Christmas greeting scam leaves sour taste - Greg Gelpi

Still fairly new in town, each time I open my mailbox I do so with excited anticipation.

Walking through the winding roads of my apartment complex, my mind wonders to what could await my in the little metal box - perhaps a Christmas card or two or maybe even a letter from Ed McMahon naming me the newest $1 million winner.

Thoughts such as these danced through my head recently as I walked up to the mailbox.

Peering into the box, I grew warm with excitement despite the frigid temperature. The box was full, and the possibilities endless.

Scurrying back to my apartment, I feverishly sorted through the day's mail.

Tossing aside about a dozen or so credit card applications and advertisements, my eyes grew wide when I came across an envelop that was handwritten.

Unable to contain my curiosity, I ripped open the letter in a not-so-careful manner.

Almost as quickly as the excitement swelled inside me, the disappointment washed away the excitement.

The letter was a chain letter, and the world of possibilities was a mere pyramid scheme.

No fortune lay ahead of me. Not even a Christmas card.

A guy from Tennessee, who identified himself as an attorney to give himself more credibility, blessed me with the opportunity to invest a few bucks and turn it into millions.

Obviously, it was a scam.

In the age of email and personal communications devices, I was surprised that such a simple scam was attempted, but two things jumped out at me.

First, no one would attempt pyramid schemes if no one fell for them.

Blanketing a random mess of mailing addresses, the crook sat back and waited for the na?ve to send money.

I have no sympathy for the greedy person who hopes to turn a quick buck, but I do have sympathy for the unsuspecting victim who simply does not know better.

The second thing that jumped out at me was the timing – the holiday season.

Whether religious or secularist, this is the season of giving. It makes it even more Scrooge-like that a predator would seize upon people at this time, particularly considering the state of national security and the economy.

Hopefully, though, Santa will drop a lump of coal into the stocking of all the plotting and scheming crooks who are out and about, and keep everyone else safe and warm this holiday season.

Until next year?

Greg Gelpi covers education for the News Daily. He can be reached at ggelpi@news-daily.com or (770) 478-5753 Ext. 247.