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Beware of this e- mail vulture

[Sunday Times.lk, Sunday, 21 June 2009 07:35 No Comment]

A confidence trickster has launched an email campaign to dupe Sri Lankans living overseas to part with large amounts of money promising to help their relatives or friends at welfare camps in the north- but the diaspora abroad is on the alert against this racket.

The man who claims to be operating an office at Koswatte in Thalangama says he is a consultant with links to officials here and thereby has access to the welfare camps.

Among many services offered he promises to trace missing relatives and friends in these camps, or deliver goods and even organize religious services for those who may have died in the conflict.

He has also promised to trace any assets owned by displaced people in the war zone and even arrange communication with law enforcement authorities here.

The man is alleged to be offering his consultant services for an initial fee of US $ 25 (Rs 3,000), but wants more depending on the services required.

He claims in an email that he has high level contacts in the government and the security forces.

However, reports say that one major Tamil Diaspora group has reacted fast and told the people not to be fooled.

Canadian Tamil Congress Spokesperson David Poopalapillai told the Sunday Times by telephone from Toronto yesterday, that these so called consultants were trying to make money out of people’s misery.

He said the emergence of such dirty business was a symptom of the government’s reluctance to allow international aid agencies full access to the camps.

Mr. Poopalapillai said thre Toronto-based group had alerted Tamils in severalparts of the world to beware of this confidence trickster.

The Thalangama consultant in the message had told prospective clients “There are people that are displaced and we can find out in which camp they are . We are doing a genuine job and we are not interested in hood winking people”.

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