Wed | Jan 24, 2018

Hello Mi Neighbour | Scammed by a friend

Published:Thursday | May 4, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Hello, mi neighbour! Catch this: you've just lost your job and forced to borrow money for overdue rent, which must be handed over bright and early tomorrow morning. Your friend tells you of an emergency for which she needs a loan until her husband gets home by 4 p.m. Being the kind and understanding person you are, the request is granted, leaving you with just a quarter of the rent in your hand.

At 6 p.m., still nothing is heard from your friend and her telephone is either busy or goes to voicemail. Her dumbness leaves you numb. With anxiety setting in, you decide to give her a little more time.

"But no man, is nine o'clock and still nothing." Something must be wrong. Your visit to her house ends in futility - no one is there and the house is in darkness.

You are now faced with two problems: the rent to pay and no word from your friend.

Doesn't sound like something that will 'soon sort out' at all. But what could be the problem?

"We are living in very serious times and one never knows" are words of resolution, but far from being words of consolation as the worst is feared.

By the end of the day, the reality hits that your friend actually scammed you, causing severe loss and embarrassment. To scam someone means to 'deprive by deceit'. Someone tells you a false story and if your level of gullibility is high, you may be easily gypped.




It is said that friends and relatives have the greatest potential to scam one another. And in these tough economic times some persons are willing to sacrifice years of friendship for a few dollars; their backs are against the wall and they make up believable stories to get money from their friends' pockets for personal use. How horrendous!

Is there any difference between persons who meet you in the streets with distress stories and some friends (scammers)? The man in the street will tell you that his asthmatic daughter was just admitted to the Bustamante Hospital for Children with an attack and he needs money to purchase medication, etc. Still others will tell you that they came from Westmoreland to Kingston to get a work, which didn't pan out. Now stranded, they're looking a bus fare to go home to their five fatherless, foodless children. And whose heart a story like that wouldn't touch? The street-smart?

When all is said and done, real people have real needs. And they are inclined to utilise whatever is at their disposal to meet those needs. It becomes dangerous when in attempting to meet basic needs, we become so callous and brutal that people are severely hurt, and even killed, in the process. Whenever it gets to that, people are not just trying to satisfy basic needs, but servicing their sickening greed.

But hear how simple this thing is: love your neighbour as yourself and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This leaves no room for scamming.

Thanks to the following for helping your neighbours

- Mercedes, St Andrew, for offer of household items to a needy neighbour.

- Auto Channel, for acts of neighbourliness.

- Dreie, St Catherine, for contributing to neighbour's welfare.

- The United Pentecostal Church, Kingston, for acts for neighbourliness.

Opportunities for helping

- Neighbour - 18-year-old sixth-former having challenges getting her SBAs done. Asking for a second-hand laptop. Tel: 479-3093.

- Lisa - Asking neighbours for a second-hand sewing machine. Tel: 554-3768.

- Miss Dell - Needs help to do ultrasound before starting treatment. Tel: 381-3255.

- Neighbour - Unemployed, single mother of four asking for clothing and food for children and self. Tel: 353-4883.

- Miss Romaine - Mother of four asking for a sewing machine and fabric. Tel: 419-0029.

- Shaniel, St Catherine - Asking for a second-hand crib or a playpen. Tel: 315-2124.

- Neighbour - Single parent in need of a stove and some food. Tel: 401-9039.

- Neighbour - Has a chronic illness, in need of a bed base and a stove. Tel: 374-2864.

- To help, please call 334-8165, 884-3866, or deposit to acct # 351 044 276 NCB. (Bank routing #: JNCBJMKX) or send donations to HELLO NEIGHBOUR c/o 53 Half-Way Tree Road, Kingston 10. Email: or contact email: