View From a Cop: I'm a Lucky Guy Who Knows Not to Fall For Scams

Sandy Springs Police Capt. Steve Rose says email scams sent to him personally have ranged from funeral expenses, to a big pay day, to offers for Viagra.


I get a lot of e-mail—hundreds over the course of a week. The city's system blocks the spam and junk mail from the email folders before they reach us, but some still get through; mostly from those who are concerned about my sex life and those who feel that I could use a few million.

I am a lucky guy, having survived countless street fights with drunks who felt that liquid courage was always in order on a Saturday night and not connecting the dots towards figuring out that waking up in jail on Sunday had something to do with it.

Admittedly, as I got older, I didn’t always bounce back when I got thumped. It takes only a couple of bangs on the head from a doped out freak to make an officer realize that luck was running out and it might be time to take the detective test.

As I said, I’m lucky. I have survived my time on the streets and for some reason I have done well with the luck of the draw. For instance, I have won the Spanish Lottery, not once but twice. I recently won a lottery that had something to do with the London Olympics—evident by the winning notification that contained the fuzzy Olympic logo and a crooked photo of two guys in a pub holding up money in one hand and a beer in the other. Quite frankly, the beer was appealing more so than the money.

I have been sought out by at least a dozen or so lawyers, representing baronesses, wealthy land owners in countries on the verge of revolution by rebels, and Nigerian bankers seeking an honest person in which to deposit 33 million bucks with a 25 percent bonus paid directly into my account. I have been approached by some investment people guaranteeing I would make thousands on the dollar in just six weeks. I even got an e-mail from a girl who just wants me to call her.

She sounded lonely.

I’ve noticed that the older I get, the more offers I get from good natured people wanting to help me with my nest egg. They want to help me with funeral expenses and even want to pay me what I would pay myself after retirement, in case I got sick and wanted to use the money now, while I had a chance.

They had me one foot in the dirt and I haven’t even met them. I’m starting to think that they don’t really know me all that well because if they did, they would offer me a new knee. I only need one since I got the other replaced a few years ago.

I wish these people would make up their minds. One guy wants me to take my retirement money now because he thinks I’m circling the bowl and the other guy wants to sell me hundreds of Viagra at wholesale prices. I think they’re working in tandem because if I take the Viagra as much as they think I need it, I’ll soon be dead. I asked my doctor if I did take it and the effects were still obvious after four hours, should I call him.

“Definitely.” He said.

“What would you tell me when I called?”

I’d tell you to sleep on your back.”

As ridiculous as these e-mails are, the reason they don’t die is because people fall for them. As much as we can’t fathom someone falling for it, they do. Internet scams are so popular mostly because the crooks don’t have to go face to face like they did back when they ran the Pigeon Drop scams, which are found money scams. Those are still around but are no longer frequent.

Seniors are favorite targets for scammers. The Baby Boomer class of retirement-age people is a large one, and more and more crooks target them.

The scams are, at times, evolving into more sophisticated forms but the basics are still necessary. You, the victim-to-be, need to take the bait which is you’ll get something for nothing. If you just keep that in mind as a fundamental, an absolute in your decision to even consider something being presented to you, you’ll realize that the risk is too high.

The phone scammers want you to believe the pitch on the first deliver therefore fielding questions is not something they are prepared to handle. Maybe one or two but certainly not question after question. Your advantage with Internet scams is you get to read it. If you read an e-mail offering you the deal of a lifetime, close it out and delete it. Don’t respond. It ain’t gonna happen

If you get that e-mail from that girl who wants you to call, don’t call her. Chances are she weighs in at 240 pounds and her name is Bernice, she’s a chain smoker and has patchy skin.

Finally, if you are a senior citizen and you do take the wonder drug Viagra, and your effects last longer than four hours, call your doctor before you call the other guys in the poker club and start bragging. And for goodness sake, as proud as you are, don’t do like one man did and take a photo of it then send it to all your friends.

We’re happy for you but we don’t need to see it.




conway calin June 19, 2012 at 11:05 AM
Gopal Das June 21, 2012 at 07:32 PM
I think everybody should check out the Scam Detector app. I believe they're online as well.


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