Sunday, February 08, 2015

Beware This Sneaky Scam

His smile looked sincere, and his words sounded reasonable. Lois let her guard down. Her experience is a warning for us.  
Lois phoned me with the scary news of the scam.  “Thank God, I’m OK,” she assured me.  We both agreed that the Lord had protected her, but she urged me to tell others, “Beware.  You are not as safe as you might think.”
Yesterday the doorbell rang while she was in the kitchen.  A neatly dressed workman holding a clipboard stood at the front door. 
“Your neighbor is getting a new fence.  Let me show you where he wants to put it,” he gestured towards the alley behind her house.
This unexpected news was unsettling.  With a quick glance around Lois followed the man.  He lowered his voice, so she had to move closer to him.  At a steady pace he took her down the alley.  On and on he talked. It sort of made sense; however as he continued past her property to the neighbor’s place, going towards the next yard, Lois felt a slight twinge of worry. 
Then his cell phone rang and he stopped to answer.  “No, no.  I’ll get back with you a little later,” he responded to whoever was calling. 
Without going any farther he asked her, “Do you have any questions?” 
“I want to go back home and sit down. Do you have papers that explain this?”
Ignoring her request, he rambled on, repeating vague terms about her fence and the neighbor’s fence. When his cell phone rang again Lois started to walk back towards her house.  Getting closer she noticed the pickup truck across the street. 

“You’ll be getting full legal descriptions and such in the mail by Friday,” the man called over his shoulder as he hurried away.
Going inside Lois realized she’d left the door unlocked.  She found the kitchen cupboards and closets were open.  By this time the man with his accomplice had sped off, leaving a shaken woman in her house, feeling violated, yet breathlessly relieved. Her purse with the tax papers and checkbook were safely hidden.
After she called me I hurried to send a quick e-mail to my sons, my sisters, and some friends.  “Be careful,” I urged them.
        This is an actual happening, and it should alert each of us to be aware of what's going on. 
Later I saw a spiritual application. We each may feel safe, spiritually.  But when someone cons us into taking a little walk down the alley of worldliness we may think it’s a legitimate pursuit of new facts, new ideas.  It may appear to be a logical or interesting or permissible thing to do.  But without a healthy skepticism we might find ourselves getting farther and farther away from the truth.  
“But,” you ask, “won’t the Lord just protect me automatically?”  If we’ve made Jesus our Best Friend we can hear Him speak to our hearts, so we will make a conscious decision that keeps us from straying into possible dangers. This means having a personal relationship with Him, not just a rote prayer once in awhile.  
        We are reminded of the reality of evil in the world.  Every believer will be tempted and tested, but God enables us to stand strong, do the right thing, say the right thing at the right time.  
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by Elaine Hardt ©2008