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The Word ‘Love’ Raised Big Suspicions

We received the following request for money the other day from Norm Goldie, who we’ve often described as a controversial figure in San Blas, Mexico:

"How are you doing? I am so sorry I wasn’t able to inform you on time about my trip to England to visit my ill cousin. It was an emergency to me because I had to be here soon enough. I am presently in Manchester with my ill cousin so I decided to write to you from here. She was diagnosed with a critical uterine fibroid. X-ray and scan shows that her condition is deteriorating because the fibroid has done a lot of damages to her abdominal area, and an emergency hysterectomy surgery must be carried-out to save her life. I am deeply sorry for not writing or calling you before leaving, the news of her illness arrived to me as an emergency and that she needs family support to keep her going. I had little time to prepare or even to inform people about my trip, I hope you understand my plight and pardon me. I will like you to please assist me with a soft loan, of $1500 urgently to sort-out my Cousin’s bills, the hospital management is demanding for a deposit of $2500 before they can invite a surgeon from Spain to carry out the surgery but she has been place on a temporary medical care prior the time we make the deposit.

"I traveled with little money because I never expected things to be the way it is right now. What scares me the most is that she is going through a lot of pain at the moment and the doctors have advice that, it is necessary that the tumor is operated soon to avoid anything from going wrong, I will appreciate whatever you can afford to assist me with, since I don’t know your financial status at the moment. I’ll pay back as soon as I return. I did not take along my phone. So it is currently switched off as I was unable to roam it with the phone company because of the time frame I had to be here, so kindly e-mail me promptly and when I get back I will give you a call I’ll be pleased to read from you soon regarding my request."

It was signed "Best Regards, Norm."

It seemed a little odd to us that Norm, who we have not been on the best terms with in years would ask us for a "soft loan." It struck us as being even more curious that a doctor would need to be imported from Spain to England’s second largest metropolitan area. Furthermore, the email hadn’t even been addressed to us, but rather just began with "Hello."

So we wrote ‘Norm’ and asked if this was an internet scam. We got the following response:

"Hey Richard,
I’m so happy to hear from you and thanks alot for your respond, No one is using my account for scam ok i sent you that note because i needed help from you, so please i will like you to assist me with whatever amount you can spare out ok. Get back to me as soon as possible. Love, Norm."

The English as a third language response was another red flag, but the one that confirmed it for us was ‘Norm’ signing anything to us with "Love." As such, we’re convinced that it’s a classic internet scam. So if you get the same letter, you might want to be suspicious, too. And if anyone in San Blas is reading this, please let Norm know his email account appears to have been hacked.

As for the real Norm, despite all the petty little squabbles, we hope all is well with him, Jan and whatever family he may have.

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“Where in the world…” © 2010 Sally Sailor They say we must all keep our brains active so that our gray matter doesn’t become muddied prematurely.
All sorts of good stuff is going on this weekend, starting with Marinship Day tomorrow at the Sausalito West Marine from 9 a.m.-4