Scams – the Second
In my previous bog (Summer – Verano 2021) I wrote about the German couple that scammed me out of €300. Of course it is my fault for being so trusting, helpful and not listening to my gut feeling.
This scam involves a sob story of how all your valuables including passport, mobile phone, credit cards etc. were stolen, preferably on the train.
Now in August we came across this for a third time. At 22.30 in the evening I got a phone call, one person asking for a room for the night. I do make exceptions sometimes; this was one of the times as she said she was in El Rocio and would come immediately.
A car arrived with a guy and the girl. He paid cash for the room and when I asked her for ID, she showed me the ‘denuncia’, a report form from the police, which they fill out in case of a lost passport etc. I waved this away as it would be useless for the data I need to fill in the online police register. So the Romanian guy gave me his passport instead, fair enough. She had nothing much, only a plastic bag with a bottle of Coca-Cola and some bits of food and sweets. Nigel asked when she would be collected the next day and she said 12.00, which is our check-out time. All ok so far.
The next morning she comes down for a smoke and says she likes it here so much she wants to stay another night and I would get paid at 15.00. I started to talk a bit with her and she told me she is half Italian, half Romanian but over thirty years in Spain and her stuff was stolen on the train. She has a job lined up in Matalascanas in a few days. She has a house on Tenerife. I looked at her skeptically and she assured me she wasn’t really a waitress but an administrator at the justice system, but since a year and a half laid off due to the Corona virus crisis.
Now who would believe such a cobbled together story? We were highly suspicious, added to which she apparently had smoked in the room and was stoned for much of the time, so she had enough money for hash and tobacco.
We had to meet our new solicitor in Almonte but didn’t trust her, so she had to stay outside as we locked the house and the gate, effectively holding her captive.
When we returned Nigel spotted the tracks of a car that turned at our gate, maybe imagination? She went back upstairs, to curl up in bed. Naturally at 15.00 nobody came, not at 17.00 as she had changed her story (how would she know, without a mobile phone?). She had asked for my mobile to contact the guy, without success. He himself called finally at 19.30 and appeared shortly after 20.00, without the money. She asked if we had a credit card machine.
By then I had enough of her. I had given her toast and salami to eat, she never tidied up her things outside and now she was starting to argue. So I threw her out.
We believe that this guy was also taken in by her and didn’t even know he had to shell out another €30 for another night here. But we would not have slept a minute.
I researched scams in Spain and the first was the ‘poor me, all was stolen’ story. Sure, you dump your belongings with a friend, then go to the police and they write down what you tell them. Could be fake names, address, anything at all. They are not obliged to check it out, the embassy or authorities responsible for issuing a new passport have to do that.
And then you try to find a gullible person which will pay for you. In the course of that you can maybe find a nice place with things you can steal or just give information about it to your mates-in-crime.
Another lesson learned. In future I will not take persons without proper ID, sad as it is.
This time we got away, but others have not been so lucky and I have already lost €300 to learn that we cannot always trust people.
What she had in common with the others is the incessant talk, stories to convince us and to tell us how nice we are, how lovely the place is. A bit plump really, but people can get really good at it, as this Manfred Kwiaton was with his made up place of work on his Facebook profile. Part of his story was reflected there, but the other part was obviously concocted.
Photos below: it’s not all work, we get away sometimes to enjoy places nearby:
Matalasacanas, Cuesta Maneli, El Rocio, and Restaurente El Pocito in Almonte.
Ley Lines in our Garden
We have a problem growing anything in the front of our house. There is the bit of Irish lawn alright that Nigel needs and is proud of, but behind it nothing really thrives. We twice planted orange trees there and they died. Then we planted a good sized fig tree, these grow here everywhere, but it too died. I planted some pomegranate saplings I grew from seed. And these grow like weed here. Guess what? Yes, shrivelled up and dead. It was not for the lack of water, because of course we made a point of watering the plants.
We had radically cut down three olive trees to rejuvenate them and their regrowth looks fresh and bushy. We also have wild flowers everywhere, so it is not impossible for plants to grow there.
As I mentioned before, every summer, in July or August, when the temperatures hit the low forties, lots of plants suffer and die. My kiwi and bougainvillea on the upper terrace have not really grown. Up there is an intense heat during the whole afternoon and evening and no shade.
We were just going for another attempt when a German couple stayed with us who live in Marbella and he is a landscape gardener. He asked us for two metal rods, bent them and turned them thus into divining or dowsing rods and proceeded to walk slowly around the area in front of the house.
Lo and behold, they started to cross over in front of the lawn. In other locations they drifted wide apart. The reason for this behaviour apparently is that there are ley lines or electromagnetic underground energy flows.
I have heard of them before and used or seen used divining rods for finding underground water sources. I have also read about the immense energy knots that are supposed to be running through Great Britain, especially Stonehenge, Glastonbury and even in London.
Of course we tried it too. It works better with Nigel than me, not sure why. You are holding the rods so lose, that it is easy to unconsciously tilt them one way or another. Unfortunately, the site of our (already concreted swimming pool) would be perfect for growing an orchard.
As our bamboo started to wilt and go yellow we moved it, and the remaining struggling orange tree, just in case. Maybe we should find a new spot for the nectarine too, it’s not looking too good either.
Our very productive hens have gone on a break, laying faithfully all year. We added four more hens to our production team and one Araucana hen was gifted to me for my birthday who I call Greta Green as her eggs have a slight green colour. She lacks tail feathers and is rather wild. Hopefully when her laying time comes, she will join the flock. Our Greta is a speckled brown hen and will only lay three eggs per week, so they will be really special when we will find them!
My three young peacocks turned out to be all females, pea hens. Naturally that means more peafowl and so I have three more young peafowl which will hopefully turn into peacocks, some day. If not, the deal it that I will get the males for free, as it is hard to tell when they are young.
That still not being enough feathered friends we also purchased three ducks from the market, which I named Daisy, Dolly and Donna. They are between 5 and 6 months old and occupy the space in front of the house, where we unsuccessfully tried to grow our citrus orchard. They have a nice run with an olive tree for shelter and a raised pool to keep the water clean.
Nigel loves duck eggs and hopefully soon he, and our guests, can indulge in daily duck eggs again.