This morning the FBI contacted me regarding a credit card in my name with $5m dollars on it. It has been collected (personally) by a representative in West Africa and all I need to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive it.
Obviously, this email is spam, and like me, 99.9% of people will ignore it.
However, that 0.1% who respond (maybe they are desperate and suffering emotionally, physically, and financially, maybe they have learning difficulties) are rich pickings for conmen.
This is one end of the extreme.
There are also many other examples of ‘content’ spread all over the Internet specifically designed to figure out who is smart and who is dumb (‘dumb’ being the massive sliding scale).
Many contacts of mine (friends, colleagues, and family) share ‘dumb’ things like quizzes, tests, amazing stories of unbelievable luck and wealth, and even empathic tales of woe and sorrow.
Unless these items directly include the actual person whom the post refers, it’s almost guaranteed that they are another gullibility test adding your contact details to a ‘list’ for targeting again later.
The only thing I believe we can do about it, is to try and figure out where on the gullibility scale we and our loved ones sit, by being (forever) very very skeptical of any advert, quiz, test, story, and (frankly) piece of media—Text specifically, but increasingly Audio (calls), and soon Video (interviews and testimonials)—that’s presented to us.
I repeat this constantly for my dad, because I fear him being duped one day which would be devastating for his confidence and trust in others. But I’m also repeating it here, because more and more people I interact with (personally or professionally) appear to have their ‘trust’ levels set a little bit too high, and I can’t care for everyone as much as I do my dad!
My only wish is to warn more people, and for you to test yourself continually, follow good advice from people you trust, and educate everyone you love frequently. I wish we all didn’t have to be on high alert all the time, but it appears we do!
About the image:
This photo by Boban Simonovski on Unsplash is of Cevahir Sky City, Skopje, Macedonia. I deliberately selected an image which was thumb-stoppingly good and not one that attempts to relate to my blog post, because that’s also what you should do. Do yourself (and blog) a favour and go find a thumb-stoppingly good image for your posts and forget about trying to find one which best represents your Post. They’ve all been seen before, and are boring to look at.
Did you know that commenting on blog posts is a key way you can increase your organic SEO? Completing a comment allows you to insert your name and website address which Google can use to index the traffic back to your website. It also allows more people to discover you off the back of your great reply and pay you more attention. Google loves that.
I recommend copying this SEO tip and adding it to the bottom of all your blog posts (past and present). That way, everyone can benefit :)