I think I might’ve just been scammed

November 15, 2017

Let me start at the beginning…

I’ve used the same painter for the last 15 years, in fact he painted the entire inside and outside of the last two homes I lived in. I have always been highly impressed by his professionalism, cleanliness and job well done so every time I need a painter, I call this guy.  I needed a couple rooms painted so I called his number but he didn’t answer, instead it was a new guy and after inquiring I realized that my painter had retired, moved to Florida, and passed his business to this young man who had been working alongside him for the past 20 years. He promised the same experience and quality of work and so I moved forward committing him for my small project.

The day of the painting is coming soon and the young man requests that I give him 50% down. I understand he has supplies to purchase in order to be prepared to start but the previous painter, his mentor and past boss, never asked for a deposit so it felt funny. It felt unusual. When I questioned, I was reminded that he needed to purchase supplies and that he didn’t have a credit card to rely on for these preparatory expenses because he was establishing credit. Ok, that makes sense.

But then Friday, Saturday, and even Sunday morning he repeatedly calls and texts asking for his deposit money. The story sounds strange and my gut starts tightening. I begin wondering if something just isn’t right.

Sunday morning, I am reading Marianne Williamson’s Return to Love and in particular her chapter on money. She writes that money is finite and has tremendous karmic energy. She emphasizes the importance of eliminating debt and that money is a source that allows us to provide more love and service to others. Money is not evil only an attachment to it. While reading this chapter, the painter texted a couple times trying to retrieve his deposit money. Serendipity? Remember, it’s Sunday morning…. It feels weird but I call him to make arrangements.

Fast forward a couple hours, I find a wallet lying on the sidewalk as I’m driving down the street. The wallet had obviously falling out of someone’s pocket and was filled with credit cards, identification, lots of cash, and uncashed checks. Immediately my mind begins searching for the solution to this mystery and I realize that the golf course near my home often has golfers driving carts on this particular sidewalk. I call the golf course and quickly identify the owner of the wallet who within 10 minutes meets me to retrieve his wallet fully filled with all of his items.

He is so grateful and asks if he could pay me for returning it. “Absolutely not,” I say because one day someone will do the same for me.

About one hour later the painter is early and waiting anxiously in my driveway for his check. He appears nervous while I write the check and he questions which bank the account is from.  I continue to feel the tightening in my gut and consider paying him less than what he is asking, if even at all.

I stop and make a decision right then and there that I’m going to trust him and I’m going to pay him what he is asking and if he is so desperate to lie then he needs it more than I do. I want good money karma so I willingly surrender the deposit check knowing there’s a good chance he will not return to my home tomorrow morning for the work he has been hired to do. I let it go. I hand the check to him knowing that the money is gone.

We shall see and I will let you know.  

Have you ever been scammed?  Not listened to your gut and kicked yourself after?  I’d love to hear what you learned from the experience.

 

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