LETTERS

God delivered me from a scam

Staff Writer
Santa Rosa Press Gazette

Dear editor, 

During visitation preceding a funeral recently, a pastor asked if I was still preaching the Gospel.

My response: "At every opportunity God gives me." Three days, later God gave me a whammy!

A caller wanted to deliver my $8.5 million check and Mercedes Benz I won. He gave me his name; his phone number; his company, The Winner’s International Sweepstakes and Lottery (with offices worldwide); the names of the four team members; my winner’s code, #5429596CH-FL; and my claim number, 88904RTB.

I usually hang up. After asking him questions, I sensed it was a scam.

He replied, "No catch" to my "What’s the catch?"

He asked if I wanted a public or private delivery.

"Public," I said.

He told me not to tell anyone until after the delivery to avoid negative reactions.

True, indeed!

I called a trusted sister-in-Christ, my partner in "crime," our "crime" being doing good works together for the Lord.

She said, "Don’t give him a penny. Tell him a prominent Florida lawyer said it’s a scam!"

So I did!

He had told me all I had to do was go to Walmart or CVS, make out a MoneyGram for $599 to a banker in Panama City Beach [and receive] my winner’s stamp of approval!

"No catch" — baloney!

He put me on hold a few times to call his "boss" when I said I couldn’t do that. The back-and-forth resulted in changing amounts to $390, $225, $150 and finally $100.

It reminded of how we Americans living abroad (years ago) were expected to, and did, bargain; we had to.

He tried to convince me the win was legitimate, saying he’d go get the police to join the delivery. I said I know some policemen and the sheriff, and not to bother!

He said the team was already in Milton on Hamilton Bridge Road, and wanted to deliver that day.

When I asked if he was a believer, he said he was Catholic; went to church every Sunday. I warned him Jesus Christ was listening to his words and what he is doing. He said he knew that.

My final word to him was, "It doesn’t matter what denomination — Catholic, Baptist, Methodist et al. — we are, Jesus said in John’s Gospel, Chapter 3, "Ye must be born again," from the inside out!

When I told my son about the call (he usually says, "Hang up"), he said, "Why didn’t you speak Greek to him?"

I laughed heartily, remembering God has a sense of humor. I never thought about it. I might if another call comes, but then the caller wouldn’t understand my concern for his soul. He’d have to tell me, as the saying goes, "It’s all Greek to me."

Why share this? Because many get similar calls. Some, wise, identify the scams; others are duped, sad to say. We read about it frequently. Beware!

By the way, I told the scammer I knew it was a scam because the PCH (Publishers Clearing House) doesn’t require a fee nor does it call winners beforehand.

Too bad it was a scam. I need a car, and who couldn’t use a windfall!

Praise God, my source is Jehovah-jireh, Provider, (Philippians 4:19)!

God bless us all as only He can. Maranatha!

(P.S. Thank God, He delivered me from a scam "delivery" — Hallelujah!)

CHRYS HOLLEY

Milton

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