RHODYLIFE

A victim of my own gullibility

By LINDA PETERSEN
Posted 10/22/20

I just fell off the turnip truck.

The above saying from the “olden days” refers to a person who is naïve and uninformed, like a farmer driving his truck of turnips to the city …

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RHODYLIFE

A victim of my own gullibility

Posted

I just fell off the turnip truck.

The above saying from the “olden days” refers to a person who is naïve and uninformed, like a farmer driving his truck of turnips to the city (where no one likes to eat turnips!) Take away the turnips and that is me.

Naïveté is one of my worst attributes. I think the best of people and have difficulty thinking they could take advantage of anyone. However, in these past few months I have been, or almost been, a victim of my own gullibility.

My kiddos and grand-kiddos love to build with Legos. Marie uses it as a calming activity, and only tackles the hardest designs. Imagine my delight when, while perusing through Facebook, there was an ad for 80% off Legos! Legos are NEVER on sale! I could do my Christmas shopping all in one sweep! They were all just fabulous for the price, of course, and 26 of them landed in my “shopping cart” for a total of $395. Voila! My Christmas shopping was done at a fraction of the cost!

Except that is wasn’t …

The payment was taken out of my bank account without delay, but the Legos never arrived. I had been scammed! I have tried to retrieve my money, but the company itself is non-existent.

Oh, but I had learned my lesson …

Except that I didn’t …

While preparing for the summer camp I coordinated, an ad for children’s bunk bed cots graced my computer screen. Only $35! How cute! The young kids would love them! Three of them found their way into my “shopping cart” and I even paid the extra fee for expedited shipping to get them in time for camp.

Alas, they didn’t arrive in time for camp. In fact, they didn’t arrive at all, although my money had been scooped out of my checking account. Defrauded again.

My latest escapades have been to assist finding Marie and her family a new home. They live in an awesome apartment at Royal Crest, but it is only two bedrooms for three adults and a toddler. He tends to be a bit rambunctious with noisy footsteps and lots of jumping, NOT a fun neighbor for the people who live downstairs. I have scoping out the house rentals on Zillow and Trulia, but after a month of reaching out, no landlord had responded to my requests. Then there was this nice house on Apartments.com. It had a phone number listed, so I directly contacted the owner. She was lovely on the phone, but also quite annoyed. The home had been rented six months previously but, despite her repeated requests, Apartments.com had kept it on their website. She presumed it was because the cute house was a “draw” to renters, and when they found out that it was rented, perhaps they would find another home on that same site. It was a slight scam, but only in terms of attracting more renters, not in conning anyone out of money.

My last resort was to peruse Craig’s List, where a cute house, reasonably priced, was listed. A very pleasant e-mail from the contact person, Iona, graced my in-box. She was profoundly deaf and only used sign language, so she couldn’t call me. Her company had moved out of state so she had to move to keep her job and she needed to rent her home to cover the bills. The price was almost unbelievable! She could not directly show them the house because she was out of state. However, there were tons of pictures and they could go by and look at it from the outside. If they were interested, they could send her first and last month’s rent and she would send them the keys. Her e-mail included a multitude of details and was grammatically perfect. It was because of the faultless narrative that I began to question this rental. American Sign Language has different grammar and syntax than written English. For instance, Marie will text me “Store go now?” Or “Supper what eat?” That is not to say that it would have been impossible for this woman to write such a grammatically perfect e-mail, but it was a red flag. I put the street address and this woman’s name into Google. Oh, yes, Iona had owned the house, but she wasn’t deaf and she DIED last year…

I have learned to be more cautious. That is not to say that I won’t be driving any more turnips to market, but I will be sure to check the tires and make sure the truck has enough gas in it first.

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