I don’t normally write about television shows but I had to make an exception in this case because I was shocked to learn some information about a particular scam. I was watching American Greed on CNBC. This show is about people similar to Bernie Madoff who scammed people out of millions of dollars by operating sometimes legitimate businesses.

This episode was about those familiar calls or junk mail you get saying that you won the lottery, all you have to do is pay the taxes first to receive the money. Most people know this is a scam because you only pay taxes after you receive the money. The Jamaican scammers were preying on elderly people that were confused enough to fall for the scam. These elderly people were sending the scammers their life’s savings, in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. These kinds of stories sadden me because people are taking advantage of people that are losing their mental faculties and no one is protecting them.

But the shocking part of this story on American Greed was after the FBI got involved by targeting one particular scammer and reached out to several of the victims, some of them knew it was a scam. Several elderly people told the FBI that they knew the lottery wasn’t real but they kept sending the money because the scammers were so nice to them on the phone and they were the only people that took enough interest in their life to constantly talk to them on a regular basis.

How lonely do you have to be that you would let people take your hard earned money just to have them call you and be nice to you on the phone? When I started this blog, my first post was about how loneliness has become an epidemic and how loneliness hurts a person’s mental health but I didn’t understand the gravity of the situation until I saw this show.

Please read my first post about the Just Say Hello Campaign to help people that may be suffering from loneliness. If there’s an elderly person in your life that you haven’t talked to in a while please call or visit them. No one should be so lonely that they want to be scammed.


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