Panic in the Morning

Written by Julen Madariaga on October 30th, 2008

Morning Daddy!

You know that feeling in the morning sometimes. You wake up with the lark, full of optimism to face a new day, and, before you even had the chance to smell the first espresso, trouble is knocking at your door.

It was just like that this morning when my cell phone beeped.

It was a message from my daughter.

Asking for money!

I knew it was bound to happen some day, all this Shanghai nightlife is so confusing, one really can’t be expected to pay attention to details. And there you go: one more mouth to feed, one more creature in the world. That’s about as much as I can take at 7:23 in the morning.  I run down to the computer, rubbing my eyes, straight to my online bank website to get done with it before she starts calling for more.

Hey, hold on a sec. My daughter can’t speak chinese.She couldn’t be old enough to use a cell phone anyway.

Actually, what the hell, I don’t have a daughter!

It’s the lively Chinese phone scammer community, back in action. I can only think that they are so persistent because it pays once in a while. I mean, come to think of it, with all those spoilt girls running around getting into trouble and calling their busy daddies for money, and daddies losing track of their little Shanghai princesses.

It would be quite funny actually, if it didn’t happen so often. Scams and Spam make up for about 70% of the text messages I get in my phone every day! I hear it is about the same for most users in Shanghai.

Anyway, here is my translation: “Daddy: I lost my phone and my wallet, please wire urgently 1500RMB to this account number of my friend Wang, I will tell you the precise details one of these days.”  No “thank you”, no ” I love you”, no “kisses to mum”. Brilliant. These clever scammers know exactly how to impersonate a Shanghai princess!

PS. The phone number of the sender is displayed on the screen, in case someone feels like taking action against the scammers, and deliver us from this pest. I hear there are some very good law blogs around if you need legal advice.

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