I like to think of myself as a sympathetic person.
I sometimes think bad things happen to nice people and that sucks. But I’m also a realistic person, which means that sometimes, when bad things happen to naïve people, my sympathy quickly transforms to frustration.
On Wednesday, I read a story about a Flames fan that was duped not once, but twice into paying hundreds of dollars for tickets he bought from a stranger online – but never received. Last week, similar complaints came from several people who thought they had procured Oprah tickets, only to find out the tickets were fakes.
As I’ve already mentioned, I’m sympathetic to people who get their money stolen, but in these types of cases, which seem to be happening more often, I have to wonder: Who is really to blame?
It’s not like these scammers went into the victims’ homes and robbed them. No, the people who’ve been duped, willing logged onto their computers and gave a complete stranger their credit card number. Or they met in public and accepted an e-ticket, somehow assuming that the criminal element wouldn’t have access to something like a photocopier or the ability to print a ticket more than once.
So what business is it of mine that these people have been tricked? Well, their stories never end there. Almost immediately after realizing they’ve been wronged, they contact the police, who are then obliged (forced) to use their resources to track down a criminal, even though I’m not really sure if taking candy from a baby should even count as a crime.
Then, the victim contacts the media, maybe in an effort to warn others, but likely hoping someone will take sympathy on their plight and give them tickets. Either way, journalists are forced to then produce a story warning people about the dangers of buying tickets from strangers online. Something they’ve already written a million times.
And now that thousands of private and public dollars have been wasted, at what point does the victim admit, that maybe, this whole situation is their own fault? What’s the point in getting the media to report your story, if you didn’t bother to heed the warnings the first dozen times it was written? Why waste the police department’s time, because you refuse to use common sense?
I wish the world was a better place, I wish that people didn’t get tricked into giving money to strangers, but more than anything, I wish we’d all learn that if something like this happens to us, it’s because we allow it to.
Sometimes, realizing you’re the only one to blame is the best way to ensure it never happens again.
Mike Morrison write’s Mike’s Bloggity Blog and tweets from @mikesbloggity.