We usually know it is too good to be true but ego intervenes to convince us that we are the exception to the rule. Con artists prey on this mental weakness in a variety of ways. From the transparent Nigerian scam to the very clever cons, some of the more tried and true scams are seeing a renewal for the holidays.
The one making headlines from Las Vegas to Maryland focuses on a finding a seemingly fortuitous $100 bill. With the mounting pressures of scrapping together money for holiday presents, the allure of free money is too tempting to pass up. With stories of generosity like paying it forward fluttering around the Internet, people want to believe in kindness this holiday season.
After placing holiday presents into the trunk, and starting up the car, the driver notices that nestled underneath the windshield wiper is a crisp $100 bill. Hardly believing their good fortune, the soon to be victim exits the car. Grasping the money, their day suddenly feels uplifted, as if holiday magic actually exists. Meanwhile, taking only a fraction of a minute, the former owner of the car watches the vehicle screech out of the parking lot. The person who thought fortune favored them a second ago quickly finds out that they are the victim of a carjacker, who snuck into the car while they were out collecting the seemingly good fortune.
A call is quickly placed to the police, and while waiting for the authorities to arrive, their saddened eyes look down to the money in hand. Now that the adrenaline has worn off, other senses kick in. Realizing the bill is counterfeit, adds the final blow to an already terrible circumstance. Another person falls victim by believing that they are the exception to the rule.
Please this holiday, if you find money beneath your windshield, wait until you get to the safety of home (or far away) before falling for this scam.