MALAYSIA - Word must have gone out to criminals all over the world that Malaysians are easily some of the most gullible people around. In their lingo, they probably say we are suckers, and what is sad is they are right.
There is also the perception that Malaysia's international entry points allow for easy and unimpeded access to criminals and foreigners who come here not as tourists but for suspicious activities.
We also seem to be easily taken in by those who are white, or seem to look white, and believe they are all respectable well-off individuals, never mind that they come from financially stricken European countries.
A few may believe they also have better genetic stock, if we believe the stories from that bald Bosnian who also thinks he is good-looking and of great intellect.
But when it comes to con jobs, colour does not really matter. The con artists from Nigeria, who probably award diplomas for scams and other con jobs, have swindled many not only here but around the world too.
A few years ago, there was this con job where the perpetrators would convince a targeted victim to believe that the piles of banknote-sized paper in a trunk or a safe were real money which had been dyed black or another colour supposedly to prevent detection by Customs.
The victim was then persuaded to pay for special chemicals to wash the "money" with a promise that he would share in the proceeds. The best part is that there were enough Malaysians, greedy and mental ones, who bought into this ridiculous scam.
And with the Internet boom, we started to get those outrageous e-mail from long-lost relatives of some corrupt civil servants, sometimes claiming to be from Zimbabwe, who want us to invest in some questionable deals. We would be promised a hefty commission to help the scums who supposedly could not take the money out of their country.