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Jul. 13 2009 - 2:33 pm | 4 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments

Busted in Bangladesh: con men who posed as genies

Which is more absurd -- that genies will swindle you, or a man named Creflo Dollar will?

Which is more absurd -- genie swindlers or a preacher named Creflo Dollar?

Here’s one of those funny but ultimately unfortunate stories that does little to dispel imaginings of brown people as idiotic savages. From Sky News:

Con men who swindled people out of money by pretending to be genies with supernatural powers have been arrested, Bangladeshi police say.

The scammers would gather personal information about their victims beforehand, call them and speak “in a tone similar to Arabic,” police chief Farhad bin Imrul Kayes said.

They then claimed to be genies who had descended from the sky and would tell people to send money to a specific location, threatening a family tragedy if they disobeyed.

Phone taps led police to the northern region of Bangladesh and into the Gobindaganj area.

In the past three months, 24 people were arrested and police said some had become rich after just one year of working the scam.

“It has become an epidemic here,” Mr Kayes went on.

“During the phone talks, they would describe themselves as kings of genies who recite Koranic verses, inject fear of Allah among their victims and pretend to know some of their family secrets,” he added.

Hmm… Con men who gain your trust through psychic parlor tricks, recite from a holy book and threaten to bring down God’s wrath unless you give them money? Preposterous!

via Bangladesh Genies: Con Men Arrested Over Phone Threats Scam | Sky News.

Related: Saudi ‘genie’ sued for harassment | BBC News.


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