The problem with Genies

Photo: Disney

One of the more interesting stories that has hit the global news pages today (2 November 2020) is the story of a doctor in India who is suing two men who fleeced him of a seven million rupees (around US93,000) for “Aladdin’s Lamp. It seems that the men promised him that they could control spirits that would make him wealthy beyond his wildest dreams and when it didn’t happen, he sued. The story has received quite a bit of traction and details can be found at: [LINK]

I know it’s wrong to say this but I hope that the court acquits the scam artist because not to do so would be to empower scam artist though out the world. It would imply that people are merely dupes who are powerless in the face of a convincing story.

If you look at the basic facts of the case, you’ll see that the main fault lies with the doctor, who got carried away with his greed. How does a man, educated enough to be able to get people to trust him with their medical issues, fall for a story about how a folk tale that had become a Disney movie would be able to give him real wealth?

The Cartoon in Blue is NOT a qualified financial advisor.

Having been in liquidations for half a decade, I’ve had the experience of encountering sad, scam cases. Scams are particularly sad and distressing when they involve a good number of elderly people losing their life savings.

What is even sadder is the fact that a good number of these elderly folk often “invested” in whatever scam was involved because they were persuaded to do so by a relative, or someone they wanted to help. That someone is unfortunately, a rational and educated person who lost all sense of reality when presented with some numbers exciting numbers. The old adage of “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is because it is,” should apply when presented with numbers that are exceedingly large.

I remember a potential case coming to see my liquidator, who wasn’t in. During the course of this interview, I asked the man for his profession (teacher) and whether the financial vehicle he was investing in was regulated by the authorities. He admitted that he knew that it wasn’t but the story he was being told sounded good. After getting him to repeat himself a few times, he admitted, “That sounds bad now that I’m saying it for a second time.”

Yes, scam artists are wrong to scam. However, if you’re a reasonably educated working professional and you allow your greed to get the better of you, you have nobody to blame but yourself.

It’s the same thing when it comes to medication. As awful as I think Donald Trump is for promoting bleach as a cure for Covid-19, I don’t think he can be blamed when people die from taking bleach. Surely, you’d have the ability to read the label and not take it?

Conmen don’t hold a gun to your head to get you to invest. What they do is to appeal to your sense of greed or your fear of missing out. Once you throw caution to the wind, you may even do the con job and recruit more people to the cause.

It is morally wrong to scam and it is rightfully illegal. However, there should be an onus on people, especially those who have some form of education and in many cases, years of professional experience. A person with education and professional experience should be able to apply common sense, rationality and if unsure, have the means of checking. Unfortunately, many people who fall for scams to the extent that they encourage others to join the scam are precisely the type of people who become the scams biggest supporters.

Falling for an obvious scam (things like let me have sex with you get ghost out of your vagina or banks borrow money from me at a higher interest rate than what they pay normal depositors) means that you have not applied brains. If you took away the right of people with brains to be victims of obvious scams, we’d have a lot less of them.

Let’s go back to the good doctor in question. It’s this simple, there is no scientific evidence to show that genies exist and if someone shows you a genie, don’t offer to buy it. If the guy really had a genie that could make him or her wealthy beyond the wildest dreams of avarice, why would they even contemplate selling it to you? Would you trust this man with your medical issues if he could fall for this?


Tang Li

*Although I’ve been based mainly in Singapore for nearly two decades, I’ve had the privilege of being able meet people who have crossed borders and cultures. I’ve befriended ministers and ambassadors and worked on projects involving a former head of state. Yet, at the same time, I’ve had the privilege of befriending migrant labourers and former convicts. All of them have a story to tell. All of them add to the fabric of life. I hope to express the stories that inspire us to create life as it should be.





7 Responses to “The problem with Genies”

  • Reality:

    Reality is many fell for it because of greed…
    Human weakness.
    There is no easy money.

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  • Police CLOSE DOWN:

    So the doc deserved to be scammed?

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  • Robin:

    “Holy magic carpet batman!!!”

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  • Harder Truths:

    $G has its own genies. They are GIC and TH.

    They give us everything we every need. At least that is what we have been told.

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  • TUMASIK Patriot:

    Tangfastic…the doctor is stoopid to report and make a fool of himself…

    I KNOW of a group of doctors CONNED a Million Dollars into investing in a Billion dollar project in Australia Mining by a group of Malaysians who went laughing to the Bank…Suckers are Born everyday and they need not be silly Ah Pek or Ah Ma but Scholars & Graduates

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  • EducatedIdiots:

    Hey, a very high number of world population believes in “genie”. Why set up these lavish buildings for millions of worshipers to flock into if not for the same reasons you pray to the genie?

    There is only one prayer for all times and any other prayers not related to that one and only prayer only say that you had been praying to a genie.

    You have to decide whether that prayer is of any importance to national building and the world.

    If it is all a “genie” still to you, you can say your smartness has serve you well.

    In other words, no change. Eat,drink and be merry. Make sure you can afford it like the rich.

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  • xoxo:

    $cam cases in the *private* SECTOR is just like *PEANUTS* and not as BIG as those in the *WHATS WRONG WITH COLLECTING MORE $$$?* PUBLIC $ector in $inCity,ya?

    The PRIVATE SECTOR CHEATS scam those who are FREEDY but the PUBLIC SECTOR IN $INCITY can even have the heart to $CAM THE POOR???

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