Family conned by a professional swindler

By Sarafina Sanerivi 19 February 2016, 12:00AM

A family is reeling after a swindler lied his way into their home, manipulated them and ran away with their cash. 

The mysterious man has left the family of Theresa Masoe-Taimalelagi angry and frustrated. 

The bitter incident has left a scar on the family, $1400 short, and has taught them a tough lesson about strangers.

 “This man came to our home and he was greeted by Leti, who looks after my parents,” Mrs. Taimalelagi explained. “He told Leti that he was looking for a job and that he wanted to see my father.

“So Leti took him to my dad and they started talking. He said his name was Fuataiga and that he was the son of Fuataiga Tufuga from Asau.”

 Mrs. Taimalelagi’s father is from Asau and has a lot of relatives staying there.

The conversation carried on for a while because the man kept talking about all the people who are related to Mrs. Taimalelagi’s father.

“He then told my dad that he was looking for a job.”

The man said he was a carpenter and that he has all the tools for his trade.

“He even told my dad that he went to the Technical school of Don Bosco in Savai’i and he wanted to show his tools to my dad.”

Having believed his story, Mrs. Taimalelagi’s father hired him and offered to pay $6 an hour.

Because it was getting late, Mrs. Taimalelagi’s father felt sorry for the man. He allowed him to spend the night at their house.

“He slept in the sitting room facing my dad’s room.”

Leti was sleeping in the other room with Theresa’s mother.

“Leti said that around 2-3 in the morning, the man woke her up and asked her for direction to the bathroom,” she said.

“He also asked Leti if the bathroom was inside my dad’s room.

“Leti told him to go and use the bathroom outside, then she went back to sleep.”

When the family woke up, the man was nowhere to be found. 

“It was six in the morning and he was gone, so as my father’s wallet.”

The wallet was under Mrs. Taimalelagi’s father’s pillow and it had his cards and money inside.

“My dad had $1400 in his wallet and this man took it. He fooled us and got away from it.”

Mrs. Taimalelagi said they found out later that the man was lying to them all along. 

Since then, the family has been looking for information about the man. They have contacted the Police, they have been to prison to check if he is a prisoner and have even posted messages on social media, asking the public for help.

The family have also found out that the man whom he claimed to be his father [Fuataiga Tufuga] doesn’t have a son.

“I know it’s someone who knows my dad’s family in Savai’i very well and he used that as a way to use people and to get what he wants. I think he is someone from Savai’i because he seemed to know a lot about our family in Savai’i.”

The Police are investigating.

 “It’s hard because we don’t know his real name and we don’t have a photo of him.”

In the meantime, Mrs. Taimalelagi said her father is not hurt because he ran away with his money. 

But he wants to warn members of the public that there are people who would lie and manipulate their way into using family as a way to get what they want.

“It can be a great lesson for us all,” said Mrs. Taimalelagi.

“What happened to my family and to my dad can also happen to anyone of us.

“But it’s good to be aware of the fact that there are people out there who are heartless enough to manipulate you and your family and walk over your trust and love.

“We have to keep our eyes open because there is good and evil around us and we have to be alert at all time. 

“Some people will do whatever it takes to get what they want but let’s learn from what happened to my family and prevent yours from going through what we experienced.”

Theresa Masoe-Taimalelagi is asking anyone who knows this man to please contact her on Facebook or call her on 7204581.


By Sarafina Sanerivi 19 February 2016, 12:00AM

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