Scammed...You? Yes, You Can be Scammed at any Age.

Scam in the Morning, Scam in the Evening, Ain't we got Fun?

I have never understood why the elderly are easily scammed. I hear stories of older women raking their yards, and within five minutes they agree to ongoing maintenance for their tropical landscaping which doesn't exist. They end up giving away their children's inheritance and their grandchild's college fund money. The more modern form of a hoax is a catfishng scam. This is where an individual, usually a woman ranging in age from 60 to 75-years-old believes an international romance is occurring. They continue their e-mail relationship for several months while the woman sends the scammer gift cards. Because he's a Prince he conducts many high-profile meetings all over the world, but can't afford the money to fly from Florida to New York. Additionally, he only sends her costume jewelry stamped on the back with the words "Made in Nigeria". These couples might never video-chat because his cable is out. The other day I realized that scammers are smarter than we think. They might never have met us, but they know how to exploit our weaknesses to pull off their scams. I recently had a weird encounter that might have been a scam. The fact that I don't know if I was scammed, proves that I'm an easy one to scam.

I never heard of a meme until two months ago when I started writing them to attract people to my website, which isn't working. A meme sounds like an infestation in your bed because you rolled your suitcase through Port Authority and then put it on your bed. A meme is defined as an "idea, behavior, style or usage that spreads from person-to-person within a culture." For me, a meme is short relatable, funny copy usually found online. I don't find thinking or writing memes to be fun and, regardless of the work involved, I will receive seven "likes." Still, I've become obsessed with the attention paid on Instagram to my memes. I read other members' memes, compare them to mine, and of course bitch about how mine are funnier. Anyone new to Instagram is aware that their algorithm has recently changed making it ultimately more difficult for people to reach their target market. I digress.

The other day while doing my several hours of meme posting, I saw a post that I immediately got excited about. It was a promotion for meme creators that would provide an opportunity to get one's meme seen by hundreds of thousands of people. All I remember is that within three seconds I was sitting at my laptop looking for my favorite meme. can I say the word meme one more time? I never looked at who set up, created, or followed this promotion. I only read one meme on this site, which of course I didn't think was funny. Within five minutes I had re-posted a favorite meme. When I was ready to send it I didn't understand the "company's directions." It looked like a barely visible icon of a phone or a magnifying glass for me to find a clue. I send it off as a regular e-mail and was so very proud of myself for getting into this promotion the "last day." So very proud that I decided to send another meme several hours later. It wasn't until I reopened the Instagram post that I thought 'Oh shit.'

The post looked entirely different than I had recalled. Where did the word "Promo" go? This e-mail contact name is insanely stupid and I don't recall seeing the words "comedy club" written before. What does that even mean? Did my meme get ferreted through some dodgy system that gives jokes to comics who have writer's block? As silly as I sound, jokes are intellectual property. Despite that I've also posted them to the entire world, I would be incredibly angered if I saw a comic repeating my words. The more I investigated the more I realized, it's official, I'm the old stupid woman who got caught in a moment and did something very idiotic. I'm now the woman who believes she's dating Post Malone, who naturally has bandages covering his face while on Zoom. Like many people caught in the throes of a scam, I sent a DM with several impressive sounding words like cease, desist, infraction, and petitioner. They must have had a huge laugh and it wasn't because of my meme.

As usual, I was incredibly angry at myself for several days. This typically means I overeat, and in this case, wonder where my words went. At some point, my critical memories of being scammed online changed to disparaging reminders of something stupid I said or did a few minutes ago. Maybe the older we get the more we realize time isn't infinite. Not exactly profound, but true. When you're 15-years-old you look at 30 as old, when you're 30 years old you look at 60 as old and, on on. When you are 50-years-old, you're looking for the readers that are likely on top of your head. If any of your dreams haven't come to fruition, the desire for them to become so is intense. An elderly woman who believes a young Italian guy is in love with her isn't stupid. Instead, maybe all of her friends have passed away and her kids don't visit her. I often redefine terms after I have experienced them. I read that post about memes at exactly the worst time. I was hungry, on my period, and wanted good news from anywhere. So next time your Auntie wants to go to the mall because she believes the guy who manages Hot Dog on a Stick stand is in love with her, maybe reconsider her small world.

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