Social media scam 800#’s, and cybercrime reports—oh my!
I’ve sometimes wondered, as I’m sure many do, if scrolling on Facebook was a good use of my time but I have 15 plus years of accumulated friends, relatives and colleagues there. So it felt like home in many ways. I know how important even an iota of support can mean when someone is in despair as well as the camaraderie of shared joy. So I tried to spread the love whenever I had the time for scrolling and checking in. I’m sure many of you have been there.
I was also able to be in touch more deeply with my Polish relatives. Facebook was the reason my dad’s niece was able to connect with us several years ago. This relationship has blossomed into frequent trips to Poland, meeting new relatives and much love exchanged. We couldn’t imagine our lives without our precious Polish families.
My parents were Polish prisoners of war on German farms during World War II. They met in a displaced person’s camp after the war and spent five years there getting married and having two children in the camp before making it to the United States. I’ve written several blogs about their struggles and triumphs and used Facebook as a platform to give those story a voice on both my business page as well as my personal page.
My yoga business is “trauma-informed” for this very reason. Writing, teaching and sharing trauma-informed content, studies, and helpful ways to practice yoga and meditation has become my life’s work. Connecting with 15 plus years of others with this training and focus is my lifeline.
So almost three weeks ago when I fell victim to the “Your account will be deactivated” scam, I spiraled into despair. I literally couldn’t sleep and mourned the loss of ….connection.
To make matters worse, given the lack of customer support options for submitting a claim when your account has been suspended on Facebook because of an Instagram account you didn’t create, I fell victim to scam #2. Both my husband and I Googled a customer support phone number for Facebook and found an 844 number that appeared to be legit after looking the number up for reviews, etc. So, yes, I had my husband’s blessing as I dialed the number.
The kind gentleman who answered apologized for the sleepless night and worrying and told me not to cry. He suggested connecting to my computer to check for hackers and even had what showed as a Facebook dot com email address. I also gave this Facebook impersonator access to my i-Phone too, because why not trust someone so kind and helpful? I’ll stop there.
My spidey sense was spot on as I kept mouthing to my husband: “This doesn’t feel right!” I think I stayed in a fetal position the whole time. Yoga increases your intuition as you learn to listen within. My desire to recover my connections on Facebook overrode my intuition. I should have known.
To give you an idea of how kind and convincing this gentleman was, even after we came to the conclusion we were being scammed, my husband still addressed the gentleman by saying “not to be offensive, but we believe this is a scam.” I thought about it later. I wonder if this gentleman found our manners unnerving. Sadly, I suspect not.
Lost dollars, more lost sleep, cybercrime reports and claims made; and I still don’t have my Facebook account back. This second scam made the loss of the account less important for the next several days. My husband is so patient.
I didn’t consider myself naïve or stupid to the extent I do now. My husband jokes when I says I’m “idiot #1” that he is “idiot #2” because he trusted this person as well. My husband is a gem and has supported me through all this ridiculousness.
My magnificent web-master has attempted to help me recover my accounts all to no avail. I’ve submitted “report a problem” so many times. I really don’t know what else to do. Google it—I’m in good company.
In the scheme of things, losing a Facebook account doesn’t even make the top 500 for adverse experiences. I get that. And I meditate daily (after a few days of being unable to) about being grateful for ALL that I DO have! I live a charmed life compared to many—especially my parents.
In my journaling over this, I’ve chastised myself for letting this send me into a spiral given my bloodline’s history. My “problem” doesn’t compare to what my parents and my ancestors went through—not by a longshot. And this thought humbles me. The ancestry in my genes is so much more resilient than I’ve been behaving.
Yet and still, I’ve been mourning the connections. Because, similar to Meg Ryan in “You’ve got mail”:
“The odd thing about this form of communication is that you’re more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.”
As mentioned earlier, I found it impossible to do my usual Loving Kindness Meditation for the first few days after this “event”. One way I did find accessible draws from my upbringing. I was able to use my Lotus Seed Mala (said to induce calming which I have always found to be true) to say Hail Mary’s—my go-to prayer for when I’m lost. My go-to breathwork when stressed is either inhale for four counts, hold seven and exhale for eight; or simply extending the exhale. I also did a lot of “therapeutic sighs”. When I did get back to my normal Loving Kindness Meditation, I added a prayer for both scammers—and ALL scammers because certainly our world would be better off if they lost their interest in taking advantage.
Each morning after my personal daily yoga practice, I do a random reading from one of several books in my “she-cave”. Recently I pulled from “Meditation for the Love of it” by Sally Kempton. It said: “Of course, the indicators of what the Shvetashvatana Upanishad calls ‘success in yoga’ differ in certain particulars from tradition to tradition. And ultimately, most of the great teachers of meditation would agree the most important sign of spiritual progress are revealed in our character, our ability to maintain equanimity, our power to keep the mind clear and still, our compassion and kindness, our clarity and our capacity to hold our center.”
I obviously have a ways to go to claim “success in yoga”. I currently can relate more to the now famous quote: “I meditate. I burn candles. I drink green tea, and I still want to smack some people”.
My sweet husband keeps telling me to “let it go”. Even one of my random readings, this time from the Bhagavad Gita, offered: “That person becomes one with Brahman who has pure understanding, sattva, and firm control of his senses and passions; who turns from the clamor of sense objects; and renounces likes and dislikes.”
Brahman is a metaphysical concept referring to the ultimate unchanging reality, that is uncreated, eternal, infinite, transcendent, the cause, the foundation, the source and the goal of all existence. And sattva is the quality of goodness, purity, positivity, truth, serenity, balance, peacefulness, and virtuousness.
The part “renounces likes and dislikes” got me. I thought the Universe was ribbing me about Facebook’s “likes and dislikes”.
Going back to my opening here as I pondered about time wasted on Facebook—Yes, I’m sure there were days I could have quit scrolling sooner. But I want anyone who’s been a “friend” with me on Facebook—anyone—to know that I have really treasured all of the many kindnesses, comments, wishes and love that this platform has provided.
The bottom-line is YOU all matter to me—so very much. My life has been blessed with you in it. Thank you.
PS I still have my Instagram account as well as Meta Business Suite for the time being so I’ll also be posting this blog there for those who follow Better Day Yoga.
Better Day Yoga, LLC
~Mail to: 5024 Oxborough Gardens
Brooklyn Park, MN 55443-3990
(612) 708 6900
UPCOMING WEBINAR CREATION!
I’m excited to announce a webinar I plan to release in 2024 for those interested in learning techniques to stay grounded and present during high stress times so that your nervous system will stay balanced. This will allow you to be the best, resilient version of yourself. After completing the webinar, you’ll have learned the skills you need to live a more peaceful, centered life with increased energy.
Who is this webinar for?
- Do you find yourself frazzled easily?
- Do outside stressors affect your mood and/or behavior?
- Does anxiety affect your life and sleep more often than you’d like?
- Do you find yourself spiraling into negative self-talk?This webinar will give you techniques and practices to regain control. As you incorporate the skills you’ll learn, you’ll start to notice a more peaceful outlook in the midst of outside stressors. Will you still have stress? Yes—BUT you’ll be able to move through the stressful times with more confidence and ease. Stay tuned for the 2024 release!
Two of my dear friends have new links on my website! Please check them out!
The first one I met a few years ago when I was teaching in Osseo and she had an office nearby. She promptly gave me a wonderful testimonial and we’ve stayed connected ever since.
Women’s Mental Health Services.
Offering Online Mental Health Sessions. Video, audio, and live chat therapy sessions. A messaging option is also available so you can start taking steps to change at your comfort level. Reach out for your 15-minute free consultation.
Services that fit into your life. Start the journey to bettering your mental health from the comfort of your home, office, or hammock by the lake.
Snuggle up to your pup, grab a snack, and we can start to work on mental wellness.
And the second one is one of my oldest and dearest friends. We’ll be collaborating in 2024! Stay tuned!
My dear friend, Christine Sever, has launched her new business creating unique crafts and fun items designed to make you smile! These fun items can be customized for your home, garden, work and special events! Many of my blog readers will recognize Christine from the MANY recipes she shared with my newsletter for many years! Please join me in congratulating her and supporting her newest endeavor! Thank you!