Readers' Submissions

Thai Girls and Nigerian Guys



I was just talking to a friend of mine who lives and works in Bangkok. He e-mailed me a note he had received from a Thai girl that he knows.

In it, she tells him that her employer has passed away and has left her 400,000 baht. She needs to borrow 200,000 in order to pay the taxes and hire a lawyer and she will return his money in a few weeks. A little too ambitious and far-fetched but I have no doubt that she will eventually refine her request until it sounds almost believable.

What I found absolutely fascinating is that her story reminds me of a Nigerian letter scam. Wow, that’s a scary thought. Imagine one of these Nigerian guys sitting down with a Thai internet prankster girl and explaining the mechanics of the fraud.

It’s entirely possible -all those Africans walking up and down on Soi Three, right across the street from Nana Plaza.

Thais and Nigerians putting their heads together- a frightening image isn’t it?

I don’t think I need to explain the scheme here. We all have heard about it and it has been documented many times in Trink’s column.

My friend in Bangkok said, ‘Just think if one Thai girl catches on to this, soon they will all be offering a cash profit along with a warm body. But will anyone actually fall for this?’

Sure. And the thing about it is, that a convoluted story is not really necessary, there are so many expats and visitors here willing and yes even anxious to part with their cash.

Why is this I wondered?

It’s a double whammy with the girl asking for money and the guy wanting to give it away.
I think it’s a matter of self esteem. A guy comes here, middle-aged or older, divorced, hasn’t had a date in ten years, feels more comfortable drinking beer with his buddies than socializing in mixed company or talking to a woman.

He’s not in the best of shape, can not be called good looking by any means, hasn’t gone out with an attractive girl in forty years and possibly never has.

And now all of a sudden, a firm-bodied twenty-two year old honey is calling him handsome man and pledging her eternal love.

Does this make him feel better? No, it makes him feel worse, even more insecure.

‘I’m just some old schlep,’ he’s thinking. ‘What is this girl doing with me?’

So what does he do? He compensates. He wants to feel more confident, like he’s a worthy man, a man in charge of his life. A man his girl can look up to and depend on. A man willing to reach out and help this young beauty who has fallen for him and also a girl that may wake up and leave at any moment.

How to keep her interested? How to keep her? Easy. Step up to the plate and act like a man. Put your money where your mouth is.

Minutes after I spoke to my friend in Bangkok, I was visited by a casual acquaintance. It took him about an hour of chit-chat to tell me why he came. He wanted to show me a text message on his phone and ask my advice. Craig has been living in Thailand for ten years and is a Hash House Harrier. During a run in Phuket he met a Philippine girl serving lunch to the runners. They started to date and go out with her sister and her Thai boyfriend. No boom-boom; only friends. She tells him that her brother back home is in the hospital and she needs ten thousand baht to get him out. Craig gives her the money and does not hear from her for the next few weeks. Then he receives a phone message that she is in the Philippines and wants to come back to Thailand and live with him if he can just send her the money for a plane ticket.

Please deposit the money in my bank account at Siam Commercial. He does and waits for her to fly into his arms. Her arrival date comes and goes without a word. A few weeks later he gets another text message. She has been delayed and needs another ten thousand to allow her to leave the country.

His question to me is, ‘Shall I send her the money?’

‘Sit down here. I’m going to get a bucket of ice water. I’ll be right back.’

‘What?’

My first thought was to scold him. Christ, he should know better. What an idiot. But something came over me. All of a sudden I felt very sorry for the man.

Oddly enough, he is normally a very tight-fisted guy. He leaves five and ten baht tips at restaurants and will not pay for bottled water. He has had two different girls living with him but refused to spend very much on them and they left. I sat down and tried to explain things to him. ‘Craig, you know you can’t give girls money just like that. How do you even know she’s even in the Philippines?

She may be living around the corner sending the same message to a dozen guys.’

He slowly saw the light and went home, a sadder but wiser man.

I called S&W in Bangkok. ‘You can’t believe what just happened. Exactly what we were talking about. Guys giving away money at the drop of a hat.

Stickman's thoughts:

The scams are getting more elaborate.