So one day this week the thought popped in my head to joke around with my mom. I’ve warned her before about falling for scams. The IRS scam was attempted on her once and I had to convince her it was fake. A social media scam with someone posing as her brother once had her believing the government might randomly send her tens of thousands of dollars. I thought I had gotten through to her about scams after several of these events.

So when I sent her texts from my own phone (not masking my number in any way so it was clear the texts were coming from me) pretending to be a Nigerian finance minister I was just joking about that classic email scam. I was expecting a “HAHA nice try” or something similar. In no way did I think she would take it seriously.

Instead, all this happened.


At this point I thought, ‘no way, how does she not get it’s just me goofing around?’ When I asked “Who sent it?” I was trying to make her realize this was me joking. When she still didn’t budge I decided to see how long it would take her.


What do I think???? Now I was determined to teach her a lesson and have some fun.


That should have been enough, right? Especially since I call her ‘Mom’? Almost but not quite.


So there you have it. Proof positive that we have to watch out for our parents as they get older and scammers are everywhere. A report last year shows New Jersey was number 1 in reported spam calls which are often scams. In a three year period there were 763,812 complaints in New Jersey against robocalls. At least when it comes to actually falling for scams we’re 19th place of all states. I have to remind myself that people my mom’s age didn’t grow up with technology the way we did or our kids did. And the world in general seemed more trustworthy back then. I shouldn’t fault her for not being cynical.

What started as just a joke I never thought she’d take seriously turned into a lesson. In the end though I think it was more a lesson for me than her.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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