Thursday, November 17, 2016

SCAMMED in Korea

I love this quote.
"My ultimate goal is to be at peace with myself, eliminate toxic feelings and elements and energies from my life, unlearn negatives and harmful practices and thought patterns, stop checking for people that don't check for me, create a space for myself that is nurturing for growth so that I may generate loving energy for myself and for others, nourish my spirit and balance my energies, I have big dreams and I deserve to live a life I love and let that love radiate."

I do my best not to believe in stereotypes. It is limiting and dangerous.

But this week an incident happened where a business man from a west African country conned me out of almost $300 dollars. The guy befriended me for over a month and set me up for the long-term con. He paid for outings, offered resources, told me many times how successful his business was and how much money he made. His stories were, at times, incredible and, although raised small red flags, did not make me run away. 

Well, that must have emboldened him because last weekend, he borrowed money from me in Seoul because his bank card was "not working" but the situation would be fixed on Monday. I lent him the money fully expecting him to return the money on Monday. Well, Monday came and he called and said his bank said the situation would be resolved in 24 hours. Tuesday morning came. I walked down to my bank during lunch time and NOTHING was put into my bank account. I called him to ask about the money.  LOL. This man starting YELLING AT ME over the phone for ASKING FOR MY OWN MONEY BACK. LMAO.

That was when I remembered the record button on my phone and pressed it. So I have a five minute record of him yelling and scolding me for asking for my own money back. 

It gets stranger. I then go back to my school after he says the money will be in my account by 4pm that same day. Fine. 

I ask my co-teacher's husband to drop me off at my bank after school because I was too impatient to walk the half mile down the mountain. I wanted to know if this guy had transferred the money into my account. 

Well, guess what? NOPE. NADA. ZIP. ZERO. Nothing was put into my account. As I am walking out of the bank, he calls me and asks if the money had transferred. After I say no, he says, "stay near the bank. Someone will come right now and will bring you your money." WTF? Who is "bringing me my money"? 

I sit outside of the bank and call my friend, Mike, to give him the scam update.

As I am on the phone with Mike, who do I see walking towards my bench?
The guy.  He had been parked nearby  and had watched me walking into the bank to see if he had transferred the money into my account. He even sent a text asking if it had hit my bank account knowing he did not send it. 

Dude, can you say "creepy"?

I wanted to record the conversation but there was a noisy vegetable truck right outside the bank. 

He walks over and says BLAH BLAH BLAH. Nothing he has to say means a damn thing to me until I get my money. He hands me a roll of money. I scan and see at least 4 fifty thousand won bills and go to put it in my handbag. He stops me and demands that I count it. Well it was over one hundred dollars more than what he owed me. I counted out the exact amount that he owed me and gave him back the rest. 

Then he proceeds to tell me more lies  BLAH BLAH BLAH, a business account cannot transfer funds after four o'clock, BLAH BLAH BLAH, the bank issue...BLAH BLAH BLAH. I really did not give a shit at that point. I got my money and you can go f@ck yourself. As he is standing there BLAH BLAH BLAHing, I catch a wifi signal from the convenience store behind me and BLOCK his ass on WHATSAPP, fb and on my cellphone.  I also realize that he is careful not to let the bank's camera catch his image. Then he offers to drive me home... NAW dude, I don't need shit from you. I got my money back, so just POOF, get out my face and my life. 

I declined and walked away.  As I walked away, he says, "Call me about hanging out this weekend in Itaewon". Dude, PLEASE HOLD YOUR BREATH so you can DIE waiting for my ass to EVER see you again in this life time. There is a lot that I can deal with but when you F@CK with my money, you are F@CKING with my family and that sh@t is NEVER ALLOWED.

So after I made it home, I took a deep breath and allowed myself the mistake for allowing him and his criminal energy into my life. I also went on fb and deleted a few other "friends" who are full of sh@t and don't add to my life. My tolerance for fake friends, moochers, users and con artists is extremely low right now. If you are not adding to my life then you need to disappear from it. Life is too short to keep people around who are worth nothing in my life.

Today, I made sure to tell the woman who gave me his business card and also let her hear the recording of him scolding me for wanting my money back. I told her that he is a snake and not to do any type of business with him. I want to make sure at least 2 people here know what happened in case shit jumps off. But as my girlfriend from back home told me, now that he knows that I know he is a con artist, he will stay away and set up another "mark", easy prey. Whether he comes for me or not, I am ready this time. 

So, yeah....that moment when you realize you came all the way across the world to be scammed by a con artist "businessman". 

Oh - the only reason he gave me my money back was because I told him that I would have to borrow money from the woman who gave me his business card and tell her that the "rich businessman" borrowed and refused to give back money to a low-salary public school teacher. He was worried that I would ruin the  "business man" image he has set up for himself in our town. 

Con artists are narcissistic and have a personality disorder. Everything they do is textbook manipulation. They can either set you up for the short or long con. Look it up online. There are thousands of people who have been victims of these snakes.  "Image" is very important to them. They create a false image and that is the cheese in the mousetrap. Their false image is what draws in the victims. These people exist all over the world, not just in any one country. 

I was just lucky to get my money back. I have already started to see the humor in it. Just the thought of this man yelling at me for asking him for my money back, makes me shake my head and laugh. 

Yup, I was scammed in Korea. 

Live and learn, man.

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