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Given that a record 47 million Americans now depend on food stamps to eat, I figured I’d poke around and see how food stamps work.For example, I wanted to know:
- How do you get food stamps?
- What are they?
- What are the income and wealth eligibility hurdles?
So, naturally, I turned to the Internet.
And I found sophisticated sleazebags waiting to scam me!
Specifically, I found a whole industry engineered to get money from Americans who have little money and a lot of time. And the continuous promise of this industry, of course, is…money.
I should have been prepared for this, of course. But I was researching food stamps — a government aid program for Americans who don’t have enough money to eat. So my guard was down.
My search started the same place it would have if I had actually wanted to get food stamps: Google.
Then, finally, screen 6 offered to help with what I had come for--food stamps. So maybe there was hope that the scam might, in addition to scamming me, actually help me find what I wanted.
Of course, there was fine print. It said that, to get my grant money, I had to agree to get SMS messages. Uh oh.
But what the hell... I wanted my grant money. So I provided my info. As the screen said, the following offers might help me on my way to financial stability!
That screen offered me a FREE $500 CHECK just for answering a couple of questions about whether I was employed. So I did. And I qualified for a FREE $500 CHECK! So I entered my email to CLAIM NOW.
And, finally, as promised, it seemed like they were actually going to send me a FREE $500 CHECK. They wanted to know where they should send it! (I didn't tell them. Because I didn't want to get those SMS messages. And, as I soon learned, telling them wouldn't have helped.)
I provided my email address to get my $500 Gift Card. And then they wanted me to tell them where they should send it.
I can't remember what I did next, but suddenly I was presented with this screen, which was offering me a FREE $1,000 Walmart Gift Card. That sounded a lot better than $500 of groceries. So I answered the questions.
Well, after reading the fine print, I decided to give up. I'd try to find some other way to get food stamps. Of course, by then, my desktop was littered with floating popups like this one.
So I went back to Google and started again. And, finally, by clicking on a much more vague link, I found what I was looking for--information on food stamps. More on that later.
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