I never thought in my life that the National Enquirer-esque scams that grace the pages of the free local papers that are full of escort and massage ads, would come to the frum world. But they have. I’m seeing an increase in these “give us money and you’ll get married” type of ads. Some of them are more roundabout in the “pay us and we’ll pray for you at some holy site” to “pay me and I’ll use my special rebetzin powers to remove any ayin harah’s placed upon you by satan”. It’s pretty pathetic, in fact Mishpacha magazine had an article all about some dude who got caught up in a scam that required him to pay money in order to find his bashert. I guess it was kind of like frumster without browsing.
The ads are getting more creative, bolder, and starting to be placed in regular Jewish periodicals, not just the free community pages in Far Rockaway and Monsey. I’m sure people are falling for them, or else these scam artists wouldn’t be paying for ads. Apparently, if you want someone to daven for you it’s not just good enough to ask anymore, you have to pay. Pay per act of chesed is the latest in scams and many of these scams utilize endorsements (many of them fake) to state the realness of their powers. This and this gadol supports this, or a long list of names with signatures. Unfortunately, I think the time has come when each of these ads and organizations will have to be checked just as tzedaka organizations are checked for accuracy.
Just like meshulachim begging for false non-profits, some of these are scams and some are not. Just be careful…it seems that we Jews are not prone when it comes Jewing each other down.
I even found a blog that lists all of the frum scams
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