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Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016

My Jamaican Friend

Posted Thursday, October 4, 2012, at 8:08 AM

A while back, around 8 o'clock in the evening, our telephone rang. I picked up the receiver and a thick accent said, "May I speak to Steve Loomb, please." In order to appease myself, I said, "This is Steve Loomb speaking."

Without a pause, the man on the other end of the phone started telling me how fortunate I was and that my name was selected to win $1.4 million in cash and a candy apple red Mercedes. I was ecstatic! I WON! If you think that's cool, listen to this... a man was driving that very car around Brazil and just happened to be in MY neighborhood at that very moment! Can you imagine that? At this point I had to call to my wife who was sitting in the other room watching television, "Honey! Come here! There's a man on the phone that said we won $1.4 million!" My wife, being a rather resolute individual at times, fails to see my humor in such hankering for these types of calls. Reluctantly, she came into the room and listened. The man told me, on speaker phone, that all I had to do that night was go to Walmart and get a money order for $355.00. He then asked about how far, in minutes it was to Walmart. I told him approximately 15 minutes, but I would have to stop at the bank first to withdraw the money. He asked about a credit card and I told him I would feel more comfortable withdrawing it from a bank for my records. He urged me to go directly to Walmart and not stop anywhere. He also instructed me on how to answer any Walmart employee who might question me during such a transaction. "Do not tell them what it is for. Just tell them that you want a money order for $355.00." He explained that too many times, people are talked out of buying such money orders made out to (name withheld), because it sounded "foreign." Indeed it did. After assuring him that I would be very careful to whom I divulged any information to, he proceeded to tell me he would call me back in twenty minutes or so. I resisted that, telling him I needed to call him, not him call me. Reluctantly, he gave me his number, starting with area code 876, a Jamaican exchange. After questioning him on his location, he told me he was, in fact in Jamaica, but his friend was driving through my neighborhood in my candy apple red Mercedes at that very moment, which just happened to have 1.4 million clams in the trunk.

After a few more minutes, he excused himself so I could be on my way to pick up a $355.00 money order to cover taxes on my winnings. Imagine that! Three hundred-fifty five dollars covers taxes on $1.4 million plus a candy apple red Mercedes! Amazing!

Immediately after hanging up the phone, I called the sheriff's department and reported to dispatch what had occurred. Within a half hour, a deputy called and began asking me questions about the call that I received. I informed him that I had a telephone number of the man that called, his name and his location. During the conversation I could sense that he was not nearly as interested in this "case" as I was. He explained this was not a rare occurrence (I knew that) and that it was probably just a scam (probably? I knew that, too). I thought the least that he could do would be give the guy a call and tell him the authorities were in on his game and that it had better stop. The deputy did tell me that if he had any more questions he would call me back. He must not have had any more questions, he didn't call back.

Somehow, I cannot help but think he is patrolling my neighborhood on a nightly basis looking for my candy apple red Mercedes.

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Steve Lamb
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