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Trust and Fraud

Last night I had another of those phone calls. You know, the one that says ‘we have been trying to contact you as you have a fault on your computer; we need you to type in some figures we give you’. And another, ‘we think there may be a fraudulent transaction on your credit card, so we need your details to verify it’. Or, how about ‘you have a £1,000 credit on your electricity bill, just ring and give your bank details to have it refunded’. All real calls I have received!

There are at least 5.5 million incidents of financial scams and fraud recorded in the UK each year. Does that mean we can’t trust any letter asking for information or any phone call?

The problem facing Christians is that we are called to trust and love one another and it seems wrong to distrust every communication or every person on the end of a phone or e.mail.

Trusting doesn’t mean taking everything at face value. God has given us brains and gifts such as discernment, and we should use them.

Jesus told his followers to “be wise as serpents and innocent as doves”, saying he was “sending them out like sheep among wolves” (Matthew 10:16)

The wisdom of the one and the harmlessness of the other are to be desired in the Christian character. We should strive to be gentle without being pushovers, whilst being aware of unscrupulous tactics waiting to catch us out.

The answer is to trust, but verify, find out some more facts before acting.

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