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Friday, April 20, 2007


Update on card-game scam

At my guest house I got talking to Sarnta who is from Lithuania. She has a friend, another traveller, who is Norwegian. As far as I can remember, this is the story that the Norwegian woman told to Sarnta.

She met some people in KL and was given the story of a daughter visiting Norway and could she come and reassure the mother that the daughter would be safe there. She went.

After she had reassured the mother, she was given a nice dinner and was introduced to the father. He works in a casino dealing cards. He asked the Norwegian if she would like him to teach her how to cheat at cards. She said she wasn't interested as she never played cards. 'No, it's OK. Just for fun.' he said. So she goes along with it. Next he says that there was a man coming who is from Brunei. He had had a big win at the casino and now they wanted to win the money back. 'Would you like to join in, just for fun. You don't have to put up any money.' Once again, she goes along with it. She's not putting up any money. She has nothing to lose.

The man from Brunei is apparently very rich, is very well dressed and wearing expensive jewellery. They start to play. He starts to loose and she starts to win. At one stage there is about $US50,000 sitting on the table. Most of it would be hers except she didn't put any money up in the first place. The man from Brunei needs to leave but he is returning in an hour. After he goes they put it to her -- if she can go to the ATM and draw out $7,000 and put it into the game, she can keep half the winnings from the next round. She stands to win quite a lot of money. She tells them that there is no way she has $7,000 in her bank account and asks to be excused. They take her back to where they picked her up and she is safe.

This scam is not particularly Malaysian. I know a man who had a similar experience in Bangkok. His drink was drugged. He lost a considerable sum of money.

After a friend read my earlier post he pointed to a story that his brother wrote after a visit to Bali. It's a good read -- maybe required reading for all travellers. You will find it at http://www.geocities.com/joekarnt/ . From that page click on the 'Joe in Bali' link and from the drop-down menu 'Death story'.

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