My entertaining, but dangerous adventure

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How I was nearly scammed and why I survived it mp3

I received a phone call from a gentleman named Johannes. He offered me an opportunity for training students from Zambia. Kenneth, a business man from Zambia will bring the students to South Africa. He asked if we could meet.

We met in a coffee shop. I didn’t order anything, while waiting for him. He phoned me to let me know he was running 15 minutes late. When Johannes arrived, he didn’t order anything. This little voice in my head said: “This is odd.”  

We looked at my manuals then Johannes said “Kenneth is a businessman from Zambia. He imports agricultural goods like animal hides and ostrich skin products. And semi-precious stones into South Africa. It is all legal. I am laughing inside, because he doesn’t know that I am a vegetarian. A little voice inside told me again “This is odd how he keeps on harping on the legality of the business.” “We want you to be the pretended buyer.”, Johannes said. “We will sell these semi-precious stones to someone else and we will share the profit. I want you to do this because the previous lady, a doctor, has moved to the UK, just before lockdown. I want you take her place.” Whenever I asked him how he found me, he was very vague.  “That is weird.”

I steered the conversation back to the training. “Who will I be training?” I asked. “They are children aged between 4-6”, Johannes answered. “This is odd for them to bring these young children to SA for me to train them.” I mentioned that it would make more sense for me to train the teachers. Johannes agreed.

Johannes wanted me to meet Kenneth, who stayed at the Michael Angelo hotel in Sandton. We were to meet the next morning at 8:30, which was a Saturday. I said yes but I felt uncomfortable. I cancelled. Johannes said he will get Chris his nephew to phone me, as his English was better. Chris persuaded me to meet with Kenneth on Monday morning at 10:30, at Mandela Square. “Chris, I want to talk about the training. I am not interested in being involved with the semi-precious stones.”, I said.

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Johannes suggested  we would meet at the Michael Angelo hotel. When I went there, it was closed due to Covid-19. “It is odd that they told me Kenneth was staying at this hotel, yet it is closed.”

I met with Chris and Johannes before Kenneth arrived. We ordered something to drink. We spoke about the training and then the discussion was back on the stones. They explained what I was to say to Kenneth.

When Kenneth arrived, he showed me some pictures of his products and he showed me a copy of the invoice. The stones were on them. “This invoice means nothing. Where is the import permit? And there is no price listed for these stones.”

He gave us the two Tsavorite stones. They were quite big, but I don’t know much about them. I had never heard of Tsavorite. The waiter came so we could pay. I was waiting for them to pay. Then Chris said “I only have Dollars with me, would you mind to pay?” “This is super suspect. I should tell him that I can exchange some of his Dollars.” I paid the money, which wasn’t too much.

“Can you come along to show the stones to our potential buyer? He is at Northcliff Shopping centre. Can we go in your car?” Chris asked.  We stopped at the back of the shopping centre. “Please wait here, I have to organise a few things.” Chris said. Five minutes later we walked into back alley entrance, where I was introduced to a big Afrikaans guy. “I can only pay R280,000 for these stones.”, he said. I cannot give the money now. We can meet again in four-hours time.” “I feel there is too much secrecy going on now. Something is not kosher”.

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We were to go back to Kenneth and finish the deal later today. My uncomfortable levels had been going up the whole time. So I said, “It is 12:00 now. I must be home at 14:00, because I have appointments with clients.” The truth was I had to be home by 16:00, but I didn’t want to be sucked into this any further.

We still had to meet with Kenneth to return the stones. “When we see Kenneth, I want you negotiate a price for the stones with him. Ask him how much he wants for the stones first. We want to pay max R140,000 for them. We need a good profit. You will get 30% of that profit.”, Chris said. This would mean I would get about R40,000. I could really use that money. Business had been so quiet. I was tempted.  “Why would they want to pay, me, a stranger to them, so much money? I am just driving them around. It is starting to look like a TV program.”

Just before I dropped Chris off, he said “You can see how much money you will get tomorrow. Do I have R700.00 for me? I said “No, I don’t, but I am sure you can exchange some of your Dollars with someone.” “This is definitely reeking of a scam, because now he is asking me for money.”

Why did I survive it?

  1. I drove home and asked some friends for advice and they all warned me.
  2. I also looked up Tsavorite. It looked a little different than what they had showed me.

My subconscious mind had given me many warning signs. My conscious mind had tried to rationalise them away because I really could use that money. As a last test, I had asked for the phone number and email address of the lady who had moved to the UK. They couldn’t give that to me. This is when I left them a message and told them that I don’t want to be involved with the stones. I only want to do the training.

Was this a scam? The chances are that it was. I will never know for sure, but I wasn’t prepared to go any further.

The power of the subconscious mind

Our subconscious mind absorbs 1,000,000x more information than our conscious mind. It picks up all little things that don’t add up. It whispers in our ear. And if we are desperate enough, we’ll try to rationalise these warning signs away. The more something is rushed, the bigger the chance that our FOMO will override the warning signs. Because there were so many warning signs, I wanted to make sure I had a night to sleep on it.

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The moral of the story

It is important that we are in touch with our subconscious mind. It can save us. The problem is that many people don’t trust their subconscious. Why? Because many times we are taught to not listen to it. And there are many times it tells us lies like:

  • You are not good enough
  • You cannot do this
  • You are a failure

When we learn to differentiate between the lies and the truths, dished up by the subconscious, it becomes a great ally. This ally is there to help us to create the life we want. Why did I survive my scary adventure? Because I trusted my subconscious and I wasn’t desperate enough for that money.

  • Do you feel desperate, stuck, frustrated and even powerless?
  • Do you want to change your life?
  • If yes, it is time to plant your Happy Ever After seeds for 2021.

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What will you get?

  • Identify what you want to focus on in 2021
  • Have clarity on what can possibly slow you down in 2021
  • Renewed clarity and enthusiasm for your life
  • The first steps of your action plan to get your life (back) on track.

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