Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write something AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL (10/02/14)
- TITLE: An Almost Snookered Sucker's Prayer
By Ernest Yoder
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A few days ago I got a phone call informing me that the caller, purporting to be my cousin and feigning my cousin’s voice, was en route to visit us but that his car had broken down about two hours from the house. He was short on cash for repairs and requested I put some cash on a “reload card” and make it available to him via the scratch off number on the back. (That is probably not the correct name for that kind of card. I was ignorant of the existence of these cards until then.) He would pay me back with a personal check when he got here. So I, desiring to be of assistance, went to our local town and attempted to facilitate his request in the amount of a little less than 500 dollars.
Five percent of my intellect was suspicious because this was a little out of character for my cousin to go on a spontaneous trip to visit his family from a neighboring state unannounced. Plus he wasn’t using a regular cell phone. So out of that five percent suspicion I prayed, “Lord please protect me.”
I attempted to load the card at a pharmacy with my debit card, but was told they accept cash only. Incidentally the attendant informed me that they have had fraud issues with these kinds of transactions. That gave me a little more pause, but naively I thought this is not a situation like that. I then went to an ATM and attempted to withdraw the cash – twice. Both times my card was accepted but when it was time to dispense the cash it did not happen. I began to sense that something unusual was happening. I remembered my prayer.
The caller contacted me a couple of times during this process. I called my sister and her response effectively diminished my desire to aid this "cousin in distress." Even though he somewhat sounded like our cousin my suspicion level increased dramatically. I drove the seven miles back to the house.
After I got back to the house, I found my cousin’s home phone number and dialed it. Guess what. He, the real cousin, answered. Obviously, he was not two hours from my home with a broken down vehicle. I was greatly relieved and a very thankful son of my heavenly Father. My cousin and I discussed our perplexity as to how this perpetrator of fraud ever discovered that we were cousins and how he was able to cook up a bizarre scheme like this.
While I was talking to my real cousin on the land line phone, the would be thief called my cell again. It was a “restricted” number with no way to trace the call. I hung up the land line and answered the cell. I exposed him for what he was. As I was roundly scolding him for his behavior he hung up. That was the end of the ordeal.
I am very thankful that God answered my prayer and did not permit the cash to pop out of the ATM, and that I did not have the cash on hand. At that point I was still a sucker. I learned a lesson. There are thieves out there that will prey on the generous instincts of Christian people. I lost about an hour and a half of time. I’m very thankful that was all I lost. Was it not for supernatural intervention, I would have been a snookered sucker.
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