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In retrospect, I was foolish, but only for a relatively small amount. The amount is not the issue. It’s the principle. We all try to be alert but once in a rare while, the other guy gets the advantage. This notice is posted as a warning to others in our community.
The initiator was Terry Steele, a British National who passed through Boquete, Panama during February/March 2012 and was last heard from living near San Jose, Costa Rica. His friend in this undertaking was Gary Paul Seanor, also a British National, who was last known to be living in Dolega near Boquete.
Here’s how it worked, at least in my case.
Mr. Steele and I became somewhat friendly after he was introduced to me by a mutual friend. A group of us spent time enjoying lunch from time to time, shopping in David, etc. He was even in my apartment helping with some construction. Then Mr. Steele went for what was to be a short 3 – 4 day vacation in Costa Rica. Immediately after arriving in Costa Rica he alleged that he was the victim of a theft and required $140 urgently so that he could obtain travel documents and return to Boquete. It was to be a short two week loan. Not overthinking it, especially as the amount was relatively small, I immediately decided to assist. The urgent requirement was passed to me by Mr. Seanor to whom I gave the cash against his signature on a 2 week Promissory Note. That was about 5 months ago.
Present Situation: As I repeatedly asked Mr. Steele for payment his excuses kept evolving. Mr. Steele never did use my specific purpose loan to return to Boquete. Also, the Credit and Debit Cards which his bank in the UK was supposed to be replacing – his alleged source of cash - never arrived, that I’m aware of. My offer that he pay $100 to settle the matter was ignored.
Mr. Seanor’s response to my requests for payment was: “You can kiss my rosy white ass or in your case black ass”. Mr. Seanor’s full e-mailed responses express his unsolicited opinions regarding my Afro-Antillean lady friend whom he saw with me. Furthermore, he stated and that he would never ever pay me. He has reneged on his Promissory Note.
The British Embassies in both Panama City and San Jose have been informed.
So, now you know. All this over only $140. Of course, $140 here and $140 there add up. Keep away from these guys!
Sincerely, Michael Evnin
so sorry to hear this happened to you. good thing it was not a larger sum of money.
what's up with people like these?
lesson learned. thanks for sharing.
Always a bad thing to hear kindness being repaid with deceit, Michael. Seems like the juega vivo is alive and well with certain expats.
Are you still doing the hiking thing? Boquete has more trails than roads.
I am seeing that most of the scammers to english speaking expats have been mostly other english speaking expats.
I was hesitant to make that comparison, Roger. I am not the "flavor of the month" here but yes, I have noticed a trend involving the "mochilas" as the locals on Boquete call them. When I first heard the term, I was amused at the similarity to "mooch", someone trying to get something for nothing. Here in the southern US we have the term "carpet baggers".
add smiley face here
Thanks for your support. Yup, still hiking. Very much so. Which Jim is this? Saludos, Michael
In Brazil I was nailed by a fellow Scout leader and Freemason. I guess he would sleep through the talks about ethics. He, his wife, sister and mother would spend the weekend in my home, eating off my table. I saw him as a brother. Well, my brother repaid his loans.
I lost about $600 to a Peruvian friend I had known for well over 20 years. Again, I considered him part of my family. His parents, sibling and children...yes, he abandoned his children...would also like to find him and have a few words.
The lesson is, just because we are honest it doesn't mean that others are. Some people are so eager to sell their honor, and they sell it cheaply.
That being said, Michael, could you lend me $20 until payday? LOL
In spanish with have an old saying: " I prefer to loose the friendship than losing the friendship and the money too"
It's sad that there are so many people "out there" who have no compunction about doing these kinds of things. Even some family members one has helped for years seem to do their best to take advantage.
We came back to the US in July to finalize everything in preperation for our permanant return to Boquete sometime in September. Our household goods had been packed and put in storage months ago, so we thought all we'd have to do is our pensionado paperwork, list our two homes for sale, ship our items and return.
Not so. Upon our return to the US we were confronted with extensive damage to one of our properties. Repairs are eating up our limited savings which will prevent us from being able to afford to ship our household goods. It's also taking MUCH longer than expected and we have no idea when we'll be able to come back to Boquete.
I guess we've finally learned our lesson. As we've heard many times, no good deed goes unpunished.
I learned long ago that the fastest way to turn a friend into an enemy is to loan them money. They never repay you and when you ask for your money back, they snarl at you like a rabid dog. You simply have to say "no". Either way they are going to hate you. You can't win. Or demand collateral of a value many orders of magnitude greater than the loan. Like their car keys and signed title to their car for a $100 loan. Or tell them you are not a bank and suggest they get a loan at Wells Fargo, or Citibank, or Multibank or.... If they balk, say, "Well, if they won't loan you money, then why should I?"
Only two things are infinite, the universe and the abundance of human deadbeats, and I'm not sure about the former.
Thank you very much for letting us to know. I hope those people will have to pay much more "passing over some other bridge", they got away with no consequences this time...
I'm puzzled that you chose to respond to a thread that was all but dead and forgotten in defense of these two people.
Do you have some additional facts to share about the "truth" of this matter? Or any proof that what was previously stated is false? Seems to me that the onus is on you to provide some answers if you are going to accuse the OP of lying.