Scams and Authenticity

by Katie Shockley

The Federal Trade Commission received complaints of frauds from 2.7 million people in 2017, including reports of imposter scams, identity theft, credit card fraud, and tax fraud. “Of the more than 1.1 million people who reported fraud, 21% [reported a loss of] more than $905 million, . . . an increase of $63 million from 2016.” The FTC received 350,000 reports of imposter scams. “Nearly 1 in 5 people who reported an imposter scam lost money,” totaling $328 million. While we think of scammers targeting the elderly, “more younger people reported losing money to fraud than older people,” but the elderly tend to lose more money in the scam. Most scammers contact their victims by telephone and use wire transfers.1 Unfortunately, some people in this world take advantage of our vulnerabilities.

Sin exists and consequences follow. But because the Lord loves all that the Lord created, God loves sinners. We like the sound of that when it applies to ourselves, but we rather dislike the sound of it when it applies to others whose sin has affected our lives or the lives of loved ones.

We live in a broken and hurting world riddled with sin. When we sin, God forgives and loves us. This is how we learn what forgiveness feels like and the importance of forgiving others. When we or someone we love fall victim to scammers and fraud, we struggle with forgiveness. But we realize that sin is sin and love is love and God loves those who sin. Then we pray for the Lord to help us to forgive as the Lord has forgiven us.

  1. How do you protect yourself and your loved ones from frauds and scams?
  2. When have you felt God’s forgiveness for sin?
  3. When do you find it difficult to forgive someone? How can your experience with God’s forgiveness help you to forgive someone else?


[1] From “The Top Frauds of 2017,” by Monica Vaca, Federal Trade Commission (

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