An email made my day...! Today I received an email from an international figure. Some one, if not for the strict and religious upbringing in which she was brought up, would have been as influential and popular as Winnie Mandela or Hilary Clinton. Someone whose better half controlled the destiny of a nation for decades. But as Lady Luck was not in the favor of this lady, her husband was murdered in a coup and she is orphaned. Alone and with her husband's huge treasure in her custody, she want to relocate and settle in my country doing any business. And she has chosen me for guarding her money of which I will get a small share...
Ladies and Gentlemen, please lent your ears for the wails of this lonely lady... wife of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi:
Greetings in the name of Allah,am the wife of the late Libyan president Gadafi who was killedby rebels on Thursday 20th oct 2011, please my life is in bigdanger and I would like to use you as my contact to move a hugesome of money and start living a free life in your country. forI have been on veils as a Muslim since he married me, which isour religious rights, nobody has seen my face or known me exceptmy children and himself and I thank Allah for this.I cannot be identified by anybody in the world now that thingshas gone bad. Am taking refuge in Algeria. I and my childrencan't go back to Libya for now.We are afraid that our life couldbe in danger in Libya.The death of my husband was a broad daymurder by the Libya rebel.he was captured and was killed not bystray bullet as the would was made to believe.I want to relocate to your country,to start up a new life. Ihave some money in my possession which i will like to invest inany profitable business in your country.I want you to guard methrough the business i will invest.I will reward with 20 percentof the total money.Please,I will give you more information as soon as I hearfrom.kindly send your reply to my private id:Waiting to hear from you.Mrs. Safia Gadafi
My only problem with this wonderfully drafted letter is the spelling mistake in the name of this widow. The height of internet scam...
But now a days these things never bother me. In such cases my stand is that, if someone is fooled by these schemes, they deserves it. What bothers me is perfectly legitimate business houses doing robbery on broad daylight legally. And helpless public falling for sweet promises and parting their hard earned money. If you check the title of this post, you will know who is this party about whom I mentioned.
When an insurance adviser, who was rather close to my family and who had helped us in past approached me to take a policy, one with a very reasonable premium and which is in no way a burden for me, I was only glad to oblige. The most attractive thing that he told was that after paying three year's premium we can withdraw the amount at any time as we chose and even if we never pay the premium, it will never lapse. That was how I took my first ULIP plan. After paying three year's premium, I never thought of it again as I was planning to withdraw the money in case of any urgent requirement. And the need struck now.
That was how I found myself at their office last day morning. The person at reception was much helpful. He listed out the required forms and proofs for surrender of the policy. He even suggested waiting for a few more days to withdraw, as the market was not healthy right then. He filled the form for me and shown the places where I should put my sign. Then he lead me to another officer sitting in a cubicle. This guy checked my policy number, typed it in his system and after a few minutes of calculation, announced the total amount due to me if I surrendered the policy then.
I was startled. It was almost 45 % less than my fund value. May be he made an error while telling me. I tried to correct him. But he confirmed the amount and told the difference is due to the surrender fee. A surrender fee amounting to 45% of the total amount due to me? My knees got weak. Blood rushed to my head. He was telling me to wait for more time as with time the surrender fee will reduce incrementally and at the end of 20 years it will be zero. I told why I was not told about the surrender fee, if it was this huge. All I was told by everyone was that after three years I can withdraw the money at any time. There was a formula for surrender fee in their policy document, a bizarre one which did not made any sense to me or any of my much experienced friends to whom I showed it. I collected all the copies and documents on the desk, stuffed it in my bag all the while telling him how big a cheat his organization was. And while coming out of his cubicle, I gave my parting address.
"Look my friend, if you guys think that you and your firm can do this New Year party with my hard earned money, I am not game. You all can go to hell, I am not going to give you a paisa of it. See you after 20 years."