Friday, October 5, 2007

Small Time Crooks (true story)

Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!

Marmion. Canto vi. Stanza 17.
Sir Walter Scott

It was a warm sunny beautiful day. I was walking my daughter to school and my cell phone rings...

caller: Is this number 15-1234-1234?
me: yeah, who´s this? (I flinch a little knowing I just goofed up confirming my phone number to a complete stranger)

caller: we have a relative of yours in the trunk of our car. If you want to see him again you have to do as I say. You got that?
me: relative? who?

caller: did you not understand? You have to do what I say.
me: okay, what do you want me to do?

Mind you the whole time I am very calm, almost as if I am talking about work with an employee or something similar.

caller: I mean it. We will hurt him and you wont see him again in one piece!
me: um... I am still waiting for you to tell me what you want me to do.

This guy hands me off to his partner. I can just imagine him throwing his hands in the air and cursing at me. At the sound of the second guys voice I am actually smiling now.

2caller: I need to clarify that you understand that we have a relative of yours and that you need to do what we tell you.
me: your friend has told me that already. Can you please tell me what you want me to do?

I reach the school and ask the guys to hold a second while I kiss the teacher hello and kiss my child. This leads the second guy to hand me back to the first guy. I am now free from my child so I can actually enjoy this a little more.

caller: (some swearing) I don't know if you understand?
me interrupting: let me guess, I have to do what you tell me?
caller: yes! (more swearing)

he takes a breather and there is an awkward silence moment on the phone.
caller: you need to go to a cyber cafe (internet cafe).
me: anyone will do?
caller: (I imagine him rolling his eyes) No! Where are you right now?
me: I am outside. I don't know the area too well so I can't really help you. Maybe if you tell me where you want me to go we can get this over with faster. Oh, there is a cop. I can ask him for directions.
caller: (swearing) No! (more swearing and threats).

and obviously telling me that it would be a bad idea for me to go to the cops. At this point I tell them that they need a little more practice and hang up.

I don´t know why I picked up on that fact that they were lying. For those of you from the States and elsewhere. It is fairly common for people to call you (sometimes from prison) and lead you to believe that they have kidnapped a loved one. They then pressure you into acting quickly to save your loved one´s life by going to a drop off with money. They take it, walk away and nothing else happens. You eventually find out that your loved one was just going about their day. I haven´t been called since then, and if they ever do I hope to keep my head about me once again.

Virtual Kidnappings: Taking advantage of Panic

Virtual Kidnapping on the Rise in Latin America

The following was a link to yet another occurrence that was sent into La Nación. This one was sent to me via e-mail.

Pésimo momento. Inflación. "No es tan alta". ¿No aprenden?. Seguridad vial. Policía eficiente. Anestesia. Burladores burlados. Los colas en los bancos. Subte aventura. Abogada. Agradecimiento | Opinión | Jueves 11 de octubre de 2007

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