a day with all these dire warnings about my account having been compromised on PayPal, Ebay, Amazon, and a list of banks I don't even have accounts with. Then there's the lotteries I've won, the inheritances I'm getting, the business deals people want me to be a part of because I am a person of integrity. I am equally amazed that there must still be people who fall for this.
Tonight I got a new one -- an email supposedly from someone serving in the Army in Afghanistan who needs me to transfer money for him. This is something that I am naive about -- I do not understand how people can look at themselves in the mirror when they perpetrate something like this.
The closest I come is remembering an assistant I had once who was mugged on the street, and she wouldn't give up her money, and I forgot how she got away, but she did. The police detective, of course, told her how foolish she had been, and said that to the guy robbing her, she is not even a human being; rather she is an ATM machine with legs. He said just as you pass an ATM machine and think, "Oh, I need some cash," the robber sees her and sees his opportunity, with no more feeling than we have about the ATM machine, and the robber is in no way thinking about how traumatized she is or how hard she's worked for this money. He just wants it.