Recently I’ve been reading and hearing about how skilled scammers have become. Even smart, well-educated people can be scammed. There are whole syndicates out there to study you and to exploit any chink in your armour.
Our weaknesses can be exploited. These traits shows up in our interactions and in our digital footprints. Scammers can exploit these.
Even our strengths can be exploited. When we are kind, when we are well-informed (to the point of being over-confident), when we want to protect our family members from harm… These too can be exploited by scammers.
What then? Shall we trust no one? Of course not. We cannot hide in a cave forever and cut off all social contacts.
Shall we remove ourselves from social media, and delete our LinkedIn, Facebook, IG, TikTok, Twitter profiles, and leave scammers no trace to study us? Perhaps we can. Perhaps that will restore some peace and sanity into our lives. But what if we need to use social media for work?
Dilemma, indeed. But I do see silver lining in this.
OPPORTUNITY FOR US
In this current climate of low trust, it’s an opportunity for us to stand firm and be a beacon of light of trustworthiness and authenticity. Say what we mean, and stay the course. Resolve to never betray another person’s trust, no matter what gains it might bring us.
There is a Chinese idiom, “路遥知马力，日久见人心”. It can be loosely translated as, if you want to know how sturdy a stallion is, bring it on a long ride. If you want to know whether a person is good in his heart, you need to subject him to the test of time.
Scammers nowadays are willing to invest months of effort to nurture trust before scamming the victim. Any flash in the pan or instant success can be a potential scam or fraud. If we can stand the test of time, we will be the ultimate winner. We would have earned the ultimate currency – people’s trust.
WE ARE FALLIBLE
Lastly, and most importantly, I think, we need to acknowledge that we are mere human afterall. We can be weak. We are fallible and corruptible. Even the very best of us. Go read human history if you don’t believe me.
Even if we do all things right, we still can be scammed. Under certain circumstances, we might give in to greed, lust or fear. If that happens, I hope we have the humility to forgive ourselves, to admit our foolishness, and to seek solace and security in a higher Power, who is wise above all, and cannot be scammed.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21 ESV