Monday, February 14, 2022

People Asking For Money at Gas Station - Scam Alert

Today I was at a gas station filling up my car when I hear the person on the other side of the pump asking a guy for a couple dollars for gas. The guy was reluctantly starting to help him and was going to use his credit card. In the middle of the transaction he must have changed his mind because then I heard the first guy say, “It's ok, I'll ask someone else.”

Me being the next closest person, I was thinking oh great, I'm next. Sure enough the guy comes over and asks for a couple dollars. He gives a story about how his card got declined and he was from out of town. He even said he would pay me back, which is ridiculous. I'm not sure why he even said that.

I was in the mood to help someone out and I figured if he is at the point where he is begging for a couple dollars at a gas station, he must be in pretty bad shape. So I gave him a few dollars. He went inside the store and I finished pumping the gas for my car.

I got in the car and stayed there for a few minutes just trying to process the situation and keep an eye on their car. A minute later they drive off and did not even fuel up the car! So at that moment, I figured I just got scammed. He probably just went in to buy something else or just faked it and drove off to run the same scam again.

My takeaway from this is that I probably will not be giving out money like this again because it is most likely a scam. It's unfortunate it happened, but for learning a lesson that only costed a few bucks, it's not that bad.

I wanted to share this story to let other people out there know about this potential scam so it does not happen to you.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Online Reviews Cannot Be Trusted

One of the great things about the internet is the ability for people to connect with others and share their opinions. You can learn what other people think and you can share what you think about pretty much anything from products to businesses to politics.

While this is a great resource, it can also be very harmful when people post false or inaccurate information. When you read reviews online, you assume true and you hope they can be trusted, but unfortunately this is not the case.

This applies to both good reviews and bad reviews. For example a product may have a lot of good reviews, but it is possible the reviews are fake and have been written just to make a product look good. On the other hand, someone might have a bad experience that has nothing to do with the quality of a product and they leave a bad review for it which makes the product look bad for no reason.

The same goes for businesses, someone may have been upset about something and then they take it out on a business. You never know if what they are saying is true or if they are just trying to make a company look bad. I have seen examples of this first hand where people have written things about a business that are not true, just to try to make it look bad.

So what is the solution? Often review sites such as Google and Yelp will have a way to report a review if there is an issue. The problem is, there is no guarantee anything will be done about it. For example I have reported reviews from time to time for various reasons such as spam or false information and the reviews did not get removed.

This is a problem because when people post reviews that have false information, it can be damaging to a brand or company. When people read these reviews, they assume they are true and this affects their view of what they are reading about.

Review sites need to be more strict about content that is being posted. I know they probably can't moderate every review manually, but there should at least be a better way to report bad information so it can be removed.

We like to think that we can trust the reviews we read online, but unfortunately many of them cannot be trusted, so everyone has to keep this in mind whenever they are reading a review about anything. It may not be as good as the reviews make it out to be, and it may not be as bad as the reviews make it out to be either.