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Posts Tagged ‘old but a con’

“So it’s not just the greedy who get scammed. Sometimes it’s also kind and helpful people, who are naive and uninformed” – Tom Parsons.

Tom, you reminded me of an incident that happened in 2006. My dad got sick and I went back with my kids to visit him in Ipoh. We took the express bus which stopped at the old mansion that belonged to the family of the famous actress from Ipoh (a Bond girl). We got down there and I made a call for a taxi to come fetch me and the kids to dad’s house.

While waiting for the taxi at the entrance of the bus station, an old lady (I guess she was in her 70s) approached me for some money. Her head was completely bound in white bandage and there was some blood stain on it. She even shoved me a laminated article about her plight cut from a Chinese newspaper. I could not read Chinese but I saw her picture there.

“I’m suffering from a brain tumor and I needed an operation as soon as possible. I am still short of several hundreds of dollars. Can you donate some please, to help this poor lady get an operation soon?” she asked me in a pitiful voice.

I took a look at her and indeed, she looked very pitiful. I gave her RM50.

“Can you give some more?” she asked again.

“Sorry, that’s all I have with me now,” I told her regretfully.

RM10 is all I have left in my purse after giving her the RM50 and I need them to pay the taxi driver. She left with a scornful look. When I looked around me, I saw people staring at me because I was the only one who gave her money. She left the premise soon after that.

When she was gone, a middle-aged Chinese lady who was selling ‘chee cheong fun’ at the entrance pointed at me and laughed. Shaking her head, she said amusingly, “You got conned just now. This old lady is a con woman. There is nothing wrong at all with her head now. That newspaper cutting was from many years back. She went for the operation free of charge at the government hospital long ago but she still used that bandage to cheat people of their money.”

“Why don’t you tell me just now when you saw me giving her the money?” I asked, angry that my kindness had been hijacked by an old lady.

“Of course nobody dare to say a word when she is around. She can get into a fit and beat people up. Even the bus operator and their staff are afraid of her and pretend that she did not exist,” answered the lady who sells ‘chee cheong fun’. “All the regulars here have been cheated too and now they are wiser,” she continued as she pointed to those sitting inside the bus station. They were still staring at me in silence. Some looked amused.

I left the place, angry and sad. It was indeed a lesson well learnt and which I could not forget.

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