Friday

Moms: A Walking Target to Be Scammed, Taken for Granted

I was walking through the mall with my family and there she was standing next to a kiosk complimenting me on how nice-looking my children were. I was flattered and stopped to talk to her. She told me about an upcoming audition for children to be in a commercial for the Nickelodeon and Disney channels. I was excited and listened intently.

Meanwhile, my children came over to find out what I was smiling about and she drew them into her conversation by talking about their looks, asking them about their talents, and showing pictures of some of the children she supposedly got "six figures" because of her discoveries. But something just wasn't right, and I wanted to make the negative feeling in spirit go away so I talked to her some more. Finally, after a little prompting from the man of the house with, "We have to go..." She gave me her business card and a small flier with directions on where to take the children the following day.

On the way home, we talked about our encounter, the children and I, we talked about my past auditions and how to act and what to say. We even role-played once we got home. "Was this too good to be true?" I thought. I decided to pray with the children and asked God for revelation about the meeting. Well, it wasn't long before I was surfing on the Internet, that same night, to find that similar situations happened to other families. They too had been approached by someone in the mall about the same auditions and they went.

It turned out that once these families had arrived at the audition location, there children were sent off into a classroom that basically offered future classes for things like acting. Parents were expected to pay for all sorts of classes to prepare their children for future auditions. So it turns out that the so-called audition was nothing more than a lure to get into naive parents bank accounts. Why pay for something that you can get through a real talent agency sometimes for free or at a discount?

I had to break the news to my children about my discovery. They weren't happy. My son said, "Why would she do that? Why lie?" I looked again at the woman's card and in less than an eight point size font at the bottom of the card was a statement that said this is not for an audition. What? She misrepresented the company with false promises.

There were other times that we were walking as a family and people asked me for money. For some reason, they assumed that me, a mom of four, would give to this cause and that one, support a children's program, or do other things because "with your big family you can afford it." That is the furthest thing from the truth! If anything, we should be the last group of people that any salesperson should bother. One day, I went off on a young man asking me for money on the street--I was having a bad day with my boys. I said, "Do you see all these kids? Do I look like I have money? Don't ask a mother with children for any money! You hear me..." He looked at me with a weird look and kept walking.

When you are a mom you are a target for sales representatives asking if you things like: do you want to take out insurance on your child, buy toys, candy, home decor, even children's vitamins, join scam home businesses, sign up for children's programs like bible studies (they cost too every time they pass that basket around,) music and karate lessons, volunteer for nonprofits, and care for other people's children. I think of the many people who attempted to befriend me since I have had children. "Oh she can watch my children, she has some of her own--she will be good!" Funny, I rarely saw nor heard from these people beforehand.

Nicholl McGuire

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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