You don’t need satellite imaging to diagnose some problems

Whenever I receive an email from the widow of General Sani Abacha or the son of Jonas Savimbi or someone else wanting to transfer millions of dollars into my bank account, I wonder who would fall for such a scam. Many people would, apparently. And many people already have. It seems so far-fetched, really, the idea that someone in Nigeria or another country has picked YOU to help them get money out. But people will believe anything, and when I say "anything," I mean that they’d even believe that their medical problems can be diagnosed by satellite.

 A man was sentenced to more than four years in prison for bilking
friends and family out of more than $800,000 by convincing them that
his wife was a government agent who could arrange to have their medical
problems diagnosed by satellite imaging.

Eric Finley, 38, of Rayville, was sentenced in federal court in Monroe
to serve 51 months in prison followed by three years of supervised
release. His wife, Stacey Finley, was sentenced in August to spend 63
months in prison and both are ordered to jointly pay restitution in the
amount of $873,786.94. …

Attorney Donald W. Washington said in a news release following Monday’s
sentencing of Brent Finley that the couple convinced numerous people
that Stacey Finley was a CIA agent and with her contacts she could
schedule a medical scan of the victims’ bodies by satellite imaging
that would detect any hidden medical problems.

The Finley’s
convinced their victims that, if any medical problems were found,
secret agents would administer medicine to them as they slept in
exchange for payment, according to a bill of information filed when the
Finleys were charged in May.

"These audacious criminals should
remind all of us that scam artists will go to great lengths to take our
life’s savings," Washington said. [Link]

Actually, what it should remind all of us is that you don’t have to go far to find someone who fell off the back of the potato truck.

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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