There’s no such thing as a free lunchNov 13th, 2008 | By Ian Poulton | Category: Personal Columns
The BBC carries news of the collapse of a scam in Colombia which has parted thousands of ordinary savers from their money. The scammers were unapologetic about their activities,
The people behind a pyramid scheme in Santander de Quilichao disappeared, leaving a note stuck to the doors taunting the investors for having been duped.
It said: “Now for being stupid and believing in witchcraft you will have to work much harder to recoup the money you gave us.”
The office of another pyramid scheme had a greetings card stuck on the door which read: “We wish you a sad Christmas and a shameful New Year.”
Frank, a one-time neighbour would have been suspicious of offers like those in Colombia that offered to double people’s money in six months; Frank was suspicious of everyone, and with reason.
One day a pair of boys came up the yard and said, ‘This is an old place you have here, you must have some old stuff in it’.
I told him there was nothing worth anything, but I let them in to have a look around.
‘Would you sell us that table?’ they asked me.
I told them I wouldn’t that it wasn’t for sale; that it had come down through the family.
‘We would give you £200 for it’. they said.
‘It’s not for selling’, says I. “What about that piano there, what would you give me for that?”
The piano hadn’t been played in years; it was done. I would have been glad to have been rid of it’.
‘Would you take £100 for it?’
‘I would’, says I.
‘Well, if we gave you £100 for the piano, would you take £200 for the table?’
I’m pleased with myself for getting £100 for the old piano, so I agree to the offer.
Anyway, the boys say that they only have a small van, so they will take the table and come back for the piano. The ol’ fool that I am, I let them count out £200 for the table and took their word they would be back for the piano. I never saw sight nor sound of them again.
Do you know what? There was a table identical to mine sold in a sale room in Belfast for £1,000
Frank would have not put his moneyy into anyone’s scheme. Frank would have echoed the words of Colombian Vice-President Francisco Santos, “Nothing is free in this world and that is not going to change.”