A Cuban Like Myself with US $200,000

By Pedro Pablo Morejon

HAVANA TIMES – It was early 2017 when I first connected to the Internet. The first thing I did was open up a Google email account and a Facebook account, because it’s like you don’t exist if you’re not signed up to one social media platform.

Of course, this is all nonsense, but the idea was maybe floating around in my subconscience. So, that’s what I did, and I immediately began to receive friend requests.

One of them in particular caught my attention. It was from a beautiful, mysterious woman who went by the name Fatima Hassan. She gave me her email address and asked me to write to her as soon as possible, she had something important to tell me and it would be more private via email.

So, I wrote to her and received a long poorly translated missive, in which she told me a very sad story. She was a refugee in Senegal because her Iranian parents, who had a fortune worth millions of dollars at the Bank of England, had been murdered.

Given her refugee status, she was unable to access the account and needed somebody to travel there with a power of attorney in her name to withdraw this money. She would pay me a juicy commmission for doing this.

The most interesting thing was that I – me and nobody else – was Allah’s answer to her long and intense prayers.

It seems that as soon as she saw me, this God confirmed that I was the chosen one. She even insinuated that she wished that, once the money had been withdrawn, she could come to Cuba and get to know and marry me, as she was a young 25-year-old virgin who longed to find fall in love with me.

Given my life experiences, I think I’ve become an old fox and I didn’t swallow any of it. I didn’t believe that quite an attractive woman, who thousands of men would chase after, had set her sights on a complete stranger. But I decided to play the game a little, because you never know… and I had nothing to lose anyway.

I replied that I didn’t have the means to travel to the UK and our messages seemed to stop there.

After two months, I received a new email telling me that she had managed to withdraw 4 million USD with the help of two European businesspeople, and she was now working in Germany, investing in projects.

However, Allah had put it in her heart to deposit US $200 000 into United Bank for Africa. I had to get in touch with a Mr. Leo Thaddeus, the bank’s manager. The most interesting thing was that she gave me an email, website, and phone number of this guy so I could get in touch with him.

I verified the bank and website were real, and everything seemed in order. Carrying on, just to see how far this would go, I got in touch with this Thaddeus, who informed that yes, that he had a 200,000 USD deposit, and he asked me to urgently send over my information before he wired the transfer. I obviously sent this information as soon as I could.

The next day, I received an email from the man telling me that the transfer would cost 195 USD, which I would have to transfer to him via some money transfer agency like Western Union.

That was the end of the game!

I have to admit that I still held onto the distant hope that this was all real up until that point, but that request for money confirmed my suspicions.

I looked up Online Scams by girl refugee in camp on Holy Google, and I soon discovered that there are criminal groups in Africa that dedicate themselves to doing this. They use fake profiles and hackers.

The general and not very original scam is the story of an attractive and young woman who is now a refugee, fleeing some civil war after her millionaire parents are murdered, who have left a fortune in some bank somewhere.

The entire story is wrapped in a seductive air to make the victim feel like some kind of medieval night who rescues the princess trapped in a castle.

As you would imagine, there are quite a few simple-minded people out in the world who fall into the trap, judging by the hundreds of thousands of USD that these criminal rings make every year.

However, there’s a reason the famous saying here goes: “Wake up, you’re in Cuba.”

It’s because we Cuban islanders, can’t be fooled with such basic schemes, for we are forced to work hard and persevere through this life forced upon us.

Plus, we don’t have any money goddamnit!

Read more from the diary of Pedro Pablo Morejon here.

One thought on “A Cuban Like Myself with US $200,000

  • “It’s because we Cuban islanders, can’t be fooled with such basic schemes, for we are forced to work hard and persevere through this life forced upon us.”, as Pedro writes.

    Yet, numerous Canadians have been and continue to be manipulated and eventually swindled out of their life savings by unscrupulous criminals living in far away lands only accessible by airfare. One would think a financially imbued Canadian would be a hard target to swindle but no, statistics do not bear this out.

    In an article posted by Global News, August 07, 2020 entitled: “Scam calls on the rise across Canada: anti-fraud centre”, the author states very emphatically, “If you feel like you’ve been getting more of those annoying scam calls lately, you’re not alone. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre says they’re on the rise, . . .” So, not only was Pedro in Cuba solicited by these fraudsters but anyone, living anywhere in any geographical location, can be targeted as long as the victim has a telephone or uses social media.

    It seems rather ironic that rich Canadians, relatively speaking, who have bank account(s) loaded with cash are swindled so easily yet in contrast Cubans with next to no disposable money and no way of even cooperating with foreign thieves are not so easily fooled with poverty to riches schemes. One would think if the bank account is always empty and someone unbeknownst is perhaps going to fill it up, one may take that chance.

    Perhaps one of the reasons Canadians are prime targets and very accessible to these international fraudsters is that Canadian seniors are more engaged, active and online than ever before, using the Internet for day-to-day activities including banking, grocery delivery and online dating. So, their Internet imprint, their personal information is an open book for criminals to peruse and victimize.

    The criminals, as Pedro, describes play on the victims’ vulnerabilities. The swindled feel they are in control and when they sense they have been duped in a very dramatic, financial way, the senior either, male or female, does not want to express their shame publicly, though some do. Psychologically the public embarrassment is just too much to bear. How many have been absolutely convinced they had inherited, or won, thousands, if not millions, of dollars and convinced they could simply claim their prize or “inheritance” by simply sending a few hundred dollars along with their bank account number to a foreign international address to cover “administration fees” or a “processing fee” and of course, international postage? In Canada, too many.

    Pedro summarizes by stating: “As you would imagine, there are quite a few simple-minded people out in the world who fall into the trap, judging by the hundreds of thousands of USD that these criminal rings make every year.”

    Sad, and, unfortunately, so very true!!

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