Friday, February 3, 2017
"People believe what they want to believe"
Every day beautiful women reach out to me. On Facebook, wanting to be friends. I ignore them because I know they are really just overseas scam artists using swiped photos as bait, trolling for lonely men so out of touch that they don't pause to ask themselves why a 24-year-old fashion model noticed them from the wide sweep of the internet.
But countless men aren't savvy enough to ask that question, and so spend untold millions supporting fiancees who don't exist, or paying blackmail after sexting their supposed online gal pals. The internet is a masked ball for fraudsters.
Not that we needed the internet. Those with long memories might recall "The Land of Chonda-Za," where semi-nude "angels" frolicked and men would "have all their wishes and dreams fulfilled." Provided they paid a membership fee and worked their way up the ranks of worth by paying even more. A mid-1980s scam concocted by one Donald S. Lowry of Bettendorf, Iowa. The garden of delights was located north of the Quad Cities, of all places. There being no internet yet, Lowry sent out mass mailings.
Who would fall for such a thing? Some 31,000 men across North America, according to federal prosecutors, bilked of $4.5 million. But that isn't the astounding part. The astounding part is, even after the scam was revealed, men clung to it. A dozen came from as far away as California to testify in Lowry's defense at his trial in Peoria in 1988. They carried photos of their angels in their wallets, where their money once had been.
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