My church email account has a dark side.
Suspicious emails are forwarded to a spam folder. The spam folder receives dozens of emails that have been scanned and deemed to be junk. In rare moments of boredom, the spam folder is a wealth of entertainment. I enjoy reading some of the ludicrous ploys attempting to separate me from my money.
I have learned through the spam emails that most of the people in Nigeria are rich but have problems with wills. There are dozens of people who want me to help them get their inheritance out of the country so they can rightly claim what is theirs. For helping these folks, I am promised a million dollars if I would only send my checking account number. I need do nothing else. They will deposit the money in my account and trust that I will send them their money back to Africa, minus my million dollars. It is so nice that these strangers trust me!
Then there are the people who have heard I am an honest person, so I would certainly help them recover money that has been discovered by opening a safe deposit box. The nefarious bank employees assure me they are honest, but their mom has a medical condition that needs copious amounts of money to fix. If I will get the money to America then their government can’t steal the contents of the safe deposit box which they intend to steal. If only I would send them my checking account number they will deposit all of the money in my account. Once I have the money, I can keep all but what is needed for mom’s surgery. How nice, even the crooks trust me.
I have won the lottery several times, too. If I would send them my personal information they will deposit millions in my account. They trust me that I have the winning ticket in my possession, I need not offer proof.
This morning’s variant was a letter from the United Nations. The email announced that the U.N. is concerned about these scams originating in Nigeria. The U.N. is aware that many American citizens have lost money in these scams. The U.N. has established a fund to repay Americans who have lost money in the variants of the Nigerian/Advanced Fee scam. You can claim your money from the U.N. by sending your checking account number to a certain email address. Tell the UN how much money you have lost and they will deposit that amount into your checking account as soon as possible. I’m glad the U.N. trusts me enough to offer to pay back any money I have lost. Do you think I should send them my account number?
Old scams have gone digital, just as many sins have gone digital. Sins that once took place outside the home are now piped into your device at the speed of broadband. The writer of Ecclesiastes warned us that there is “nothing new under the sun.”
There is dark side working on your soul, which wants to steal your joy and rob you of contentment. Be careful lest you send your checking account number to anyone or you believe the lie, “If you eat of this fruit you won’t die, you will have your eyes opened.” Adam and Eve fell for the first scam!
Church is a good place to learn about avoiding soul scams. We don’t want your checking account number.