“I have been hacked; my E-Mail address book has been stolen; (apparently) everybody in that book has been sent a fraudulent scam email purporting to come from me, asking you to send “me” money to help “me” in supposed distress. DO PLEASE NOTE!!! –IT IS A SCAM!!! And it has done considerable harm to some dear friends.

Dear Friends,

This scam happened a couple of days ago –right in time for my birthday, as it happens– and has thrown my life, and the lives of others, into a huge amount of confusion. I should have thought of making this blog-announcement earlier: my apologies for not doing so –I am doing it now.

INTERNET FRAUD is a category of crime that is currently MUSHROOMING, worldwide –and let me assure you, you don’t want to be a victim of it, for a wide variety of reasons to do with personal privacy and trust and confidence, and disruption of one’s life –and the lives of others.

I have discovered that the levels of trust that we make part of our lives, and are part of our character & personality, render us all more or less vulnerable to these new mechanisms of fraud and deceit, and it is probably true to say that the more trusting we are, the more vulnerable we are. I strenuously object to –and indeed, reject in the core of my being– the idea of being less trusting in my day to day life and dealings because of these events.

But at the same time I have to acknowledge that my “trusting approach” has made my friends –and, to be honest, myself– more vulnerable, and I recognize that as the more urgent consideration. My friends, you are all very dear to me –over anything else, just about –and this unhappy episode has underscored that fact: in the social aspects of our lives and of our very being, friends are all we’ve got.

To tell you one sad story arising from the scam: a dear friend –older and not used to the scams that are part of our internet lives– did respond to the scam-distress by sending some money –quite a bit of money. He went to his bank to withdraw it, and wired it off (as per instructions) via Western Union.

Afterwards, he told me, he walked home he felt “exhilarated that he had been able to help his friend Malachi!” That brought real tears to my eyes.

And I thought to myself afterwards: “What an awful, terrible way to discover such a lovely thing!” (–what friendship means, or can mean, between friends. And I realized too that it was something, quite probably, that he never would have said directly to me!)

In an odd way, it underscores all the more, the real depths of the awful deception!

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By the way, you should know that I am currently without access to my email at malachimccormick@msn.com. And my Facebook page/account has been suspended.
You can still get me on the phone. And you can respond to this blog it you wish.

And I am especially interested in any observations and recommendations that you might have.

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ONE LAST THING –Do NOT send any money to me “in distress in Wales…with tears in my eyes.”
Any money you DO WANT TO SEND, for any reason, be sure to send it to Staten Island !

That’s it! Talk to you later.

And –one last PS. The new book –dare I say it– is VERY CLOSE to being finished.

Thank you, my friends–
Malachi


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