(Ya, it is just a joke but the reality of things is conman can come in many forms and can strike when you least expected. Image source: http://punditkitchen.wordpress.com)
Seriously, reading the daily newspaper can be a frightening thing early in the morning these days!
Just read some of these stories:-
A woman who fell for a con artist’s sob stories on Facebook ended up being cheated of RM1.1mil (source)
A syndicate has cheated several companies of millions by placing orders using post-dated cheques and then disappearing with the goods. The cheques, meanwhile, are not honoured (source)
A woman is claiming that she was cheated of RM13,000 by a policeman who promised to secure bail for the release of her two sons, detained for alleged involvement in motorcycle theft. (source)
In the past, in addition to the abuse of tax-payers money by the locals, such con jobs are usually confined to emails from daughters or widows of a purported dictator or some politicians who had died leaving millions in the bank and with “sincere” request for a small fee to get the money out. Reward for this small help can be indeed very rewarding – millions dollars to be shared. Read:-
Ya, I even got an email from the FBI
Perhaps some stories can be too convincing indeed but on the other hand, the question also arises on whether we have been closing one eye to the influx of conmen and criminals into this country?
In the case of the woman who lost RM1.1 million to the conmen, the police acted fast and managed to arrest 2 Nigerians, 2 Bangladeshis and undisclosed number of locals. There was no surprise to note that there were Nigerians involved in this scheme. The Africans masquerading as students has been let loose in this country for a very long time now and you sometimes wonder how these students from poor impoverished countries who at times can’t even speak proper English can be driving luxury cars couple of months after they had arrived here.
The number of the Africans near my housing areas has been steady growing – perhaps they are indeed students but at times, they do show their ugly side of their character.
Then I read this in Malaysiakini which was another surprise:-
Malaysia has begun taking fingerprints from foreigners entering the country in a bid to prevent illegal immigrants coming in using fake papers, an official said today.
After the famed 9-11 tragedy, many governments around the world talked about implementing biometrics validation as another mean to nab known terrorists before they could do something sinister. Malaysia on the other hand probably felt that it is not necessary to the same considering we are in the safe part of the world. But all the while, we have been having problem with illegal immigrants. But why we did not start fingerprinting back then? Whilst we tried other means of enforcement like securing our borders, we never added fingerprinting as part of the arsenal against foreign criminals and terrorists.
However, it is better now than too late even though fingerprinting is only going to run on trial basis. NST quoted the Immigration Department Director General saying that 3% of the 24.4 million foreigners who visited the country in 2010 had been involved in various crimes. I wonder how many of them, the so-called students from the sub continent of Africa.
This measure will not however stop foreigners from committing crimes – we need to buck up on all other measures as well like better policing, better surveillances and investigations, better education and strict banking policies but perhaps we should be more diligent as well. It may sound unfortunate but when it come to dealing with foreigners and money, we may put on the distrust hat and triple check the “way too convincing” stories which if not checked, could make us lose millions. It is ok to be paranoia because this is how the world has come to be.
After all, we are closer to the end of the world…