Conned, cheated, stitched.
Article originally published MAY 16, 2005 –Reviewed and approved.
By Neil Jenman
On Friday May 13, 2005, property spruiker Dolf de Roos ripped me off.
There’s no way around the fact that I got conned, cheated, stitched – whatever you want to call it; de Roos got my money under false pretences.
Oh sure, it wasn’t much – just $30.00 – but it still hurts. No one likes to get stung by a spiv; it makes you feel stupid, embarrassed, and yes, angry.
Like most cons, it was a simple deceit which led to the loss (actually, that’s the definition of fraud).
The con works best if the victim (in this case, me) is least expecting it; even better, if the deceit is so brazen that even the most savvy punter (as we all think we are) is rendered a sucker.
Here’s my shameful story.
I was browsing in my local Dymocks bookshop. It was early morning (perhaps I was tired or am I making excuses?) and I was their first customer. I only had a few minutes before a scheduled meeting, so I had to rush (another excuse).
I had already chosen Anita Roddick’s latest book, Troubled Water – Saints, Sinners, Truths and Lies about the Global Water Crisis, when I wandered over to the sinners and liars’ section and began looking at the investing books.
And then I saw it – a new book by Dolf de Roos; at least it seemed like a new book. It was called Real Estate Riches.
I was sure de Roos had already written a book with the same title; but this one had a completely different look. I checked the publication date – 2005.
So, it was new.
Thumbing through it, I thought, “This is old rubbish, not new rubbish.” And then I saw his preface, which ended with his name and the date, August 2004. Obviously, I had got it wrong – among the scores of spruiker books I have researched, de Roos must have written a new book. Perhaps his earlier book had a different title.
Ah well, I handed over my $30. (Plus, another $30 for Anita Roddick’s book).
When I got home, I looked at de Roos’s earlier book. I was right, it did have the same title, but it sure looked different. Why write two books with the same title? But no, it was the same book. All he did was change the cover and the publication dates (from 2001 to 2005) and, presto, he had a “new” book.
Even the preface to the 2001 book was word-for-word the same as the 2005 book. It ended with his name and a different date, that’s all.
Well, at least I still had Anita and her honestly claimed new book.
As for spruiker Dolf de Roos, instead of putting the date under his name, he should put the word CHEAT
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