Two days ago a scammer called me—I think he said he was from Microsoft, and said that he needed to get into my computer and clean out some corrupt files. It only took a minute’s conversation with him for me to realize that he was new at the game of scamming. In the scamming game, this guy was a “junior”–just learning the trade, the one who casts the bait by making a zillion random phone calls, and as soon as he gets someone who will talk to him—a “sucker,” he would hand the phone over to the professional scammer to do the damage. I know the routine because I’ve had these guys call before, and I’ve come to understand their techniques. Now, most of the time I just hang up, or don’t even answer the phone, but this time, decided to talk to him. Here’s roughly the conversation that we had:
Me: “You’re a scammer. Why would I let you into my computer?”
Scammer: “No, sir, you don’t understand. I’m from Microsoft and I need to get into your computer to clean out some bad files that are corrupting your hard drive and—”
Me, bluntly: “You’re a scammer. a parasite on society. Why don’t you get yourself a decent job and contribute to society, rather than scamming people out of their money?”
Scammer: “But, sir, I need to—”
Me, getting impatient: “You’re a scammer,” I repeated. “Get yourself a decent job!”
Scammer: “And how am I going to get a job, sir? Are you going to give me one?” (those were his exact words, and this is why I recognized him as a greenhorn at the scamming business). Professional scammers don’t ask dumb questions like that, so I admit, for the moment, his questions came as an unanticipated surprise.
Me, at this point, I completely lost my cool: “Now, why in hell am I responsible for getting you a job?” Get your ass down to the employment office and see what’s available, like the rest of us have to do! Go back to school, if you have to! Get a trade . . .”
My haranguing continued like that for a few more minutes. He listened in silence, then, finally, I hung up on him.
A bit later, after I calmed down to a more human level of impiousness, I sort of felt sorry for the fellow. Life certainly had not been kind to him in order for him to have to resort to scamming for a living, so I sent him a silent prayer, asking God to let someone come into his life and give him some proper guidance concerning the responsibilities of being human. Also, I needed him to forgive me for being so rude.
He obviously had some education—at least enough to know basic computer lingo, so, at least to a point, he must have chosen, or easily been lead into the scammer’s way of life. Maybe, let’s assume he was raised in a good family that taught him right from wrong, but he lacked moral principles. Was his brain twisted enough to make him a sociopath, a person with an antisocial personality disorder who didn’t care whether he hurt another being? I’m not sure that he was a sociopath because, you will remember his question to me: “And how am I going to get a job, sir? Are you going to give me one?” A hard core sociopath—scammer, in this case, isn’t interested in your opinion nor how he can ‘improve’ himself.
On the other hand, if we—society are at least partially to blame for our “misfits,” where are we failing them? I’m a great fan of TVs Dr. Phil show. What I’ve observed so far by watching him is that, in many of his cases where people come to him for help, they’ve already been through at least one other professional source that failed them. Is there a factor in our attempted care to help the less fortunate that we’re leaving out of the equation? I think there is, and I’d like to turn our attention to our King James version of the Bible, Genesis 3:22, for a suggested answer: “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.” In other words, Man can progress to eventual godhood, but, if he wants to continue his upward evolution, he had best learn to benefit from the opposites in Creation!
The black nefarious agent and the white angel are both equally my teachers.
That’s why the scammer and the altruist are my brother, as are the gambler and the financial advisor, the soldier and the peacemaker, sloth and diligence, even my infirmities and my doctor.
So, what can I learn from my scammer? Diligence! I must not depend on others to secure my belongings and my privacy. I have learned from past experiences that, when I leave my car in a parking lot and go into the store, I don’t rely on the community of ‘honest’ people to keep my belongings safe. I lock all the car doors. I have learned to ‘lock’ my computer and keep thieves out.
From my infirmities, my doctor can help me understand that, although he can offer soothing drugs to ease my main, it is still my responsible to maintain good health.
Gambling, and losing all all that I possess can teach me, next time, to be more prudent, that there is no ‘free lunch,’ and Lady Luck is an illusionary figure that’s generally on the side of the Casino owner. A solid, reliable future, takes wise, intelligent planning.
From war and conflict I can learn that intolerance and angry with threatening outbursts has never solved a problem. We can learn a lot from injustice, pain and sorrow!
What a wonderful spiritual school God has created for us! May the God of your Heart be kind to you, and where you don’t see the light and understanding, may He lovingly show it to you.