Common sense

Common sense

The story headlined “Con artist found guilty of swindling 11 out of $26k” in the Friday/Saturday edition was quite an eye-opener. It showed to what extent people who can convince others at times abuse this gift for their personal gain and at the expense of unsuspecting victims.

Not all the latter may have been entirely without fault. Paying anybody outside of a government office to “fix” papers could imply an attempt to evade regular immigration procedures and perhaps the scrutiny these bring.

But it mostly regards lack of basic knowledge, naiveness and – frankly – gullibility. A good example was the reported lie to a security guard living in St. Maarten already for 30 years that due a new law he needed to get a Dutch passport or risk deportation.

It’s the man’s second fraud conviction since 2019, while the Probation Officer called him a compulsive liar who shows no regret and is not motivated to change, rating the chance of a repeat offence as very high. He was sentenced to three years in prison minus four months served in pre-trial detention.

It’s actually sad that a man evidently so believable, with such persuasive and leadership abilities, ends up a criminal. One observer even joked that he has the qualities of a politician.

What’s worse is how easily persons seem to fall for these kinds of scams, not only physically but also virtually. Any apparent shortcut or bending the rules is best avoided especially nowadays.

Common sense is still among the main criteria. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

The Daily Herald

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