The Crooks in our Midst

The Crooks in Our Midst

By Apolinario Villalobos


The crooks in today’s world are known by several names – skimmers, hackers, scammers, pickpockets, pimps, fakers, drug lords, drug pushers, etc.


There are jet-setting crooks who bring their dubious trade in other countries. In the Philippines there are foreigners who are ATM machine skimmers, and who successfully entered the country as tourists. Some of these are bomb-making experts who ply their trade in many countries for varying handsome fees….with some already in the Philippines sharing their knowledge with local terrorists in the name of religious advocacy. Filipino pickpockets travel to Hongkong and the casinos in the US to ply their trade.


In Manila, particularly, along the stretch of Recto Avenue, fakers of documents, openly solicit clients. Not far away is the Avenida where pimps approach moneyed-looking guys who are shown photos of supposedly “virgin” and pretty and still, supposedly “young students” who need money for their tuition fee. And, of course, among these crooks are the pickpockets, with some of them decent-looking.


Air-con buses that ply the provincial routes from Manila are not spared by fake evangelists who deliver lines from the Bible and then approach passengers to ask for “donation”. And, another group of bus-hoppers is composed of distraught-looking guys and women who show Xeroxed copy of death certificate of supposedly relatives whose remains could not be interred due to lack of funds. I encountered several crook women who showed photos of supposedly members of their family and who are in the hospital and who badly needs financial assistance.


Fly-by-night tour operators have their own kind of modus operandi to successfully swindle sucker tourists, both local and foreign. They advertise too-good-to-be-true cheap tour packages to popular tourist spots complete with several days stay in first class resorts or hotels….payment is online, as the transaction has been made in the same way. Soonest as payment is made, the swindled client is left hanging in the air, as not even the promised transfer service did not materialize.


Other crooks in our midst are those who can’t seem to have a peaceful mind until they have borrowed money from “friends”, and without any intention to pay. I consider them “leeches” as they suck blood from their trusting friends. Unfortunately, many of this kind are supposedly educated, professionals who know that what they are doing is wrong, yet, they persist on exploiting others.


There are many more crooks, as those I mentioned are just some of them. Every one could have been a victim in one way or another, and through small or big deal….as the world is full of them!



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