A woman who claims to be the victim of a conman has a warning for members of the public.
“This person is going around with documents about land getting people to buy this land,” Taupaūape Losa Moafanua, of Lalovaea, told the Sunday Samoan.
“Be very careful, don’t fall for it. This person is a con. I don’t want what has happened to me to happen to anyone else too.”
Taupaūape turned to the media to raise the alarm after a man named “Soloi,” also known as “Faleti Fiti,” fleeced her of cash with a promise of a piece of land at Vaitoloa.
The woman said the man is a sweet talker, between 50 and 60 years old and comes from Saaga, Siumu.
“This all started last month when this man came to where I work and asked if I wanted to buy ¼ acre of land at Vaitoloa,” she said.
“I work at the library and he always comes in asking for information and I would help him. That morning he came and told me that he wants to sell me some land because I always help him."
“Now I didn’t believe him at first but then he had all the information. He had Court papers and he had all these letters that say the land belongs to him. That’s why I trusted him.”
The next day, the man returned and asked the woman to go with him so he could show her the piece of land.
“I agreed and went with him. The land is at Vaitoloa just after the Primary School. When we went past the school, he started pointing out the land. I asked him that the land he’s showing me is owned by other people but he insisted and said his grandmother owns this land.
“I asked him how much is the land but he said he will let me know once his lawyer had secured all the paper work."
“The following day he came again and he said that he is trying to get his N.P.F to pay for the lawyer’s fee. I asked him how much the fee is and he said it’s $2,700. He said his lawyer is giving him until Friday of that week to pay her fee otherwise she will use his land to pay for her fee."
“Aside from the lawyer’s fee he told me that he needed money to pay for his doctor’s report so that he is able to withdraw his N.P.F. So I gave him $130.”
Taupaūape said the next day he was there at her office again.
This time he asked her for $800 tala to pay off the lawyer’s bill as he already has $2,000 tala.
“I gave him that $800. What’s more, my son gave him a car to use because we felt sorry for him for going around in the rain and sun to do all of these things."
“I mean I trusted this person so much because of all the evidence that I saw in the selling of this land."
“On Friday of this same week I didn’t see him. But he told me over the phone his lawyer does not want the money anymore but instead she wants the land."
“I got angry and told him to tell her lawyer that we will seek another lawyer’s opinion on what needs to be done.”
That worked for a while. The woman said he then changed his mind and he told her they would come with the lawyer to her office to sign the papers.
But that did not happen.
“I waited for him until I finished work and I called him but his phone was switched off.”
It was then she started to suspect that something was wrong and she might have been fooled.
“My heart was pounding very fast because I knew this was a scam and that this person fooled me. On Saturday I kept calling him because I couldn’t get any sleep. I was hurt and not only me but my children too he didn’t answer so I texted him to return the car."
“Later on he called me saying that his son had drop the car off at my work so we came to my work and the car was there."
“I then ask him to meet me at my office and bring the documents of the land that we have already agreed on."
“I called on Monday and he didn’t answer, and so I texted him that I am taking this matter to Court.”
The victim said she went to the Police office to lodge a complaint.
“I was told by the police officer that handled my case that this person was in jail five times for the same crime,” she said. “If this is true then why is this person out again? If this is not the first time he was jailed he should be locked up because he keeps committing the same crime over and over again.”
Police spokesperson, Su’a Muliaga Tiumalu, confirmed the woman’s claims.
“Yes there was a complaint that came to our office with regards to the matter,” he said. “At the moment we are investigating whether it’s true that this person was in jail before for the same crime.”
Taupaūape said she wants to warn the public so that nobody will have to go through what she went through.
Repeated attempts to get a comment from Faleti Fiti through the number given by Taupaūape were unsuccessful.