Timely warning for everyone

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 23 February 2016, 12:00AM

Con people going around and swindling money from unsuspecting members of the public is nothing new. We’re talking about criminals who abuse and misuse the compassion, care and love of strangers who fall prey to their evil ways.

We know it happens from time to time. But it’s good to be reminded now and then about how we need to be on our guard all the time.

The story titled “Family conned by a professional swindler” published on the front page of last Saturday’s Samoa Observer is a classic example of what we are talking about.

Sometime two weeks ago, a man whose identity remains a mystery, lied his way into a family’s home, manipulated them and ran away with their cash.

“He said his name was Fuataiga and that he was the son of Fuataiga Tufuga from Asau,” explained Theresa Masoe-Taimalelagi.

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,” she said.

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.

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

 “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.”

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,” she said.

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

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.

What’s more, the family has also found that the man whom he claimed to be his father [Fuataiga Tufuga] doesn’t have a son.

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 they want to warn members of the public that there are people who would lie and manipulate their way into robbing innocent people.

“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.”

Mrs. Taimalelagi could not have said it any better. The obvious lesson for everyone is that not everyone is worth trusting. 

The level of desperation and criminality out there today has become so great people are literally no longer afraid to rob others with their eyes wide opened. 

So be careful and stay safe, Samoa!

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 23 February 2016, 12:00AM

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