“The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim. 6:10). How so very true that statement is, and has been proven so time and time again! “The love of money” has so nestled its way into the hearts of certain malevolent persons, that they have heartlessly sought out and taken advantage of some unsuspecting and vulnerable folks.
There is nothing that churns my stomach more than seeing “sweet folks at church” manipulated because of their good nature and their trust in their fellowman. In recent months, a number of widows have been targeted by random phone calls from individuals making false claims that actually sound legitimate. The distressing nature of the call (which seems very real) and the pressure to draw some money out of the bank lest some horrible (yet, made-up) consequences follow, has left some unsuspecting Christians in a panic. May I offer just a few words of counsel?
First, verify the source. Who are you talking to? How do you know (for certain) that the person on the phone is actually who they are claiming to be? Don’t believe it, just because some voice on the phone says it.
Second, hang up and go directly to the actual (and known) person. Whoever the person who called you claims to be, contact that person directly and ask him, “Did you say this? Is this true?” Don’t take some unknown’s word for it, just because it sounds legit. Go to the actual source.
Third, do not give your personal information to anyone you do not know. If someone calls you and asks for your personal data, do not give it to them.
Fourth, pay attention to the details. Listen carefully. Does the person on the phone really know what he’s talking about, or is he making some things up, missing some details or changing the story? They might sound like they know what they’re talking about, but they don’t.
Fifth, if necessary, contact the authorities. Sometimes simply hanging up is enough. But if matters go too far, do not be afraid to call those who can help you and seek their assistance.
Friends, please be on guard. Please verify everything you are told. Don’t accept something just because it sounds legit. This applies in all sorts of situations, including (to make a spiritual application) when someone is telling you something about the Bible. Don’t believe something about the Bible just because the person sounds knowledgeable. Always, verify the source. Always, go directly to the Bible to see what it actually says. Always, pay attention to the details. Always, remember that Jesus is our supreme authority in religious matters.