My officemate sent this email to me today and asked if it was the same M.O. I had recounted to them several weeks back. Reading through the email sent shivers up my spine because it was almost as though I was the one telling the story.
Different place (hers was SM, mine was near my ortho); different amount (he only asked me for a little over P500). Other than that, everything else she recounted was pretty much the same. I could not tell from this lady’s physical description of him if it was the same guy who accosted me though.
This is a real M.O., people — down to the beso-beso (as though I was a long lost friend) and hanging on to my hand as he recounted his sob story.
It’s getting a bit scary that such persons appear to be making the rounds of Makati.
This guy gave himself away to me right away so I was careful and alert with my bag and my ring. In his case, it did not pay to talk too much. He told me that he saw me often going to Mass at Greenbelt Chapel (where he claimed he was a Lay Minister) and also saw me often walking along the streets of Rufino. Welllll….how could that be when I had not been to Greenbelt Chapel in years (I stopped working for many years!) and I only go to Rufino St. for my ortho visits.
Watch out for this guy! Here is the lady’s story:
Please take note of this incident at SM-Makati:
Dear Family and Friends,
This happened to me early this afternoon at Makati SM. Because I wasn’t aware of this new modus operandi, only by the grace of God I did not become another victim!
I was walking along the ground floor between the supermarket and the department store when walking toward me was a rather neat looking aged man, all smiles. When he was in front of me he reached out to shake my hand and at the same time he kissed me on both cheeks! (YAK!) He was carrying a black Missal and a Bible. Taken by surprise and trying to recall who he was (I thought he surely must be a friend I hadn’t seen for a while and had now forgotten. I was embarrassed to ask his name!) He started talking almost without a pause saying he had just come from the Greenbelt Chapel where he had served at their noon Mass. He told me he was now a “full time lay Minister”. Then he told me “Si Papa may stage 4 cancer” and he wasn’t expected to last throught this night; that right now Monsignor Bacani was sitting with him by his hospital bed and tonight they were planning to take him to the Archbishop’s Palace for the wake. (I thought – but he isn’t dead yet!) But they needed money to pay for his final morphine shot and dextrose as he was in much pain.
Could I please lend him P5,000.00? All this time he was holding my right hand. I said I didn’t have any money on me. He then asked for even a few hundreds just to help. Now finally becoming aware of his intention, I again said I didn’t have money at all. He finally let go of my hand. My 2 rings were still on my fingers! They were a bit tight to put on and to remove. While this man was talking and looking at me, my eyes were wondering as I am wont to do when I am trying to remember something – a habit. I sort of try to push my eyes up into my brains to help me remember!
Later while waiting at the Meralco “Senior Citizens” room I chatted up an elderly lady seated beside me and recounted my experience. She was surprised that I wasn’t aware of this latest scam. Usually the man will stare into his victim’s eyes and manage to hypnotize her to empty her wallet for him. Other instances he makes the hypnotized victim walk to an ATM and withdraw money to hand over to him!
Her aunt had been victimized by what appears to be the same man from our matching descriptions! He is between 40 and 50 years old, about 5’8″ to 5’10”, neat looking, kayumanggi, carrying a Missal and Bible. He always kisses his victims so people around would not suspect a crime was in progress!
If you are approached (and kissed!) please, do not look into this man’s eyes when he is telling his story! It’s only my bad habit of “rolling my eyes” when I am in deep thought that saved me!
Please inform your family and friends so this modus operandi will come to an end!
(identity kept private)