Friday, December 11, 2009

A True Story: This Could Happen to You!

“This is my new roaming number, my old number was blocked. How are you?” A text roused me from sleep. It was from my daughter.

“Michelle? How are you?” I texted back.

“Yes, it’s me. I'm fine, how’s everyone?”

“We’re good. Will you be coming home?” I excitedly queried.

“Not sure yet, by the way, someone would like to buy prepaid cards here, and they’ll pay in cash.”

“I’m at work now, will try to send later, love you.”

“I need 6 pieces smart 500 and 8 pieces globe 500. I would sell them for 900 each. Love you," came the quick reply.

I calculated this roughly in my mind, and it was around 7,000. I would have to withdraw from my ATM. The added earnings though, would help a lot with the Christmas
Noche Buena. It was quick and easy money.

I forgot all about it during the course of the day but at around 3:30 pm, my cell phone sounded off again. “Were you able to buy? I will have to sell them today, they might buy somewhere else.”

“Okay, I’ll attend to it as soon as I get off from work.”

After 5, I went home and remembered my crops at Farmville, so I first harvested my sunflowers. I had several perfect bunches and I was thrilled by the thought of buying my own villa before Christmas.

My cell phone beeped again: “I’m still waiting.”

Startled out of my “profound perusal” of my harvests at Farmville, I jumped to my feet and thought how irresponsible I was.

“Jenny, kindly withdraw from my ATM and buy these,” I wrote down the items on a piece of paper.

When Jenny left, the cell beeped again. “How many were you able to buy?” I peered at the text in the approaching dusk.

My hypothalamus was triggered by a stimulus I could not put a finger to. My hands stopped momentarily typing my reply. What the_???

My daughter never pressured me like that, and she had always teased me “old woman”, and would address me mom, at least once or twice, in a 6 message-text. But these texts, never said “mom” even once. Perhaps, it was the hubby texting? I reasoned out. But even then…

I deleted what I was typing, and typed this instead:

“Anak, I’ll be sending a package to your Auntie Mary in the US and I forgot the address. Do you have it?” I pressed send.

My daughter knew that address, so she should not have any problem providing it.

But I received a different reply: “I’m fine, don’t worry.”

She/he did not reply because he/she did not know the address. My heart did a double flip as I haphazardly put aside the lappy and dialed Jenny's number, but I heard her cell phone ringing in the other room. She didn’t bring it!

I didn’t bother to change; I went out in my house clothes and searched for Jenny in the neighboring area. I might not be able to return the cards. What would I do with all of them? I may be able to sell them, but it would take time.

To my dismay, Jenny had bought the cards already.

"We have to return it," I said.

We were lucky the salesperson was kind and had understood our predicament. He returned the money.

I breathed a sigh of relief. Whew! I'm not filthy rich to give out money just like that. I was almost duped out of my cash because I wanted MORE… Greed is indeed a potential, source of misjudgment.

I thank my lucky stars; I still have my Christmas money intact! Thanks to Farmville, I have been "waylaid" (so to speak). lol.

What about you, did this ever happen to you? Do share similar stories to "inform" our readers.

Merry Christmas in advance!


  1. wow! they almost got you.

    that's why I never answer text from people who never introduced themselves.

    I hope people would be warned of this.

    thanks for sharing

  2. I know a similar story where the YM was hacked and asked her mom to buy cards as well.

  3. Hi Roy,

    Yes, they almost did. Buti na lang may Farmville, kundi - wala na!he he he.

  4. Ahahaha. FarmVille saved you from being duped. Seriously, it's your intuition and intimate knowledge of your daughter.

    If I believe everything I receive via my mobile, I'd be able to travel comfortably abroad. Perhaps even visit Holly in Texas, Ditesco in Portugal, Jaypee in California and Elmot in Dasma, Philippines.

    I reserve the foulest language I can muster for these lowlifes. In SMS lingo of course.

    Go, FarmVille. Go, FarmVille. Yehey!

  5. He he he, Jan, seriously, how are you? I'm cheering with you, Go, farmville, go farmville!

    When will you buy your villa? he he he.

    I could imagine the variety of foul language you would use for them.


  6. Oh Jen that's awful! You must feel violated! I'd be super freaked out about that. I'm glad you realized what was going on.

    Can't we stick all the predatory bottom-feeders on an island somewhere and let them suck the life out of each other?

  7. Hi Heather,

    I am grateful that I realized there was something fishy just in time. Lol.

    How could I have been so trusting?

  8. Oooo, sneaky little cusses! Glad you figured it out in time and the salesman was helpful to your plight. Guess I should rethink this Farmville thing. Then again, I hardly make my blog rounds as it is.

  9. Hi Anne,

    Lol...with your farmville comment, you should.

    I was just too relieved to

    Thanks for the visit. I look forward to the publication of your novel.

  10. I got several text messages like these before too. But being paranoid that I am, I would usually ask for the name first. Because they'd usually say, "this is my new roaming number, etc.." without leaving a name. I would then ask, "who's this? i have several relatives abroad kasi." and then they'd stop replying. I hope we have somewhere to report these numbers to. So that people would at least be aware. Cheap sim cards are what makes these people so bold in doing such things. Because they know they can't be caught and can change sim cards easily.

  11. Hello Sam,

    You're right. One could buy a sim card for only 50 pesos, and they could easily discard it after using it.

    I just hope they realize that Karma is the law of nature: what you give out, you'll get in return.


  12. Same here looking bunch of loads but ignored them. You're lucky enough that Farmville saves your thing.

  13. Hi Japaul,

    Yes, lucky indeed. lol...cheers.

  14. I'm sorry to hear that almost happened to you, I guess the motherly instinct kicked in. It also tells a lot about how you know your daughter, that helps too.

    My godmother wasn't lucky, she received a phone call "in our house" (obviously the phone was directed to my mom) When she answered the phone, a man asked for her to bring cash:

    "Ma, can you please bring some cash (I forgot how much) and meet with this man on this street. I'm in trouble and I really need the money. This man is wearing a black jacket with a cap on. Don't look at his face, just take a cab and roll down your window then hand over the money when you see him."

    My godmother wasn't even able to utter a word, but she was so nervous when she left our house, according to my mom.

    We later found out that she was able to do what the voice on the phone said, then she called her son.

    "What? I'm here at school," was her son's reply.

    Everyone learned a lesson from my godmother's experience that day.


  15. Hi Doc Z,

    That was unfortunate. We do learn from these experiences, that's why it's good that we share them too, so that others could learn.

    Thanks a lot Z, for this experience.I'm sure readers could learn from it too.

    All the best.

  16. Hi Jena,
    I'm glad you were saved from a great misfortune. Sorry to hear of Dr. Z's godmother. That's awful.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


  17. Oh... I see! There's someone texting me something like that from time to time:

    “This is my new roaming number, my old number was blocked. How are you?”

    But I always ignore them. Ehe. If they're a good friend of mine, they could have atleast introduce themselves properly.

  18. Hi Liz,

    That's good and you should continue ignoring them. lol.

    All the best on your online ventures.

  19. I'm with Heather. Only an island would be too good for them. Set them on rafts, tie the rafts together, then cast them adrift in the ocean. See if they can work TOGETHER to survive, or if their greed sucks them down into the water.

    I'm so glad these criminals didn't get your Christmas money, Jen!

  20. Hi Holly,

    Me too. That's hard earned money. lol. May you have a merry Christmas and a Happy New year with your family and friends.

  21. I never experienced something like this first-hand but I've heard from some friends who had had something like this happen to them. There was one case when a friend's handbag was stolen. When she was making a report at the police station, the "thief" went and text her husband asking for her ATM PIN Number. Her husband not noticing anything is amiss replied. Within an hour, all her money was wiped clean, by the time she got home, it was too late. She lost a total of RM30,000. She cried like she just lost a child.

    I guess if someone start asking "sensitive" things, it's best to call them and speak to them directly, just in case. You never know right? In your case tho, you're very lucky.

  22. I am receiving messages like that too and I tried to change my number, but when I put in my new simcard a message came in and in my surprise it says the same thing, asking for load. Sometimes they would act as if I'm their spouse or mom. Duh! Im only 20 to have a husband or daughter! I knew already they are fooling around.

    It's good you've been saved from those kind of messages. Be vigilant.

    Anyway, the book is so so great though I haven't finish reading it yet. There's a lot to learn from that book. I love it! so much..

  23. Hi Angel,

    That's terrible having your bag snatched and even your money in the bank stolen. This people are without conscience. How could they spend money which they did not work hard for? Beats me!

    One of the reason perhaps is that they don't believe in karma. But this is the inevitable law of nature: what you give is what you get in return. God bless.

  24. Hi Irene,

    I am lucky, I was able to detect it on time. Sayang din iyon ah, saan ka pupulot ng 7,000?

    Thanks for enjoying the book. I'm doing a reprint if you want something edited then just email me. All the best. Ang ganda ng theme mo ngayon!

  25. This made me think of a strange "text" I got 2 weeks ago that said, "get on AIM I can't call you". The text had no identifying information so I immediately thought SCAM!

    Then I thought okay let's see who's on AIM. So I logged on and saw my daughter's name and asked her if she just texted me telling me to get on AIM and she did. Turns out it was an SOS because her phone died and she sent the "text" through AIM to my cell phone. Their home has no phone and her fiancee was at work. So through texting we got details worked out to get another phone that night as this one was totally dead.

    So I am thankful I didn't ignore the "text" like I almost did. I too am always suspicious!

    Thanks for giving us a heads up on this SCAM, never heard of it myself.

  26. Hi Tammy,

    That was good intuition on your part. I'm glad that it turned out well. We could all learn from each other's experiences. Thanks too for sharing yours.

    Happy holidays!

  27. Wouldn't your caller ID have told you with the first call that it wasn't your daughter? I don't understand the buying the cards, and all; but no...nothing like that happens to me. I don't text much, and not many people have my cell phone number, and if I don't know who it is...text or call...I ignore it.


  28. Hi Ssndy,

    The caller ID appeared but since she said that her old number was broken and that was the new one, I had assumed it was

    Lesson learned, call don't text. lol

    Happy Holidays.