A couple of days ago I received a check from a stranger in the amount of about $1,800. The first thing I thought was, “Wow, this is amazing, what a miracle!” But a few moments after that, I started to have doubts. “Who sent me this money, and why?” Since I’m a missionary and I work locally with Alves Ministries and World Relief Sacramento, I thought that maybe someone sent me an anonymous donation toward my work, but the dollar amount was exactly $1,850.65 which I thought was very strange.
“Why would someone send me a donation with that specific amount of money?” I thought. Since I had a feeling it could be fraud, I decided to deposit the money into my bank and explained my situation to the teller. The teller told me that I should wait for about two to three weeks before spending the money, just to make sure it’s real.
The next day while I was checking my business emails, I noticed that I had several emails in my spam box. Normally I ignore them, but since I rarely get spam in my business emails, I decided to check out the spammy emails out of curiosity. In one of the emails, I read that they were a mystery shopper company and that they recently sent me a check for $1850.65 “Ah ha!” I thought. This is where that unknown money came from, and it definitely wasn’t a gift. Here is a copy of what the fake check looked like (I blocked out any potentially sensitive information).
In one of the emails, I read that they were a mystery shopper company and that they recently sent me a check for $1850.65 “Ah ha!” I thought. This is where that unknown money came from, and it definitely wasn’t a gift. Here is a copy of what the fake check looked like (I blocked out any potentially sensitive information).
When I read the instructions for my mystery shopping job, they wanted me to deposit the money into my account as soon as possible, withdraw $1,500 cash, and then immediately spend that money on Walmart gift cards. The sense of urgency for everything already seemed really weird.
After that, they wanted me to take a picture of the front and back of the gifts cards and email those pictures back to them for my next assignment (I found out later that the scammer was likely planning on redeeming those Walmart gift cards online for cash). Out of the $1850, they told me that I would keep $350 as my commission.
Since all of that sounded kind of strange, I decided to Google the address of this “Mystery Shopping” company, and I did not see their physical business on the map. I also noticed that they didn’t have an official website or phone number. The last thing I decided to do was to look very closely at the signature on the check. I could clearly see that the signature was not signed with a pen, but it looked like the check was printed on a computer because of its dull appearance.
After all that, I found an article online that described my exact situation, and then I knew for sure that it was a scam. The check they sent me was fake and there is no $1800. After filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and calling the fraud protection phone number at my bank, my situation is now getting resolved, and I didn’t get scammed.
The devil Comes to Kill Steal & Destroy
The devil comes to kill, steal, and destroy, but Jesus came to heal, restore, and bring joy. While miracles are real and I’ve seen God bless me financially in so many ways, the enemy is always trying to steal from us by giving us things that look pretty darn close to a miracle. Sometimes the biggest scammers out there are ourselves when we believe that there’s a shortcut to living the abundant life Jesus promised.
There are no shortcuts to life in abundance and being served isn’t the point of it. The abundant life God has planned for you isn’t about you, but it’s about the people surrounding you. Thinking there’s a shortcut to success is the ultimate scam, but when we live from a divine perspective, that’s when Jesus takes us through our pain to our promise so that we can help others through their pain to get to their promise.
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