The other day I made a purchase on the internet from a reputable company in Spain; I have done so regularly often, using their secure page. On this occasion, on the next day, I received a phone call from an employee of that company advising me that the item could not be sent because the credit card payment had not been received, asking me to give my details again over the phone so that the matter could be checked out.
This seemed rather odd to me and I refused to do so. I knew such information is only asked for on a secure internet page and not on the phone. I called back the number (one of the company’s numbers) and, convincingly enough, I spoke to the same person again.
After a brief altercation, I hanged up and called the main switchboard to speak to someone in charge. I was then advised that there was no problem, the credit card had gone through and the item had been already
sent. The matter is now being investigated by the company.
Is it not amazing how easily some people are actually willing to believe the blatant lies they are told and how easily they actually fall into the hands of the unscrupulous. So much so, that I recently asked a psychiatrist if he could explain why it is that some people are more willing to believe really blatant lies rather than the honest truth. It’s very simple dear Watson, he replied. A person telling the truth has no need to
camouflage his manners, his tone of speech or his dress, it does not occur to him or her to do so. On the other hand, the deceiver is an expert at appearing believable and can become pretty good at it to get believed right away, no proof required; furthermore, knowing what the other person wants to see or hear and presenting it right is what makes a good ‘con- artist’.
It gets even easier to deceive on foreign soil when one of the most common denominators used by deceiver is the same language as the victim’s. The more refined and educated the language used sounds, the more readily it is believed, especially when, in addition to spoken language, recognizable body language signals and expressions are used. Of course this apples to any nationality and its language. The reason for the deceit is always money; some deceive because they want lots of it and make it a habit to go to any unscrupulous lengths to get as much of it as they can, others deceive to get by or to get jobs that they are not really able or qualified to do.
Perhaps the tables are turning slightly on the Costa del Sol, where the economic crisis has substantially reduced the available opportunities to deceive, obliging many to return to their country in order to survive the crisis. Although a large number of so called foreign residents has gone back to the roots, I can’t help observing an influx of new faces and an increased number of foreign plated cars of all nationalities, British in particular.I am not sure what the reason might be, but it could be they have had enough of the clowns that run their country; or perhaps they have had enough of the high level of crime that goes on; or perhaps it is the hypocritical political correctness and the big brother environment that are encouraging the exodus. However, if I am right, this time the new arrivals would be settling here for the right reasons, with the correct expectations and not because of false promises of quick profits on the sale of properties purchased off plan.
Yes the Costa del Sol is a very nice place where to live. The climate, the multinational environment and the Mediterranean are all very attractive, including the proximity to all European countries; I remember it being described as the beach of Europe, the place to spend your holidays. But for those who wish do reside permanently on the Costa, unless they have the capital to do so, they are not owed a living.
Having spent so many years on the Costa, through two recessions, my advice to everyone needing an income is always the same. Remember that this is a foreign country, the official language is Spanish, the law and taxation systems are different so, before you embark on any business, get your facts straight and research the market well. Most importantly, do not attempt a line of work you know nothing or little about
because you can fool some people some of the time but never all of the time.
Avoid copying others just because they seem to get by, the market is small, research it, be original and remember that false claims are short lived. The early days of the Costa, when everything was novel, have gone; now the demand is for professional services and quality products, is the way of the future. I am certain that we are now at the start of a slow but steady climb out of the recession; let’s all play our part correctly and get there sooner.