Wednesday, May 31, 2023 | Dhu al-Qaadah 10, 1444 H
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The threatened value...

It is amazing to think that there are people making a living at other people’s expense

Life is about living, coexisting, learning, working, facing challenges, sacrificing, accepting and of course all of that comes in with great amount of trust.

When we leave children at school for their first day we do so by entrusting our most precious possession in life with the professionals. The same goes when we are in hospitals or depend on others for any service.

There is an element of trust.

But now here is a time when the phone rings and you pick up to answer and a lady on the other side of the line asks in Arabic and English the race and origin of the person.

Gullible me, the first reaction was, “Why?”

She went on and when she realised I couldn’t catch up with the Arabic, she continued in English that she is from a company and I have won free gifts especially for the kitchen.

My friend’s immediate reaction was to cut the call and she said block the number after I gave the phone to her to speak to the lady.

Many questions went through the mind.

My other friend said she gets so many of these calls.

The voice had asked, “What’s your name?”

I had asked her, “For what?”

Reflecting on my own response I realised how wary we have become. Phone calls were so well appreciated once upon a time. There used to be excitement in receiving the calls and making calls. Of course many of us would have enjoyed making prank calls to family members and friends and laughed our hearts out.

At the same there is also the prevalence of telemarketing who are paid to do marketing by calling people on the phone. One might not even be their customers.

But this call was not just marketing they wanted information from the call recipient.

Yet again another friend received a message from an international number that said if you have one hour each day you can make money in commission from the online store.

It is amazing to think that there are people making a living at other people’s expense.

People feel the need to have second jobs and love the feeling of winning something. And there are others who are using this vulnerability as a source of income.

It goes on to prove how the world continues to change and evolve in this regard. But if you look at it even in the fraudulent projects people are using all the skills whether it is data as a resource or communication as a skill.

In the 1990s it was about someone inheriting a whole lot of money and they were on the look out for people to invest with. Then there were individuals who used to steal identities and contacts by hacking into emails to write to the contacts that their friend was stranded in a foreign land and needed money urgently.

Then they moved on to social media messaging and creating friendships telling them they would like to send parcels which never reach and they fake calls as if from customs to clear parcels by sending money only to know that one has been tricked. Then there were the cases of people who were stuck at airports with fines to be paid.

People, the victims, got smarter and began to share their stories and complained to the authorities so awareness could be addressed. But their ideas evolve too. So it is now online jobs.

To succeed is everyone’s right and so is making a living. There are people who work indulging in a variety of projects and they thrive too. For sure they have a sense for satisfaction.

But what about the stress to conduct and hold on to these projects that are baseless?

So people think again many times about the trust worthiness of new contacts.

In the olden days the issue was regarding marriage alliances. People would fall for the baseless success stories of individuals and get their daughters married off only to find out about the disastrous reality later. It is too late they believed then.

Today it is the cyberspace that is luring the people. So we would think others who are not in this territory are safe. Not quite so, because they are active with mobile phones.

If we were worried about mistaken identities in the past now it is about stolen identities.

The only solution is to tackle the innovative yet negative ventures and that is to find smart ways to remain safe from falling into the traps.

But most of all the wish would be to use their brilliance to create wonderful projects while being away from antisocial ventures.

It is almost becoming okay to mistrust and that is not a comforting factor. The only way to eliminate the problem is to have an upgrade on the needs for maintaining values in one’s life, where going against one’s integrity and harming someone and causing discomfort is not an option, especially for livelihood.

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