Lifelines: I can’t believe I bit
by By BETTIE MARLOWE Banner Staff Writer
Jun 21, 2013 | 400 views | 0 0 comments | 64 64 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The other day I received a phone call — ID unknown — but since it had a Nashville area code and I know people in Nashville, I answered it.

The caller told me the medic alert package was ready to be shipped — all had been approved and paid for — and a shipping address was needed. Immediately my mind went to my son — since his heart attack and other medical problems, this had to be something he had ordered or the doctor ordered for him. (That was my assumption.)

I replied the order wasn’t for me, but for my son. I obligingly gave the caller his address and was told he could use it for a month, then, if dissatisfied, could return it, postage paid. But a monthly usage fee would be $34 and a credit card number was needed. Since I didn’t know what “Terry had ordered,” and didn’t want to question anything he might need, I stupidly supplied the number CC number.

Then I was asked for his phone number. “He only has a cellphone,” I answered, and was told that the fee would be almost $50 since he didn’t have a landline. It hit me! What am I thinking? I quickly said, “Put this transaction on hold until I call my son.”

They seemed reluctant to do so, but I was given until a certain date to confirm the shipment or cancel. You know the rest — I called Terry and he was shocked to learn I had fallen for such a trick.

So within minutes, I called the number I was given to cancel the order and specifically, to delete my credit card number. I was told it was done.

But when I called the same number the next day to verify some information, the young man I talked with wouldn’t answer my questions and hung up.

For my peace of mind, I called the credit card company and told them what happened and was assured my account would be monitored.

I told you that to tell you this. That incident is out of my norm. I have warned other people about marketing techniques and scams, but there I was taking the bait. It was in a weak moment.

I wasn’t thinking straight. I made a decision without knowing the truth.

These are “good” reasons, but no “excuse.”

In life, the tempter comes to us in unexpected ways. He’ll make you think “this is the right thing to do.”

Caught in a weak moment with concern ruling the emotions, his solution seems right.

The temptation will begin with all the positives — this is good, this is necessary, this will help, it’s just what the doctor ordered. Immediately, you’re pulled in a little more — “You don’t have to worry about a thing.”

“If you don’t enjoy it, just quit.”

“There’ll be no charge.”

Satan tempted Christ this way, offering good things that any person might want, even saying that the angels would intervene to keep Him from getting hurt. Jesus’ answers to Satan was the Word. It was as simple as that.

And he tempts us the same way still — appealing to man’s needs and desires and such seems natural and safe.

So what do you do? A person must know the truth and be able to recognize his schemes.

To stay alert spiritually, stay in the Word. 1 Thessalonians 5:21: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”