Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Sinners Guide to Scams and Cons

“Between a fellow who is stupid and honest and one who is smart and crooked, I will take the first. I won’t get much out of him, but with that other guy 
I can’t keep what I’ve got”~Lewis B Hershey

THE LANGUAGE OF THE CON. As a practicing lawyer, I have heard many, many fishy stories. I have read many, many documents, great works of forgery, and in some instances, fantasy - in one instant that I shan't easily forget is coming across an official Land Office document which was written over by one individual to alienate a certain part of his property as a garden and home for elves (no kidding). I have learnt a little I think, to distinguish between the sincere and the less-than-sincere, and use my nose to smell a rat. I have also come across many ‘businessmen’ who are honest but naïve in the ways of the world. But  of course, I have also come across a number of con artists. These are some telling points about our ethically-handicapped friends (of course, some of whom are down right criminal) –

THE GREAT PYRAMIDS - If it looks like pyramid scheme. If it smells, walks and talks like a pyramid scheme. Then, in ALL probability, it is a pyramid scheme. It doesn’t matter what the ‘object for sale / trade’ is. In my short life I have come across blatant gimmicks like shoe polish, mattresses and herb-infused women’s err... feminine pads that doubles as an alternative remedy for high-fever – you plop it on your forehead. (I kid you not), that is utilized as the ‘trade’ to justify collecting a disproportionately high ‘purchase price’. Alternatively, I have come across pyramid schemes organized around a real estate development, with millions upon millions of dollars invested to market and give a veneer of legitimacy to the fraudulent program. The simple rule is that if there is a ‘down-liner’ structure, if you are required to make a hefty deposit (say, 20-30%), then it is highly likely that it is pyramid-ponzi scheme.

THEY ARE FAST TALKERS! Conmen tend to talk fast. They are not too fond of pauses and silent contemplation. They have a story to sell and they don’t want you thinking too much over it…”And you said that Ferdinand Marcos had this deal with…? What date exactly? Waitaminute, wasn’t he overthrown already then?

THEY TRAVEL IN GROUPS! They often come with hanger-ons. Sometimes two, three even four ‘partners’ who appear to have no role whatsoever but to take up valuable space in your meeting room. Oh, they sometimes nod vigorously in agreement with the lead speaker's claims, and that's it. Most of the time not  a word would they breath through out the entire pitch.

THEY ARE BEING SHADOWED BY THE CIA! If they throw in words suggesting grand conspiracies like the CIA, the FBI, IMF, President of the United States, World Bank, McDonalds, Freemasons… and how these people would come down hard on them for their product (whatever it may be) if only they BUT knew! But of course, in the real world, those that need to be-in-the-know are probably already in-the-know. So the question is, why are such ‘malevolent forces’ not doing anything? Of course the truth is, they don’t care, because it is all a pack of lies.

He was caught and punished. But mainly because he
soaked and conned his own class, the rich.

IT IS YOUR LUCKY DAY! If it is such a great idea, if it is such a brilliant scheme… why are they coming to you? Why not just keep it to themselves, or at the most to their close friends and family? Why need they set up shop in your country and not their own? And even if they had to, why not get venture capital from the USA, Britain or Europe? If the idea is too good to be true, you KNOW that it is too good to be true.

JUST PAY USD20,000 AND YOU ARE GUARANTEED TO GET USD6 MILLION! And finally, the clinching evidence if you have any doubt as to the honesty of any deal - If such a scheme entails you paying a small amount relative to what you will get – say, paying a USD20,000 to help ‘facilitate lottery administrative charges’, ‘pay death duties’, ‘settle bank financial fees', ‘help procure necessary permits to remit monies cross-borders’, through which a disproportionate amount of money (maybe USD6 million and above) is released / remitted into your account, then come on… you have to be naive to fall for such trickery.

Listen to your heart… Though your dry-bone and almost empty wallet is shouting to be filled. This will save you money, or at least the blushes of being duped by a con artist.

This has been a public service broadcast from the sinners’ almanac. I hope you found it to be helpful. Actually, I have been wanting to write this for the longest time.

Thank you for dropping in, sunshine.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way


Anonymous said...

Well said. If you want a list of scams, check out for a comprehensive scam schemes available in Malaysia. A warning in advance, the words are harsh as the blogger has a deep rooted hatred against these conman.

Milky Tea said...

Dear Anony,

I checked the blog... Well, he certainly doesn't mince his words!

thanks for the input!


Amir said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing good post. Really very informative and very useful post.