It's not easy to admit when it happens
Scoundrels, scallywags, con-artists, identity thieves, fraudsters, snake oil salesmen, flim flam folk, cyber crooks, pyramid schemers and resale concert tickets sellers – They all are trying to take advantage of you and disguise their methods to look legit. It ticks me off when people intentionally try to take advantage of people, whether it’s older adults, people with disabilities, underserved communities, people who are struggling, or typical folks. As you can probably tell I was recently duped…by a concert ticket reseller. I know…I should know better. I was trying to purchase concert tickets for my daughter as a graduation present. I purposely went to google the venue site to find the real seller of tickets for that venue. I clicked on the venue website or what I thought it was, only it was not. They had the right name, just the wrong extension on the url. It looked real. It took me to a ticket buying website. My mistake was I didn’t read the side bar information close enough. I felt so stupid afterward because something didn’t feel right. I went back and found the real venue site and their actual ticket selling company and discovered I’d paid almost twice as much…and the reseller tickets were non-refundable and non-returnable. ACK!!! I felt like an idiot. I went downstairs and told my husband I’d screwed up our daughter’s graduation present. Now I wasn’t sure if they would even deliver the tickets electronically.
The internet, with all it’s tools, convenience, opportunities to learn, build businesses etc., has become the modern-day home of every fraudster, snake oil salesperson, and scoundrel. All trying to make a buck off of our naivete, insecurity, lack of knowledge and desire for convenience. Come on people, we can do better than this. We’ve got to slow down, try harder and not let these scoundrels get the best of us.
A good organization or company (small, medium, or large) will want to genuinely connect with us, share a product or service that is actually helpful and functional, solve a problem that we are experiencing and offer it at a price that demonstrates its value. An authentic business doesn’t try to make itself look real by imitating what is real. They have a genuine interest in the betterment of their customers through the product or service they are providing. The rest of them are shams, flim flam folk and con artists. Our economy has evolved into a social economy where we value the opinions and experiences of those who have purchased the product or service before and now those often get faked or companies hire people to write them. It’s so frustrating to constantly be in “buyer beware” mode because of all the illegitimate folks out there trying to take advantage of us to make a buck. It’s difficult to know what is true, real and authentic.
It's embarrassing to go into the bank and talk with a customer service representative about changing your bank account because your identity was stolen by an overseas computer hacker because you got duped by their alert. I’ve been there. Watched an elderly couple go through it at the desk next to me. I walked over, apologized for eavesdropping, and told them I was there for the same reason. The wife exclaimed “But you’re so young!” I said it can happen to any of us. Even those who are a little tech savvy, even those who are digital natives, even those who think they are aware of the scams. We’re all at risk.
The best thing we can do is to fight back and help each other. Swallow our pride and embarrassment and share our experiences with others so they might not have the same experience. Report the jerks to the authorities and cyber police even though they are overwhelmed. Read and learn how to prevent fraud, the current scams and how to tell when a ticket seller is the real deal and not an overpriced re-seller.
I did go get tickets for our daughter from the real ticket seller for the venue. So, she’s either going to get take 1 friend or 3, depending on whether those other tickets show up. Lesson learned! :)