The image that accompanies this post is what's been written on the apartment dry-erase board for a while now. It's the phone number (which I've partially censored for the internet) of Brittney Reynolds of the now defunct FastSpells.com for those of you curious. That entire affair has left me thinking about quite a bit lately, and I thought I'd touch on that today.
I've been thinking about writing a third installment about Internet Spellcasters and Spell Farms in general, and while I might still do it, I begin to ask myself "What service am I doing people?"
With Fastspells.com it was obvious. Besides scamming people for money, they were dummying up fake review sites, inventing false personas, faking book websites... they were lying about so much that it really wasn't so much a standard spellcasting scam as much as it was a full blown con. They had built a web so full of lies that unless someone was completely determined (*cough* like me *cough*) there would be no way for anyone to get retribution.
But I've begun to ask myself, "how stupid are the clients?" I hate to be mean to people, but who really thought these sites didn't smell of scam in the first place? Now, remember, this is coming from a person who actually believes in things like spells. I don't want to be insulting, but anyone with any sort of scam radar would spot that site in five seconds. While I would never say that anyone "got what they deserved," I will say that I hope the people who purchased things from them learned their lesson about this sort of thing.
But like Advance Fee Fraud/419 scams there is a point where I have to wonder how naive so many people are. If someone is offering to fix all your problems for a "reasonable fee," they're probably taking you for a ride. You can't click a Paypal button and expect that everything is just going to poof itself fixed.
Life doesn't work that way.
And clearly people are still falling for all of this. New spellcasting websites go up (I'm sure Brittney, Kevin and Andrew have a new one running as we speak), and 419 e-mails get sent out to new suckers every day. Heck, three showed up in my inbox this morning. They wouldn't keep doing it if people didn't keep falling for it.
So yes, I'm going to write a third article about spellcasters and spell farms, but I want to be clear: While the people running the scams are truly the ones doing wrong, you should make sure you are wary. Cliched advice my mother gave me as a child was don't take candy from strangers. If you do, you'll get screwed.
Of course, the scammers should take the advice that my Father still to this day gives me: Don't Get Arrested.