Friday, August 05, 2005

Pure, or Mere Stupidity?

This was published in The Star on 4 August 2005.


BY MARC LOURDES

PETALING JAYA: She was overjoyed to know she had won more than RM3mil in the El Gordo Spanish lottery, but her elation changed to despair when she discovered that she was the victim of an elaborate scam.

Her troubles began in 2004.
Legal practitioner A. Pathmeswary received a letter purportedly from a sweepstakes lottery named Loteria Primitiva informing her that she had won US$815,960 (RM3.06mil).

She was told to liaise with the foreign operations manager of a company named Shamrock Agency SA Don Michael Santos to collect her reward.

Instead of giving her the money, the company asked her to pay insurance and taxes to the “government of Spain.”

The money had to be banked into the account of one John Freezeman.
Pathmeswary, who is in her 30s, borrowed from loan sharks after being told that she had to pay close to RM100,000.

“I paid RM91,000, of which RM80,000 was borrowed.

“My family members had to pawn their jewellery to give me a loan but it still wasn’t enough and I had to borrow from friends as well,” she said.

She borrowed another RM20,000 from loan sharks to cover the full amount.

Now, she is being hounded daily by the loan sharks for the money which, due to accumulated interest, has increased to more than RM40,000.

To add insult to injury, another letter was sent to her home, addressed to her nephew.

Almost identical to hers, it claimed that her nephew had won ?615,810 (RM2.8mil).

The Star called the agency in Spain but its officials were reluctant to give details.

One official, when asked about “winners” who could not claim their prize within the period given, said: “That is not a problem because I can use my influence to push it through.”

However, he said US$1,920 (RM7,200) must be paid for the transfer of the prize money.

He refused to give his particulars as he said it was against company policy.

“We have been in business for 12 years. We are not here to take your money. We get paid well enough by our company,” he said.
If I have the opportunity, I would like to convey this message to our Dear A. Pathmeswary:

Dear Ms A Pathmeswary,

I strongly believe that you are a naïve person who still believes money will fall from the sky.
I have no words of consolation to offer you. Nevertheless, I would like to request everyone to give you around of applause for your mere stupidity, which I can safely assume is caused by pure greed.

Nowadays, everyone (except you and morons) is aware of these type of scams. You are purely a disgrace to the professionals by falling into these scams. I have nothing else to say but to wish you good luck and hopefully you won’t fall into these scams in the future.

Regards
Ying Yi

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