I never was in such a horrid office . . . It’s not very nice to be where people are being swindled all day long, is it ~Nevil Shute
I was recently going through one of my favorite column on ‘newswatch’ [An International Magazine]. I think the article was titled “European divorcees lose millions to online dating scam”; An interesting editorial from one of my favourite columnist.
…but God!! I prayed the “normal” cliche’s would not be used at all; ‘cos what was before me were really eye opening truths I was really enjoying. But then my hopes were cut short almost immediately; what was now before me were ‘irritating description of Nigerians as fraudsters and online con men’, right there in the 6th paragraph.
Filled with the usual anger, I asked my friends; who would refuse to read the article, what we did to stop [not the act] but the constant raise in the castigation of my beloved country as a dane of thieves and fraudsters. It’s true that this country is one of the top rankers in the use of fake identities by organized crime sindicates to pray on middle aged users of dating websites, especially in Europe and North America.
I know; I as an individual might not be able to do enough to stopping this act of stealing from unsuspecting individuals on the internet, but what this post is aimed at is at telling the world that; Nigeria, just like other countries has its share of “wrong people”, but at the same time, this is a country that can also boast of very wonderful people, who are interested in the elevation of lives and also have a good knowhow on how to contribute positively to the development of the naive and very vulnerable humanity.
I don’t think I would really support the fight against corruption. I would always feel I belong to the group that feels it’s better to give a deprived man other options, or rather show him other cool options, than rather fight him for choosing a path which he feels; it’s the only option of survival.
Europol’s chief financial officer, Igor Angelini says; “dating frauds is becoming an increasingly international problem”. He has worked on cases in the past where Nigerians have collaborated to share resources and expertise, and according to a friend; there are Nigerians with so-called “sucker lists” with details of victims who have previously fallen for Internet romance scam, which are then sold on to other criminals in Europe and North America for serious profit.
I have always being clear with this; stop looking for your “soulmate” on social media, times have change. There are more desperate people online than the ones with good intentions. I would not start a long ‘sermon’ on the evils of social media but I would say this; “If getting a “soulmate” within the thousands of people around you is a daunting task, I guess you should just settle for making ordinary cool friends, if the internet is your only option, the ‘right one’ would show up one day and without any stress whatsoever”. The internet should not be your safest bet to getting a lasting relationship. If you think otherwise, I am sorry to say this but the obvious would definitely happen, “YOU WOULD GET DUPED”.
…and to the ones in charge of “catching” this criminals, I have this to say; “It is one thing to agree with the fight against corruption, it’s legally and morally right. It is another thing to commit oneself positively, actively and impartially to it. The former is an intellectual assent, the latter’s actual belief”.
Nigerians are mindful of its soiled name, we are not asking to be given a chance to act right. A few of us are just asking you to just stop looking for that “prince charming” on the internet, try paying attention to other little things betters your life positively, when you get too randy.
*WRITEN AND EDITED BY CHARLES OKPERE *