There’s no such thing as a free lunch

Nov 13th, 2008 | By | 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.”

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  1. Well you know what they say, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” We have clients who were duped by unscrupulous schemes,they were greedy, didn’t do their research and now they’re paying for it!

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