THE FIRST mention of such acts of malicious deception might have been as old as the bible’s garden of Eden; when a talking serpent ‘allegedly’ fooled a curious couple into tasting the forbidden apple a.k.a. the fruit of knowledge. As far as I know, no such reference to serpents and tricksters has been written before that. Perhaps, if we backtrack a little and check the contents of the Dead Sea scrolls, there might be a mention of these scammers. But as it is, little translations exist and only a few elitist scholars are privy to what they say in those ancient papyrus or papyri. Because of this, we’ll never be sure they existed that long.
However, if we flash forward and peep into all the milestones of human history (after Eden) up till the present day, it’s not surprising that their kind has always found a way into stamping their imprints into everything. Their most modern versions, mostly adept and masterful at technology and its devices, scour the internet 24-7 looking for prey… and sad to say, the digital landscape abounds with innocent victims.
Recently, during the stay-at-home stages of the pandemic when practically everyone was ordering online, countless reports of dodgy deliveries have been highlighted in the news daily. For example, we have on several occasions, received goods that either simply do not work or were not what we intended. All the more, attempts to correspond with their sources have proven more disappointing. Many a time, they have referred us to their supposed local repair offices which when traced, were located in non-existent addresses. The same experience is sadly true with several friends and acquaintances.
Even as a few have strongly suggested taking legal action against these modern serpentine Edenites, the long process of litigation is really not worth it when only small amounts are involved. Even though this is the trend, a lawyer-friend has mentioned that this is precisely why these scammers are so bold. My sibling has on several instances reminded me that before ordering anything online, it’s best to check on the credibility of the sources first. For one, he reads testimonials and then, if still unsatisfied, asks around on the veracity of the claims mentioned about the product they wish to purchase. Finally, and as much as possible, he doesn’t buy online. Period.
Just a few hours ago, algorithm-dictated advertisements appearing on my social media were at it again. Several ads with “made in Germany” or “highly recommended by Stanford medical experts” at their forefront entice all readers into the worthiness of their products. Now, I’m reminded of that Ethics pop-sheet, How Not to be Bamboozled, we read in college; that whenever we encountered suspicious materiel offering something because it’s either branded, foreign or promoted by movie stars, we only have to counter with that proven serpent-killer, “So what?”
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