Saturday, 6 March 2010

would you swallow this?

we have all read about online scammers trying to con people to divulge their personal information and, because of greed, many people fall prey to these schemes. the online scams originated from nigeria and hence were called nigerian scams.

lately, they have been getting pretty sophisticated. note those that purport to come from banks. their messages look authentic but observe carefully their return email addresses - there is always a difference between those and the banks' genuine email addresses.

just got one of those scam mails yesterday and yahoo rightly directed it into the scam folder. but something caught my eye before i duly deleted it. it was entitled 'Dear Rev Anthony Loke, can you...' as well as the name of the sender called 'philip johnson' (who happens to be one of my supervisors!). if you read the email below, you can see that they probably got the info and my email from the seminary website.

why don't i believe in this email? it is simply this - why would anyone commit to me US$8.5 million when i am a total stranger to them? even if they ask me to take a cut or commission to help them, i can ask for almost anything from a few % to more than 50%. if i were in their shoes and really did have some money stashed away, i would do all i can to try to channel the money back to myself rather than trust a total stranger to handle something so valuable.

to try to make the email authentic, pictures are attached to this email. some gullible people would probably believe in this email but anyone can phish those pictures and make a sob story out of it. beware of scammers. it is your greed that allows them to scam you.

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Dear Rev Anthony Loke

Sir,

May The Peace of The Lord Be With You. With due respect and humility, I write to you irrespective of the fact that you don't know me. I got your contact through the international directory and publication as Member of Malaysia Theological Seminary, when I was making inquiry for foreign assistance. I have decided to contact you and bestow this trust in you, which I pray you will not ignore or betray me and apologies in advance for any inconveniences this may cause you, handle it discretely and contact me urgently if you can assist me in this transaction.

I am Prince Philip Johnson, I live in Ghana with my younger sister Princess, we are refugees. We lost our parents in the war in my country and we were among the kids rescued to Ghana by UN Forces.

We have our inheritance box here in Ghana which our late father, His Royal Highness King Musinga Johnson of Kreo Community in Liberia deposited here for safekeeping purpose due to the war situation in our country over the years. The box contain $8.5 million dollars, but the security company doesn't know the exact contents because our father deposited them as "FAMILY VALUABLES".

My questions are these below:

1. Please can you receive these boxes for us as our foreign guardian and trustee?
2. Can we trust you in helping us?
3. What percentage do you think that will be ok for you?

To prove what am telling you and for us to build trust, I and my sister crossed our minds and attached the vital documents which were issued to our father the day the deposit was made, so that you can confirm things for yourself, the burial picture of our late father is also attached including the picture of the fund for you to see, the deposit certificate, deposit mandate, our United Nations ID card and also Anti-Terrorist/Drug Certificate. We took this bold step with great faith in God and believe that you will listen to us and help us, so that we can join you in your country and continue our education which is our number one priority.

Please think about this and reply us as soon as possible for us to know what to do immediately. I have concluded all arrangement with a private United Nations Jet Pilot for safe delivery of the consignment to your door step and he will contact you immediately with further details. If you are intereted, It will require you to get change of ownership and power of attorney so that the security can release the consignment. Take good care and God bless till we hear from you. Our sincere regards to your family.

Respectfully

Prince Philip and Princess Johnson.
Mobile: + 233 20 24 22 153

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

marina's article that wasn't published

marina's article that was supposed to be published in her weekly columned was censored! read from her blog.

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When we want to compete with anyone in any field we seek those who are better than us. And we keep going until finally we are recognized as the best. For example, a tennis player starts at the unranked bottom and tries to play and win against better players until finally there is nobody to beat.

We do not however insist that everybody comes down to our level or to play badly in order for us to win.

This is what puzzles me about the syariah courts in our country. In 1988 a clause was inserted into our Constitution that has been interpreted as having erected a Berlin Wall between the syariah and the civil courts. Basically Article 121(1A) said “the courts referred to in Clause (1) shall have no jurisdiction in respect of any matter within the jurisdiction of the syariah courts." This has caused untold problems because real life sometimes dictates that some issues cross over both jurisdictions. But leave that aside for a moment.

Although the new clause did not say that the two separate courts were equal to one another, there are some people who are of the view that the syariah court is superior to the civil courts simply because syariah law is deemed of a higher order than civil laws. This is because apparently God made syariah laws while mere human beings made the civil laws. Never mind the fact that human beings have been changing syariah laws over the years, for instance, by loosening laws that protected women from losing all their property to their divorced husbands. Like other laws in this country, syariah laws have to be drafted, tabled and passed through our various lawmaking bodies whether at the State or Federal levels. This process leaves a lot of human fingerprints all over them.

Civil laws are drafted, tabled and passed through Parliament. The difference is that at the tabling stage , they have to be debated before they are passed. The quality of the debate may be sometimes wanting but debated they are. This process provides some sort of ‘quality control’ over the laws so that they are hopefully current, reflect realities and are just.

for the rest of the article, see marina's blog here:

http://rantingsbymm.blogspot.com/2010/03/column-that-wasnt.html