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Deer Diary, I Was Scammed

There are two kinds of people in the world - those who are highly skeptical of absolutely everything, and those who believe in magic. I am both. Always have I always been so careful with my money, I am as frugal as they come - a true Capricorn, I am grounded, strategic, calculated. I am also tuned in to the frequency of miracles. I pray to Goddesses and they deliver, just when I need them most. I believe in karma, and that the energy you put forth always comes back. That the seeds you plant with good intention will blossom into abundance. But, I never, would I ever, have thought that I would be a victim of a scam. For sure I was too intelligent to fall for such things that only happened to the elderly or the extremely gullible.

Wrong.

It was divine timing. The person I had been seeing was no longer around. My sister, my mentor, was at 15,000 ft, high up in the Sierra Nevadas, hiking the John Muir trail. Had I run this by either one of them, they probably would have seen the signs. I was also in the flow. I felt good. Having returned to myself, doors were opening - I was attracting opportunities.

I was just about to teach a private yoga session when I got the email from a "domain broker" with a buyer for one of my prized domains. It was lengthy, detailed and in-depth. The price was good, triple what I had it listed for, but this buyer wanted my .com, .co, and .net, versions so it kinda made sense. "She" invited me to a group chat on Telegram (a messaging app like Whatsapp), so that I could see and chat with her other satisfied clients that had also sold domains through her. I should have worried when no one responded to my private messages, asking them if it was real. But I thought, maybe they no longer use the app, I mean, I only downloaded it for this reason, and didn't see why I'd use it further, so maybe they were just gone now...

Wrong. Again.

I researched. I looked up "domain scams" - nothing. I looked up the company from which I would have to purchase "law compliance" forms from, that were basically appraisals for my domains ("Godaddy didn't provide compatible documents that were required for this Korean buyer's bank.") . Which is where I should have called Godaddy. Hindsight. I found nothing on them. The purchase was to be through Cryptocurrency. I don't have any experience with Bitcoin, so I read up, and learned how it worked, and felt pretty okay with it. I decided to go for it. I bought the certifications. They were about $150 per domain. I felt this was an okay amount given the return. The broker then informed me that I needed to get the Korean translations of the documents, which was of course, more money. About $100 per domain. At this point I was already in, so deeper I went.

I didn't sleep.

After purchasing the translations, the broker now instructed me to list the domains with this company so that the buyer could then place the bid, of which I would accept and the sale would ensue. Here is where I stopped. To list would be another $400. The buyer's money would go into an escrow account until all was said and done and then be transferred to me. It was at this time a new guy popped up on the chat inquiring if this was real, and I immediately intercepted. I private messaged him that I was already in it and was having my doubts. I gave him my phone number and we left the group chat to start our own investigation. This is where it all came crashing down. We learned that this company, the one I had purchased all the things from, and was about to list my domains with, had just been established - days ago. It was early September. The website listed "August Statistics." Scam. When you clicked on the BBB, ICANN, or Swiss Escrow emblems - nothing, they were dead. F*^%.

F#@&!!!

I began to panic. I didn't know what else they had besides my $800. I was clicking on encrypted links for days. Immediately I shut everything down, changed all passwords, purchased LifeLock. I called my banks. They had bad news. When you purchase Crypto through a third party you can pretty much kiss that money goodbye. Two years ago I might have laughed at myself for being so dumb and losing that amount of money, but not now. Now it takes me a long time to make that amount, and not just time but physically and mentally it takes - a lot. I spent my days doing damage control, monitoring everything, talking to everyone that I could about what I should do to prevent something worse from happening. I reported it to the BBB, ICANN, Swiss Escrow, the FBI, and spoke to a friend in homeland security. I strung the scammers along. I acted as though I was still in the game, meanwhile whenever I saw a new person pop on the chat I wrote them. I would hear my phone ping in the night and jump to try and stop them. I was able to save eight people in the end. A few of them want to have a coffee when they are next in LA. Those that I prevented from traveling the same path were so grateful. This helped.

I was a shell of a human after. So embarrassed. So mad at myself for making things worse. I sunk to a very low place where I barely ate, slept, or saw any point in trying. I would show up to teach my classes with bloodshot eyes, internally shaking, exhausted, but smiling. My voice dropped. I know that it could have been so much worse - that some have lost so much more, and I was lucky to have pulled out when I did. Who knows what they would have gained access to if I had gone through with sending along bank information in order to be paid. Perhaps they would have gotten everything, AND my genius domains, I don't know. It was still a very bad blow. I was already working at max physical and mental capacity. I must have cried for days.

But then, it was time to retrieve my sister who had been hiking those mountaintops for two weeks with her husband. I taught two classes in a row then sped off to go get her. Four hours later they were in my car and we were zipping back to LA. It was a real shitty thing to have happened. But my sister was in my front seat, and it all stopped hurting. It no longer mattered what I didn't have, I had her, and she was safe and by my side.

I would be okay.

That was two weeks ago. The weight has lifted a little more with each passing day. I see the point in trying again. Ken, one of the saved, wrote me in one of our exchanges, " you know, Coco, it would be really nice to sell some domains for lots of money."

"It sure would Ken," I replied. And maybe that's why it hurt, because not only did I lose hard earned money, but I didn't make what my heart wanted to believe that I would. That's how scams work. They play on the hopes and dreams and desperately indebted. F those people, man.

I remain highly skeptical.

I still believe in magic...

"You went through a tough time but it

activated your awakening

and now you're

a different person.

You gained the ability to

see through things and

to see people for who they are.

People can't play games

with you anymore.

Your intuition is on a different level."

- Maryam Hasnaa

You mustn't live so lightly,

Spin your stories, tell your tales,

Let them dance across the oceans

And set the wind upon your sails.

For every truth found on your travels

And in the pits of your despair,

Is a shout into forever

Of "I existed, and I cared."

~ Erin Hanson

Los Angeles, CA

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