Scams and the elderly- sound familiar? If not, put this post on hold until you go back and read the one from last week by that title. Otherwise some things in this post may not make complete sense.
Successful Scams and Fraud takes three (3) parties.
In the prior post, we already talked about the first party and how con artists become successful. It is basically by deceiving someone, usually at a vulnerable time of their life. That 'someone' becomes the second party involved - the victim.
When I was a young teen I was living in a trailer that my Mom rented. It was on a farm, and the farm house was turned into a rental property with a few apartments.
One night near the end of March, when I was 14, I was hanging out with two other gals who also lived there. They were both a year older than me. I don't remember all the details of how the idea came up, but we all piled into Jeff's pickup for a drive. Jeff was a farm hand and maintenance guy for the rental properties. He was quite a few years older.
We rode into town and Jeff (name has been changed) stopped for some beer while we were out. Instead of driving back to the farm right away, we rode around the country side.
While just riding around, Jeff shared his beer. I don't remember if it was cans or bottles, nor do I recall if it was lite or regular beer. I do remember not being interested even though the other two girls had a beer or two or three, I didn't really pay attention to how much was consumed. Eventually we got back to the farm.
Did I mention that I lived with my Mom? I don't remember how it all came out, but I ended up telling her what happened. You bet ya - she called the police. The police talked to all us girls, and probably talked to Jeff as well. And that's the end of that story.
Well, they probably had to write up some kind of report when they got back to the station. Then that was the end of that story.
Jeff? I don't think anything happened to Jeff. No warning, no fine, no arrest. Nada.
-because the victims were not willing to testify against him.
I'm telling you - my Mom was hot under the collar! She was NOT happy that nothing was going to be done about it. Not happy in the least. When she gets angry her one eye squints partially closed. She definitely had the angry squinty eye thing going on.
Let me clarify one little detail. When I said that none of the victims were willing to testify, I was not referring to myself. The policeman explained that since I did not drink any of the beer; although I was there, although I witnessed the whole ordeal; although I was offered beer, I was not considered a "victim." Only the other two girls were a victim, I was merely a witness.
What does this story about giving alcohol to minors have to do with adoption?
My voice didn't really amount to much in that situation when it came to confronting or making accusations. If nothing happened, or nothing was lost, then there is nothing to say. But with a victim, something DID happen, and the victim has power in using their voice.
Even among victims, every one is different though.
Some face a period of denial. Some are too ashamed to talk about what happened. Some don’t get the help that they really need. Some try to just move on and try to pretend nothing happened. Some victims blame themselves beyond what is reasonable and are riddled with excessive guilt. Some never see justice. Some are angry for a long time afterward. Some stay crippled by the experience. Some use the experience as a catapult to spearhead a cause to fight for.
Successful scams involve Three (3) parties:
You & Society as a whole.
Society is either protecting the victims, or it is exploiting them. Read on if you're wondering, how society is exploiting the victims?
One way is by not giving weight to their voice. Instead of listening to the victims, they are ignored, shushed, or silenced. We must ask ourselves: If we're not listening to the victim, then who ARE we listening to? Are we listening to each other, which have not 'lost' anything? Are we listening to the con artists?
Listening, as with our preconceived ideas of what we want to hear is not right. We, society as a whole, needs to be sure we are carefully listening to the victim and what they have to say.
But it cannot stop there. After listening to the victim and finding out that, yes - indeed they were deceived and taken advantage of. If society does not protect the victim and prevent the spread of the scam/fraud - then that is the other way they are exploiting the victims. It is not enough to just listen; effort must be put into reducing and stopping the incidents of fraud.
Prior post I described how adoption professionals have all the behaviors of other undesirable con artists. They take advantage of women at a vulnerable time of their life, and they manipulate these women to get what they want (her baby).
Society needs to start recognizing her, not as a woman who made a choice, but as a victim who was conned into making that choice. The next step is for society as a whole to protect her from the fraudulent activities and tactics of the adoption professionals.
And just as there are warnings posted all over the place "caution" or "beware" about scams to prevent others from becoming a victim, there should be the same type of cautions regarding adoption and adoption professionals. Also there should be warnings that expose the 'tactics' being used.
So, as long as society is not protecting and preventing, they are standing in the same corner with the con artists and scammers. They are exploiting more victims.
Victim of adoption fraud.
Scams and the elderly.