Sunday, July 11, 2010

Nigerian Scams do work!

Alright. You know what I am talking about? Those email scams that claims to want to give you money due to some reason or another, but then in the end con you of your money? Anyone ever wondered why anyone would fall for those? Well, my friend did and in a way I did too.

Although these scams are not necessarily all from Nigeria, I just call them Nigerian scams because it's the easiest way to identify it.

It was funny. I had recently resolved to never lend people money (not the $10, $20 type lah) for any frigging excuse (this debt that debt) and then my friend ends up calling me for a loan. Claims that her uncle needs money urgently due to a friend's business problem. My other friend and I lent her some money, although it wasn't enough for her. She called the lawyer who was dealing with the case and settled the rest through negotiations with the lawyer.

The case did not sound logical at this point in time as there were some weird parts. For example she was saying that she needed money to pay for a cheque to release funds or some crap like that. However, we didn't probe that much at that time because she is the type that comes across as not really knowing what happens in the world (she can't even download avg without me giving her a direct URL leading straight to the download page) and not making much sense is quite normal for her.

This time, this proved to be our downfall. Ok, maybe downfall is a bit strong.

A few days later, she called up again and asked what is the fastest method of tranferring overseas funds into a local account. I helped her check and then I told her that I hoped the funds would come through smoothly although I had an inkling that it wouldn't.

Two more days passed and she called up to say that she needed funds to secure some certificate from IMF to release the transfer of funds as the funds was stopped by IMF. I was suspicious of this but as there was something else going on at my workplace I didn't have a chance to check it out before I stupidly transferred some more money to her. I was probably thinking that as long as she didn't get the full sum, she can't do anything anyway and the money would still be safe with her. At this point she had admitted that she had lied about her uncle needing the money (KNS!!) and that it was her colleague who needed it. Said colleague was an item with her (I was like since when did she get a boyfriend!!??) and were contemplating marriage once he gets his inheritance from UK and migrates to Singapore.

This is where I should have suspected another lie but I didn't, sounds like a scam but I couldn't figure out was why they would actually get to know someone in person to scam them. Waste of time and resources imho.

I ran a check on the net when I had time and I confirmed that it was a scam. Sheesh. So pissed with myself for getting scammed too. SMS'ed my friend that the cert was a false claim but she had already transferred the money over. Figures. They just want to get every cent they can ASAP.

Long story short, pulled my friend out for a meeting with my other friend and we managed to pull out the entire story. Bloody hell it was a typical Nigerian scam. She got to know the person through email. *Everything falls in place now*. Said person likes her and wants to come to Singapore to be with her. Wants to transfer inheritance to her name so that there will be lower taxes on the inheritance. Along the way hiccups happen and she needs money.

Yes, I know some people will tell me that maybe my friend is the scammer. I don't deny that she might possibly be the one scamming us but to go through such a lot of trouble to scam us of a bit of money and risking friendship over it? I dunno. Anyway, according to what I know her total loss is about 64.5k. Heck I wish I could save money like her. Her personal savings were somewhere over 55k. All gone. To a email boyfriend of 1 month.

Tried to convince her to make a police report. She did not want to, but finally agreed. At the station she changed her mind as she was worried that she might lose her job over this. I got so pissed I didn't even want to talk to her.

I'm mostly pissed cos I got conned by her lies. Not at her, but at myself. Bloody hell, I need to be more hardhearted!! This will impact my financial / study plans for the rest of the year because I didn't have much to begin with..... Probably lucky cos then I won't have much to be conned out of too.

I just wanted to post this because... YES, Nigerian scams REALLY DO WORK!!! They don't even have to work on you. They just have to work on your friend if you are kindhearted enough to help friends!

Be kind and helpful to others, but be wary and take care of yourself first :(

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

UniSim Orientation!!

OMG, I can't believe that after so many years, I am going for orientation again. I was initially worried that the orientation would be some crappy stuff like what goes on at NUS and NTU (no offense kiddies but I'm too old to play like that ok?).

I initially set a ridiculously early time to leave home and as usual, I was later than that lol. I wanted to arrive early to collect my course materials and the map on the UniSim website is not particularly details as to how you should walk to Blk 82 of Ngee Ann Polytechnic. When I arrived at NP, I decided to walk in through NP instead of through SIM. Surely you can get to a NP block within NP right?? Yep. Except that there was some construction going on and I had to detour... detour.. detour.... and when I finally found Blk 82 I was like "Sheesh!!! That is SIM HQ right there with a gate to Blk 82 so Blk 82 is almost bloody next to the main road. Bleah at least I got some exercise out of it!!"

Anyway I still ended up in SIM early. Walked around a bit to get orientated to the area. Can't say that I'm familiar with it but I guess I should be able to not get myself lost in there for hours. Checked out the washrooms (VERY IMPORTANT!!), not too bad. At least they don't seem to stink although I am not sure if it is because it was because it was an orientation Saturday lol.

Checked out Popular, the files with the SIM logo was definitely cheaper. I might consider buying them although I think I might end up not using them lol.

Got a thumb drive as a door gift when registering for the orientation. Not bad lol. I love freebies. Especially freebies that are actually useful (I don't need anymore travel adapters, travel locks, flashlights and stuff ok?). Also got a free messenger bag later on in the day! During the welcome address, the acting Dean kinda forgot my programme. Got to say I was a little sad on that but then later she came back on to specially address the fact that she forgot about our programme. I guess that makes it all A-OK!

After the School's welcome address, we were split into programmes for more detailed briefs. Our programme is quite small compared to the other programmes. I wonder if the BA Tamil Language and Literature programme is smaller than us or not. We might be smaller than they are! According to our programme head, this was the smallest intake so far. Only 28 students. I'm not sure if that is a good thing though..... plus I think NTU is coming up with a similar programme. Oh well, anyway I won't be able to qualify for the NTU intake and I'm not exactly expecting that this degree (should I manage to complete it) is well recognised.

I have a colleague who is unhappy with UniSim because his wife to be took a degree course in education and it is not recognised for employment by MOE. I would say that I wouldn't have expected to get a private degree and expect MOE to employ me because there is this place called NIE. Of course, if the degree is totally unrecognised by anyone, it'd be quite sad but one's gotta be prepared before you start the course, not find out after. For example, I don't think I will be able to find a job at the MFA based on this qualification, but I guess the skills I learn will be useful. I sure hope at least the skills are properly taught even though the paper qualification may not count for much.

Right now, I'm kinda excited for school to start but I think that halfway through the first semester I will start to feel sian of studying. I'm not quite the studying kind.

I am also worried about my Chinese standards. 3 out of 4 modules in my first semester are Chinese modules. I'm so worried!! It seems like there are some other people in my cohort who are also worried, but I think they should have a better standard of Chinese writing than I do. My writing sucks. I also found out that I'm amongst the 'not so old' in my cohort. I didn't quite expect that lol. I guess what my programme head says is true. The younger ones tend to prefer Business related topics instead.

For now, I hope I can keep up the enthusiasm for as long as possible. This is costing me almost $3000 for this semester alone!!!

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Monday, July 05, 2010

*Cough* Exercise plan! *Cough*

I've got a friend who wants to go up Mt Fuji. I'm sure I've mentioned her before. Unfortunately she is in no condition to do it anytime soon. She says that she wants to lose weight, but I don't think that it's gonna get started anytime soon.

So I was thinking that I should encourage her, but then I have no moral high ground to stand either lol. As such I am trying to convince myself to exercise regularly. It's gonna be hard. I have incredibly high inertia.

On Saturday, I bought a Nike +. I used it for the very first time last night. I didn't calibrate it, but it says that I ran about 3.46KM. Of course that is inclusive of a 1 KM or so walk at the beginning but I guess a 2.4 isn't that bad? Anyway that Nike + gadget is so cool :D

Let's hope I can keep this up!!

Perhaps I should try to blog about it. I have an online friend who blogs about her weight management plans. She says it helps her to keep on track.

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