In real life, not EVE. Actual dollars, not Space Barbie pretend money. I realized it was being done to me, I could see their bullshit tactics a mile away, and it happened anyway. At any moment, I could’ve gotten up from the chair and walked away, leaving them shouting insults at me as I left.
But I didn’t.
I could afford to lose the money. Now, I would’ve preferred to give it to a charity or buy something actually cool with it or, failing that, light it on fire rather than give it to people who do this every day, and to a number of folks who seriously can’t afford it.
There’s a lesson in this. For me, and maybe for someone else. No matter how smart you think you are — and yes, I’m convinced I’m awfully goddamned smart — sometimes you get had. And for a while you may not be able to make sense of just how it happened.
For those of us who hear about EVE scams and say, “Oh, no, that’d never happen to me” or “He could’ve logged off at any time — there was nothing keeping him there” or whatever, don’t be so sure. I would’ve said this could never happen to me, either, and here I am looking at the undeniable reality of my Amex receipt. You can’t chalk it up to greed — in fact, I didn’t even want the shit they sold me, and I threw it away on the drive home.
Humbling, yes. But this’ll ultimately teach me something. About me, and how a tough cookie who absolutely wasn’t born yesterday or the day before that either could fall for this.
More importantly, I’ve already learned something about the people who do this stuff, and I sense more realizations on the way. There’s more than one victim in this situation. There’s the mark, and there’s the person who does it. And what this does to them, holy mother of God. That is some bad shit right there.