Monday, September 09, 2013

An Appeal To County Pride, or, There Is A Sucker Born Every Minute

If a bank robber robs banks because that is where the money is, then it stands to reason that a scammer would scam ex-pats in America because the money surely is not in Ireland these days.

Is this Mayo's year?
With that in mind, a clever Irishman launched a scam that trades on the pride of Mayo men and women in the U.S. For the first time in generations, there is a good chance that Mayo could take the Sam Maguire and the excitement has rendered many of them senseless. After so many years, it stands to reason that enthusiasm and hope would beat out cynicism and common sense.

The scammer has been ringing up Mayo supporters in several American cities with large Irish populations. These hard working immigrants who have done well in their own businesses are being offered an opportunity to advertise their business on a sports-themed website. The victims have been told that their money is going to support the Gaelic football team. When it's your home town lads, you're more likely to open your wallet without giving it another thought, and that is what the scammer has been counting on, with some success.
Monument to the Famine victims

There isn't much in Mayo, which can boast of the monument to the Famine immigrants who perished on coffin ships as they sailed away from their blighted land. It's not a wealthy county, by any means, and its local GAA football team hasn't done much to make the residents brag about their athletic prowess. That this year could be the year has some so enthralled that they are eager to help out in the only way they can if they can't be at Croke Park to cheer on the team. Instead of buying a ticket, a fan might reason, the money could be donated to help the team with all the expenses that come with travel to a distant place like Dublin.

There is no money going to the Mayo team. It's all going to the man who created the fraud. By most accounts, he's met with some success, while the businessmen who fell for his sales pitch are out of pocket.

So if someone calls to ask for donations for whatever GAA team you might be supporting from abroad, just hang up.

Unless you wish to be one of those suckers who is born every minute.

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