I know this. My family and friends know this. Need a volunteer for something? There’s my hand in the air. Someone needs the benefit of the doubt? I’ll dish out a heaping serving. It’s who I am, and I’m fine with it.
What makes me nuts is strangers trying to get over on me. Admittedly, I have a lot to learn in this entrepreneurial journey of bringing an “a-ha moment” to market. Of course, I expect the unsolicited offers guaranteeing me bazillions of fans, followers and customers via their proven methods to enhance my website, improve my social media content, boost my virtual presence – even to whiten my teeth and find me dates with gentlemen over 50. And there are the really funny ones – people offering to file my international trademark application for the bargain-basement price of $1,500, Western Union, please.
But the saddest part is the bottom-dwellers preying on me and others like me; a mom with an idea, a dream, and a bit of naivetè.
We’ve just begun to wholesale our Tucktails. It’s an exciting time. With each order, no matter how large or small, we celebrate. Receiving an email about what would be our largest order yet made my heart leap. The fact that it was an order from outside the United States gave me a moment’s pause. But we’ve appeared in an overseas publication – and O, The Oprah Magazine – so word is beginning to spread. I thought, It’s possible. When he asked me to write up an order on our form, I happily obliged. When he called me twice to reconfirm what he was looking for, his budget, shipping options, I felt a little better. It made sense. English wasn’t his first language; he was double-checking. When I asked for his credit card information, he agreed to supply it, along with the contact information for his preferred shipping company.
And that’s when it hit me. The email address for the shipping agent didn’t look right to me. Something just didn’t sit well in my gut. I did a Google search of the man and his “company” – and there it was… Stories of people getting scammed popped up all over the screen.
Dadgum it. So, me being me, I sent him an email saying I was bummed that our deal wasn’t going to work out, that I’d uncovered he was a con man, and sent him my best wishes. (I debated that last part, but took the high road and left it.) He had the audacity to try to contact me again, insisting he was the real deal. So I had to go through the mess of blocking him.
More than anything, I was annoyed that he wasted my precious time. But I was furious that he tried to take advantage of me – and that he had succeeded in ripping off others like me.
So, I wasn’t a sucker this time.
But if you need help painting your kitchen or moving furniture, want me to write a letter of recommendation for your kid, anything honest and ethical, I’ll gladly be a sucker every time.