If it seems to good to be true- it is!

IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT USUALLY IS-SAY NO TO DESPERATION AND LEARN TO STEWARD YOUR MONEY WISELY TO AVOID FINANCIAL PAIN.

So today one of the things I touched up with our kids at the UNDERSTANDING MONEY day with AFRICAN YOUTH ARISE was scams. Back in the day when I had just come to the UK at 16, I fell victim to those scam letters of you have won £1000 and all you need to do to release the funds is send a cheque of £25 to release the money. This of course was followed up, after sending the cheque, with a further teaser of “your money is being processed but you have been shortlisted for our annual £100000 draw. A £50 release fee is required to release your name into the final qualifier where there are two other candidates.” The rest of the story is of course history. There was no prize or money to be won and the only winner was the scammer who had collected the £75 and millions of other people’s money out there. They had been the ones to really cash in on the jackpot!

Over the years in my line of work and environments I have been in, I have seen this type of scam take place over and over again, a manipulation of people’s minds, abuse of trust and the same game played on people desperate for a quick financial turnaround. Sadly I still fell victim to some of them packaged differently again and there is nothing like a little tale to rope in your emotions and good nature before they go for the jugular!

It targets the churchgoers in the form of “the Lord told me that if you sow a ££££ seed today, get ready for a 24-hour miracle.”The music and atmosphere will all be charged 🤔 strange thing is that afterwards, you start to doubt whether you made the right move and realise that the Lord had not instructed you in the same way or impressed on you that He wanted you to do this too but you get caught up in the moment every time and give it a go because of the miracle that you need. Why can’t needs just be stated and people invited to contribute to the need as they feel led and are able to? I never read anywhere in the word of God where Jesus expected someone to sow seed before he healed them or performed a miracle. When are we going to move into the greater works of a new covenant with Jesus where a small boys’ voluntarily offered lunch fed 5000 men? How will this be possible when we keep dwelling on the shadow of the old testament methods of Elijah demanding widow of Zarephath to bake him bread with the last she had? The work of God and the visions he has given people desperately need money to propel it and He still speaks today using old and new testament but we are encouraged to test the spirits in these times of wolves in sheep clothing. Give your resources generously to the propelling of the gospel from your heart and not out of coercion or pressure from anyone.

It targets the desperate jobseekers in suffering economies by enticing them with job opportunities where they have to pay an application fee of say $600 to qualify them for free air tickets, visa and job to the states, UK, Canada or Australia. I had someone in South Africa today ask me to check out the authenticity of a job offer for their son before she paid registration fee guaranteeing a job abroad. Whilst it was disappointing to know that it was a scam and not a real opportunity, better disappointment without parting with your money as well.

It targets the desperate for Love, particularly targeting single women usually older or single moms who express their desperation to find love. These guys are merciless! I remember years ago hearing of a lady who was working overtime to send money to her long-distance lover in South Africa who had “fallen into difficult times and falsely accused of a crime”. I remember hearing she had already sent over about £10000 and was about to release equity out of her house to get the rest of the money to rescue the love of her life. When I heard the romantic tale and how this man-made this woman feel it was the stuff out of Mills and Boons Books! Unfortunately, that ghost romance tale did not have such a happy ending and she is still paying for that mistake even today!

It targets the gambler who is addicted to putting everything on the line. The person who over time cannot resist a good bet where they stand to win loads overnight, and sadly too often lose it and more ending up indebted to big gaming institutes who hound you and destroy family relationships and the individual’s peace of mind. It is targeting our young children who are being lured into being drug runners to earn quick easy money and being snared and scammed out of their bright futures because they will likely end up dead or in prison.

My prayer for you today is that God may open up your eyes to the lies that you have been pouring your hard-earned money into. That he would guide your footsteps and steady your heart to make wise decisions with the money he has given you to steward and enjoy in your lifetime. That none of your children will fall victim to the same trap you did in ignorance as we draw a bloodline of Jesus around them and you tell them the stories so they know the right way. May they never act out of desperation or fear but know that they have a good Heavenly Father who supplies all their needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus and has mapped out good plans for them to prosper. May you pursue overtake and recover all the resources, time and effort that you lost in unsavoury deals and scams and may you have the strength to re-dig the wells again, and experience your Rehoboth, the place where God makes room for you to prosper in the land of the living.

Have you ever fallen victim to a financial scam? Please share your experience with us so we can learn what is out there.

Tendayi Ndoro

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