A study done last year by Consumer Reports revealed that despite heroic efforts to educate people, those telephone scammers many of us hear from daily are still stunningly successful – to the tune of fleecing one in 10 Americans for over $7 billion total in 2015.

It’s almost unbelievable to think that after so many years of stressing such (seemingly) simple concepts as “Just hang up” and “If it’s too good to be true,” so many Americans continue to make such obvious fraud so very, very lucrative.

Then I reminded myself of Nov. 8, 2016, the day the United States of America elected a game-show host as president. Why? Because he said stuff that sounded too good to be true!

This is the same game-show host who has since thrown a victory celebration at the White House for a health care bill that was never signed into law and recently went on a “Made in America” tour when it’s common knowledge that for decades, a vast majority of his and his family’s lines of branded items, from ties to tennis shirts to eyeglasses, were made overseas, often in Vietnam, China or Mexico.

None of us should be surprised anymore at how successful grifters can be when they appeal to the dangerous combination of gullibility and hubris.

Jeremy Smith

Old Orchard Beach