Last night I spoke to a woman who wanted to borrow money. This wasn't a friend, relative, or even an acquaintance. It was a woman I'd met online only hours earlier. Surely this was some sort of confidence scheme originating from West Africa or Russia, you might be thinking. Perhaps this person wanted me to send her a cashier's check, or wire the money to some untraceable account in Nigeria? Nope. This woman is from the Upper West Side...and she wanted her money NOW. In cash. She assured me she'd pay me back on Friday, if I could meet her on 76th and Broadway with $200. I don't know what irritated me more. The audacity of asking a total stranger for money, or the fact that she expected me to trek clear across town at 10 o'clock at night. What kind of a scam artist doesn't even have the courtesy to come to your building? What's with people these days?
When I asked why she needed the money so urgently, she said it was "personal." I tried to press her for more details since there was nothing good on TV, and I needed to be entertained. She wouldn't tell me why she needed the cash, but she said if I came immediately with the money that we could go for coffee after.
"REALLY?," I replied giddily, "We could go for coffee?"
"Sure, why not?," she said, "You seem cool."
"I'm jumping in a cab right now," I told her.
"Okay. If you could bring the money in twenties that would be great," she said as I hung up.
By 10:30, I saw her online again. I don't understand this woman. She couldn't wait for me? We were supposed to have coffee.