Beware the traps and tricks, the bait and swith, the distracting squirrels. They are coming and they will knock you off course if you let them!
Three things happened within the span of a few minutes.
First, I got an amazing offer that seemed a perfect fix for something I was looking though.
Second, an angry and annoying squirrel jumped on my head and called two of his friends.
Third, I missed the warning completely that it was coming.
It all started with a letter from Americor Funding. I read the offer. I read the fine print on the back. I even looked up some information online.
But I didn’t dig the way I have in the past – and I should have.
I started to make the call but had left the phone in the other room. Instead, I opened my email and had a wonderful and inspiring greeting from my friend, Natalie. “Outwardly, I spoke of having faith in God. Inwardly, I was overwhelmed and burdened with doubt.” That’s exactly what I was feeling and struggling through.
I was “this close” to tossing the letter, but I decided to make the call anyway. What if this was the first boat or the second boat or even the helicopter.
I made the call, and the first young man I spoke with was very excited and eager to help. I gave him the information from the letter and then he asked me some additional questions. He then asked me for my social security number.
I hesitated. Something felt off.
I asked to speak to his manager who was even less helpful. He said that the “loan” was for debt consolidation, although nothing on the letter explained any of that – and even the first young man hadn’t explained it.
I asked to speak to his supervisor, but Jeff explained that he was the top person on the floor. There was nobody higher than him. He went on to explain that he couldn’t give me any information about how to contact anyone higher than him.
My concern was that the letter offered something different from what they were now explaining. I felt that I was being offered a bait and switch.
I asked if they had a social media department and Jeff said they did. I was happy because I figured that maybe if I posted on social media someone would get back with me.
Jeff then said he saw his supervisor and I could speak to him. Mr. Lozano then got on the line. He was rude to me, accused me of being in too much debt because I was always taking the offers that came to me, and cut me off when I tried to ask questions about the letter that was sent and what it really offered.
And the worst part of this whole scenario is that I didn’t see it coming - but I could have and I should have.
I was so busy looking for the magic bean and the easy button that I missed the “Road Closed” sign God clearly set in my path.
Even more annoying for me right now is that I had just been talking earlier today with the Writers Chat folks about how there is no easy button.
I have calmed down and done some deeper research – the same research I would normally have done before – and I recognize that Americor Funding is not what they appeared to be.
I don’t have a problem with debt consolidation companies. I know they serve a valuable service to many people. I don’t like being tricked or lied to, and I definitely don’t like it when people that want my business are not just rude, but mean.
I fell for it – hook, line, and sinker. I didn’t fall for the bait and switch, but I did fall for the distraction that the enemy sent my way. For me, that is even worse.
Expect the attacks. They are coming.
Be prepared. Distractions will pop up.
Stay alert. Things that seem like an answer are often a trap in disguise.
How to Avoid the Traps
- Get back in the Word. Nothing arms me up better than the Word. When I am struggling in my walk, I need to look at what fuel I’m invested in. If I’m not getting into the Word then I am making way for me to get into trouble.
Be aware of that inner voice. If it doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t right. At the very least, walk away for a few moments or even a few days. Seek out the peace that comes or look for the answers to the concerns of the inner voice.
Watch for the signs. There are signs: red lights that don’t change; an internet that goes down, a phone call that gets cut off, or an unexpected email. Be looking.
4. Recognize the signs. Too many times I have looked back and seen the signs that were trying to help me along the way. The signs are there in the moment. I have to make the choice to recognize and follow those signs.
Learn from my stumble. Don’t get caught in the traps.