I received an invitation from “Next Door” a while ago, and “joined” out of curiosity. For those not familiar with this platform, it’s another social media site encouraging neighbors, separated into areas of town, to chitchat about everything from lost pets to noises in the neighborhood.
In Westminster, Colorado, 72-year-old Pam Ruffin was looking to repair her fence and contacted a company named Eagle Eye Fence, which multiple users on Next door recommended, according to a report by ABC 7. Two contractors visited Ruffin and offered to fix her fence in exchange for a check for $11,800 to pay for supplies. She never saw them again. This was reported by Nicole Nguyen, BuzzFeed News Reporter, on July 24, 2019.
Next door has become the “go to” for scammers by revealing exactly who needs construction work, giving full names and addresses. A privacy setting is available, if you know about it! Many do not.
“There is a false sense of security on Next door that, because these are people in your immediate community, they must be trustworthy. Because of that, people may be less likely to use due diligence in researching contractors and caregivers,” says Nguyen.
Recently I read this post on Next door:
I’m trying to pull threw this bad depression I’m in.
I overdosed on fentanyl June 20th and have been cleaning ever sense but I can’t shake this horrible depression I’m going through I’ve changed my meds which has made it worse. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m at the end of the rope. I just want to jump off the chair and end it all.
Yes, this is real as far as I know, but it could be a scam! In my opinion, if this is a real cry for help, this person should call the Suicide Hot Line instead of relying on neighbors to save his or her life. What if the post isn’t read for a few days? What if it appears mixed in with posts about construction scams, noisy neighbors, and missing pets? Is that person waiting at the end of their rope? I saw this post in September and it was, as noted, posted in June.
I have also seen postings of sad stories asking for money to buy food for their children and dog, and to pay the rent. Scam or no scam?
Then there was the woman who posted a picture of a little bird with a broken wing and wanted to have someone pick up the bird and bring it to a vet.
Honestly, this site would be entertaining if it wasn’t so pathetic.
How about if we return to the good old days when we talked to our neighbors face to face, and offered a helping hand without them asking?
This is my opinion and I stand by it.