Since publishing my book, I have been admitted to AWSA, the Advanced Writers’ and Speakers’ Association. From this group of female writers, I have learned much. Recently, I, like several others, was contacted to speak in Great Britain. We all received the same email, and because one of our women checked into the inviter’s credentials, we were alerted that this invitation was a scam. This is not the only scammer working with authors.
One writer began her email with these words: “This week a scammer got me.” She wrote that he used her pastor’s name and asked her to buy gift cards for two women at church who were suffering from cancer; he would give the cards to the women the following Sunday. She purchased the cards. Then the scammer asked her to photograph the cards front and back and send them to him so the women could start spending them early. She obliged…and lost $1000 in the process.
The author called the police. Because of the amount, it was a federal crime, so the F.B.I. was alerted. She also notified her pastor and other members of the congregation—many who had received the same email. The scammer contacted her again and wanted $3,000 more to help other people in need.
This time, the author prayed about what she should do. Jude 22 told her to reach others for Jesus through mercy mixed with fear, and the story of Ananias and Sapphira came to mind.
This is what she wrote the scammer:
“Once there was a man named Ananias, who came up with a scheme with his wife to steal from the first church. God struck them both dead. You may not believe in God, but he sees what you are doing. Your only hope for being saved is to call on Jesus. And by the way, what you’re doing is a felony and has been handed over to the FBI. You will very likely be receiving some earthly pay-back, too.”
In the email to fellow members of AWSA, she wrote that she knew that Ananias and Sapphira weren’t after money; they were after acclaim. “But it’s still stealing,” she wrote. She shared that she put the scammer on her daily prayer list. “I’ve turned his theft into my investment in his soul.”
She ended with this:
“So beware of what’s out there, like I was not. And if you are approached by a scammer, think of how you can invest in his or her soul for eternity. Prayer can snatch him from the flames of hell.
“Boy, did this scammer unknowingly hit the jackpot! LOL!”
Several authors responded to her email, me included, thanking her for demonstrating a heart for ministry for someone who had cost her…literally. Her ability to see a chance to lead someone to know Christ superseded her desire for payback. What a lesson for everyone who sees only their own pain instead of recognizing an opportunity to help save someone’s soul!