I was reading through the latest news on straitstimes.com when I came across an article on the rise of scam victims. While reading the article, I was a little amused by the use of the term “sucker” in the article, and this was referenced a few times in the entire article:

There has been about one sucker a day over the past month and more than 210 so far this year.

And

The fraudsters have another racket in their arsenal: Calling victims on the pretext of conducting a survey or inviting them to an overseas event.

A few days later, the sucker is called again and told that he has won a cash prize through a lucky draw that was entered on his behalf.

Hmm… curious to find out what exactly a sucker is, I found that:

suck·er /ˈsʌkər/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[suhk-er] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. a person or thing that sucks.
2. Informal. a person easily cheated, deceived, or imposed upon.
3. an infant or a young animal that is suckled, esp. a suckling pig.
4. a part or organ of an animal adapted for sucking nourishment, or for adhering to an object as by suction.
5. any of several freshwater, mostly North American food fishes of the family Catostomidae, having thick lips: some are now rare.
6. Informal. a lollipop.
7. the piston of a pump that works by suction, or the valve of such a piston.
8. a pipe or tube through which something is drawn or sucked.
9. Botany. a shoot rising from a subterranean stem or root.
10. Informal. a person attracted to something as indicated: He’s a sucker for new clothes.
11. Slang. any person or thing: He’s one of those smart, handsome suckers everybody likes. They’re good boots, but the suckers pinch my feet.
–verb (used with object) 12. Slang. to make a sucker of; fool; hoodwink: another person suckered by a con artist.
–verb (used without object) 13. to send out suckers or shoots, as a plant.

So, it is a word that’s what I thought it was; but to read it from the national papers feels a little funny and somehow feels a little inappropriate. Oh well, perhaps I am just backdated.

Scam victims on the rise

IF IT sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It’s an old saying but it has a been getting a new lease of life here recently.

Gullible Singaporeans seem to be queuing up to fall victim to a lottery scam that has claimed more than $2 million this year.

There has been about one sucker a day over the past month and more than 210 so far this year.

The sharp increase in the number of victims has been startling. By August only 31 people had been sucked in.

That had shot up to 122 in September, the last time police raised the alert, with a further spike last month.

The scam centres around the premise that victims have won a pile of cash.

Conmen send SMSes to mobile phones notifying people that they have won big in the lottery.

Victims are told to call an overseas number to claim their prize. They are then asked to make payments in advance to cover ‘administrative’ or ‘processing’ fees.

The fraudsters have another racket in their arsenal: Calling victims on the pretext of conducting a survey or inviting them to an overseas event.

A few days later, the sucker is called again and told that he has won a cash prize through a lucky draw that was entered on his behalf.

He is asked to remit money to a local bank account, or one in China. Once the victims part with their cash, the swindlers disappear without a trace.

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 4th November 2007; and just to make sure that I saw what I thought I saw, I did a screen capture. Like I said, maybe I’m just a country pumpkin.

straitstimes.com - scam victims on the rise

 Someone pinch me, please?



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