Green River Star -

By Jack H. Smith
Staff Writer 

Feeling a pinch from an online scam


As a journalist, one of the biggest parts of my job is meeting deadlines.

While the paper comes out on Wednesday, I often times will have to have stories done Monday or even earlier. It’s something I’m used to, and one would think that would be something that would carry over to all aspects of my life.

This is not the case. I procrastinate on a variety of things and this Christmas season it really came back to bite me in the behind.

I try to get presents locally and I did this year for some on my list, but I was running really behind with shopping so decided to get online and have presents shipped directly to those on my list. I’ve got siblings that live out of state, so this works like a charm when I’m running behind.

This year I went down my list and things seemed to be going smoothly. The last present I had to get was another gift for my 12-year-old son and he was very specific about what he wanted.

Julian enjoys gaming probably more than dogs love to pee on fire hydrants. He wanted a online gift card so he would be able to purchase games from his favorite website.

After around an hour of tedious research, I found what he wanted for what seemed to be a great deal. This is the point I probably should have smelled something fishy. I should have known better and just stuck with good ol’

Little did I know that when I clicked on the purchase button I was walking over to manhole, opening it up, and than throwing my money in the sewer.

When I purchased the online codes I was told I would receive them within 24 hours. I checked my email frequently, and the codes never came. I looked at my checking account balance and I had been charged so I figured it would come sooner than later.

I arrived to work today and checked on my order. It said the order had been cancelled. I checked my balance and the $53.90 was still charged on my account.

At this point, I started to smell the fishy smell like a trout had been sitting in my car while I had it parked at the airport for a week.

Truth be told, I’m not always the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, but the site looked very legit and I didn’t have any worries about it.

Boy was I wrong. After a little bit of research, I found that I was far from the first person who this had happened to. There were plenty of people who had been charged and their orders cancelled.

I tried to call them, but the number did not work.

I felt as I had just answered a phone call from someone in Nigeria who told me that if I gave them my bank information and $50 dollars they would give me $5,000.

Is $50 a lot of money? No, but the point is I got duped and I felt really stupid.

It really stunk even worse because all I was trying to do was get my son something he wanted for Christmas.

My bank was able to remedy the situation, but let this be a warning.

I was lucky. Be careful online. Be careful on the phone. Just be careful in general, unless you like to throw money into the bottom of an outhouse.

I guess it could have been worse, I could have gotten everyone on my Christmas list a Celine Dion album.


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