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Monday, August 07, 2006

‘Ever been scammed?’

by Jeremaiah M. Opiniano
Editor’s note: Victim requested anonymity in exchange for baring her story.

SOMEWHERE IN LUZON ISLAND–Overseas worker’s wife Virginia Recuerda’s mind wanders to a Citibank check in her drawer every time a television show on scams began airing at Channel 11 recently.

That check for US$3,000 and the show remind her of how trust in other people could lead to financial disaster.
It’s exactly three years ago that Recuerda got that check–equivalent to three months her husband’s salary overseas–which she can’t transform into hard cash due to a scam known as Ponzi.
“See this? This check is our money,” Recuerda told the OFW Journalism Consortium Inc.
Her gaze measured, Recuerda doesn’t allow the check to leave her hands.
The check, a contract from a local holdings company, and a handwritten acknowledgment receipt add on to the memory of how she fell for an investment scheme in 2002.
Television actor Leo Martinez’s gaze and voice narrating the cases of scams that clutched Filipino investors like Recuerda only refresh her regrets of believing a certain Maridina Dizon that her US$4,000 investment could earn four percent.“I found her [Maridina] trustworthy since her husband’s an executive of a bank,” Recuerda recalls.

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