In Service of Confirming What Seems Too Good to be True

January 12th, 2023

Categories: Facts, Lies, Too Good to Be True


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

No matter how many times we’re warned, we don’t seem to learn. Cheaters slip in everywhere, not just in high profile positions.

This experience is worth repeating. I interviewed a bright young woman applying for a college scholarship. What a career she seemed to have had and how articulate she was, and she was only a college sophomore. Her fashion blog, she boasted, was written to help disadvantaged women look hip and cool at little cost. It actually featured clothes and accessories accessible only to those with the heartiest trust funds. The applicant counted on nobody checking. This lie red flagged that other parts of her application were untrue and bounced her right out of the running.

Early in the first episode of the Netflix series, “Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street,” one of his duped customers cautioned, “Even if god sends you a résumé, check the references.” Human resources guru Greg Giangrande—who writes a column for the NY Post and appears weekly on the WOR 710 Radio morning show for starters—said yesterday what we know: If your lie on a résumé is discovered even after 25 years of superb work, you’ll be fired.

Nevertheless, some people fly loose with facts and others don’t confirm basic ones about financial experts or congressmen and women.

George Santos, who currently represents a congressional district in Queens and Long Island NY, like the uber perfect scholarship applicant, was too good to be true which The New York Times discovered. Yahoo News reported that “much of his résumé appeared to have been manufactured, including claims that he owned numerous properties, was previously employed by Goldman Sachs and Citigroup and had graduated from Baruch College.”

The press, now challenged, piles on with discoveries daily. They found that he’d falsely claimed his grandparents were Holocaust survivors and when challenged said he was “Jew-ish.”

Did his late filing financial disclosures without appropriate details break the law they ask?

According to New York Times reporters Michael Gold and Grace Ashford “a watchdog group, the Campaign Legal Center, called on the Federal Election Commission to investigate the congressman, accusing him of improperly using campaign funds for personal expenses, misrepresenting his spending and hiding the true sources of his campaign money.” Brazilian law officials also have a bone to pick with him regarding fraud charges. The reporters wrote that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was silent about allegations reported in The Washington Times and CNBC that to raise funds one of Santos’s staffers impersonated McCarthy’s chief of staff.

Were the man’s challengers and opponents in the 2022 campaign asleep? The Internet makes checking easy. An intern or college volunteer could verify a person’s employment or college attendance/graduation claims. So why do we accept anyone’s word? Has this always been the case? Are Madoff and Santos one-offs and are most future employees or candidates or financial advisors vetted if not carefully, at least for the basics? Could it be that to most the truth doesn’t make a difference?


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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10 Responses to “In Service of Confirming What Seems Too Good to be True”

  1. Linda Levi Said:

    Linda on Facebook: Shameful on every level–the person lying, the lack of vetting by those who know better, etc. I do more cyber-sleuthing when checking out a potential new doctor, restaurant and real estate!

  2. Debbie Kunen Said:

    Debbie on Facebook: Dark $$ shut down all naysayers. They KNEW but did not CARE. They had an agenda.

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Linda,

    Even though I know that some of the “reviews” of a restaurant or online retailer I’ve not heard of might be written by mom, dad and cousin Vinnie, if my friends are unfamiliar, I check them out best I can. One of my friends who is a generous donor reports every time he uses Charity Navigator to look into a cause he may want to support. I told him about that organization a few years ago.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Debbie,

    Who knows. The Republican party leaders in his district have asked him to resign.

  5. BC Said:

    I remember a pre-med student who was interviewing for med school. He went on and on about his extra curricular activities. One of these was boasting about being a pilot. Little did he know, the physician interviewing him had his own plane, and was a pilot. In a few sentences, he ascertained the boy was lying. That was enough to keep him out of one med school!

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    BC,

    What a story! “When will they ever learn?” as the song goes [although it’s about something else]. Someone once told me “You don’t lie because you’re Catholic.” My reply: “I don’t lie because who can remember?”

  7. lucrezia Said:

    Madoff attracted the sucker born every minute, and in a way, the greedy suckers got what they deserved, with Madoff faring just as poorly in the end.

    Santos belongs in a different category and is/was in no way too good to be true. Apparently, he’s done nothing illegal, just plain unethical, wrong, and adding to the existing stench of the GOP.

    Both types will charm their victims who will always be in good supply. While society comes down hard on these types, they’ll always be back in one form or another. That’s humanity!

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    If Santos does a crummy job representing his constituents I doubt anyone would be hurt but there are others whose lies about their work histories and education could harm patients if they became doctors or homeowners if architects for example.

    I can’t get over a person who can look you in the eye and lie and who, once caught—like Santos—who stick to the falsehoods without blinking.

  9. Martha T Takayama Said:

    We apparently are living in an era in which truth means nothing! I think the use of the word ‘misspoke” was an indication of the beginning of the end. of the concept of truth having any meaning in public life. There apparently is no reason not to lie because no one may verify anything you say, or if you are exposed, and no matter to what extent, there is very little reason to think that you will face consequences. Trump, McCarthy, Santos, Fox media and so on are only.a few examples of a prevailing culture based on fabrication. As for media recommendations or evaluations, even of medical professionals, it seems naive to believe them.

  10. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Martha,

    You paint an accurate, if scary, picture. How we snap out of this lethargy that is potentially harmful is an unanswerable question. There have always been followers of crazy people but these days there are millions, not just a few fanatics.

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