Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Looks are deceiving

Real story, real place, REAL people.

*Real names will not be disclosed to protect privacy.

* Pete is a successful businessman in his late 40s and was on a trip to Kuala Lumpur for a short trip. One morning, he's having his usual buffet breakfast at the hotel. All is well, food is great, atmosphere is great and service is great.

He makes some toast and suddenly someone bumps into him from the back so hard that his toast falls on to the floor. Being a gentleman, he does not get angry but turns around to have a look and is greeted by an apology. That's fine, he says but only to find out he is caught when the person starts talking to him. Let's call her Sally.

Sally: Oh, I"m so sorry.
Pete: That's fine, no biggie.
Sally: Owh owh hi, I'm Sally from overseas and I'm a member of *insert a church name*. Where are you from?
Pete: I'm a local here.

Just to cut things short, here is the main part of the conversation.

Sally: Oh, we're here to set up some business and do networking. You can earn some extra income, you know?
Pete: Owh, its ok. I got to go
Sally (refuses to give up): Wait wait! How bout your friends???

Pete walks away eventually.

After sitting back at his table, Pete realises the person bumping into him was not an accident but was on purpose. It is so obvious she is using it as a pretext to start a conversation. Seriously, would any stranger be so nice to give you such an opportunity? Some say it might be God sent, but be wise. The world is not as simple and nice. The lady was well dressed, well groomed and looked so professional that anyone would fall for it if they were not on their guard. All these scams work in a similar manner: they'll ask you to place a certain amount for initial investment and promise super high returns. To make it genuine, you might actually receive it for the first few times but like a pyramid scheme, you will lose everything when it collapses.

Every business person says high return, high risks. That's true. But scams give no return, high risk! Not only no return, probably negative return.

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