Scammers Lurk on Dubai Streets

A list of Scams I have come across on Dubai’s streets.  Some are so common that I am sure people don’t fall prey to them. Others may not be heard of.

1. Italian fellow giving away Branded apparel for cheap.

When I was pulling out of packing lot ( Near Jumbo , Shoemart Bur Dubai) ,a European fellow approached me and asked me the way to the airport. We Got talking and he said that he was in Dubai for a fashion Show and doesn’t want to carry all the excellent branded stuff he had back to Milan. Offered what I suspect were fake branded Glasses and Suits.

2. Arab Selling Rado watch.

This happened in the Parking lot again in Bur Dubai near Palm beach hotel. An Arab approached me saying that he was from Saudi and he had spent all his money ( on things I can’t write about- let’s call it the attraction of Dubai). Offered his Original Rado ( which must have been an imitation ) for AED 250. I told him I had only AED 100. Surprisingly he agreed to take what I had.

Well, I fell for this one. It ran good for a year, though I never wore it.

3. People Pretending to be stranded in Dubai.

They meet you on the street, tell you that they have lost their job, and not eaten for 2 days. Ask for Money.
Another variant is 2 guys in a car with tinted rear windows. They tell you they are from Oman or Saudi, lost their wallet and don’t have even the petrol to go back. They say there are kids in the car ( you can’t see because it’s tinted) and they have not eaten anything the whole day

Have you come across anything of this sort in Dubai ?

Communication SKills

This time in India, I interacted with several management students on many occasions. I also had a few meetings with the faculty and I was surprised on how much they stress on Communication skills now a days.

Unfortunately, everyone I met held the opinion and communication skills is the ability to express oneself clearly. Mostly they meant clear accent, articulation, fluency and eloquence. Off course it’s important to be able to communicate clearly, but I think the willingness to communicate and recognizing the need to communicate is more important.

Let me elaborate.

Case 1 :

Sheila thinks she has excellent communication skills. She can speak clearly, eloquently and is good at explaining complex things also very easily. When her boss asked her to fix a meeting with a potential client, she immediately got an appointment. However she failed to inform the boss about the time and venue.

What good is her communication ? She is eloquent, has the ability to explain but does she have communication skills ?

Case 2 :

Asok in accounts is asked to transfer the funds to an overseas supplier so that the raw material for production can be released. Asok confirs that the transfer can be done the same day. Later he gets to know that the earliest the bank can transfer is the next day. With no other option , he transfers but fails to inform the production manager of the delay.

Can he be said to possess communication skills ?

Case 3 :

I interviewed an MBA graduate for a job and he kept insisting that he had excellent communication skills – it was there on his CV, and it he stated it a few times during the interview. When I asked him, what he meant by good communication skills he replied – ” Sir, I can communicate very well in English”

I appointed him and agreed upon a date on which he would join. He did not turn up on the first day of the job on the pretext of an emergency- And didn’t inform that he was not coming also.

Would you say, he has communication skills because he can communicate but doesn’t ?

Conclusion

I think the management students must understand that the communication skills are a lot more than simply the ability to communicate clearly. You have to have the willingness to communicate, without this all the eloquence in the world is worthless.

Domain Scam

This is another Domain name Scam I got after I tried listing my domain for sale with a few sellers.  Scammers are getting better at it. Just when I thought I had seen all sorts…………

From:

Our client offers a good price for your domain. Please email us your desired price in USD or euros.
Moreover, they can also pay all escrow fees if necessary. If you have other names for sale please email us for consideration.

Can we get your answer this week if possible?

Regards,

Jerome Miller
Web Name Business Corp.

========================================================
NOTICE – This communication may contain confidential and privileged
information that is for the sole use of the intended recipient. Any
viewing, copying or distribution of, or reliance on this message by
unintended recipients is strictly prohibited. If you have received this
message in error, please notify us immediately by replying to the message
and deleting it from your computer.
========================================================

So I reply to him with US$ 6K asking price. He gets back to me with a counter offer of US$ 5.9K. The Catch – I have to get an appraisal done.

> From: “Jerome Miller” <jerome-miller@webnamecorp.com>
> Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2011 02:47:59
> To: <kajain99@yahoo.com>
> Subject: Re:
>
> Can you accept 5,900 USD?
>
> Our client has a 20,000 USD budget for several names. Have you had your
> domain names evaluated by certified valuation experts in the past? Even if
> your domain has no web site it’s possible to appraise it. Without a
> valuation certificate our client cannot be sure in the sale price.
> Moreover,
> our accountant and tax services always ask for valaution certificates. On
> the other side, it’s very important for him in terms of reselling too. Of
> course, we must engage an independent valuation company with a real manual
> service. So I will only accept valuations from independent sources our
> client trust. We don’t have certified experts in domain valuations and use
> independent reliable companies for appraisals.
>
> To avoid mistakes I asked domain experts about reputable appraisal
> companies. Please check this blog with suggestions from other sellers and
> buyers:

>
> If, for example, the valuation comes higher you can adjust your asking
> price
> accordingly..
>
> After you send us the valuation via email (usually it takes 1-2 days to
> obtain it) we’ll continue the process. Do you sell domain with a web site
> or
> just the name? Domain without content is ok with me. Web site is not
> necessary.
>
> What is your preferred payment method:  Escrow.com, International wire
> transfer, PayPal.com or something else?
>
> Hope we can come to an agreement fast.

> Looking forward to your reply.

I told him I will take US$ 5K. $ 900 less than what he has offered. Let the client use these $900 for the appraisal. Guess what ? ” We don’t spend a single penny without independent valuation” lol.
I see, but it’s a standard practice to show independent valuation tobuyers/resellers. Nobody will do business without it. I’m a businessman and have no intention of changing rules which help both parties to avoid additional risks.

Of course, investors never take into account auto-generated valuations. So manual valuation is a “must” too.

I read the following information about appraisals at:

Without the independent valuation from a trusted source we don’t spend a penny. This is our financial policy. So our offer is just a rought estimate. If the appraisal comes higher we are ready to offer a bit more. If it comes lower we will discuss the price with you again.

Thank you for understanding. I’m looking forward to doing business with you.

Why I love Thunderbird

I was sitting with a colleague last week when an email arrived. Looking at the email I told him it was from Lebanon, and the same guy had sent us a similar email 2 months back. He was impressed.

There was no country mentioned in the email, and there was no alluding to the previous email. But I could tell, because I had the country lookup and Gmail conversational view plug ins installed in my Thunderbird.

It’s not uncommon for others to be surprised at the speed I can search though thousands of emails I have in my system using Thunderbird or tell them otherwise not so obvious details of the emails.

These kind of things are very much alien to outlook users. Outlook is great too, but I rather advocate Thunderbird. I hope this small article will help people decide for the email client they want.

1. Search Options in Thunderbird.

It has so many search options that you will be overwhelmed. The only program I have seen with better search options is Eudora.

For example I could search in Eudora for emails that

– Have receipt’s email ending with .lb
– Date between 2nd Jan and 3rd Feb
– Subject Containing Profile
– With attachements

ThunderBird Advanced Search Options
ThunderBird Advanced Search Options- Click to see Full size

2. Quick filters and Quick search.

Quick filters and quick searches do just that. Help you search quickly or filter the messages quickly. Both work like charm in realtime. You start typing in the quickseach and it autofills with the emails matching the pattern. The email search is very impressive.

3. Free Plugins

There are thousands of free plugins available for thunderbird. Look for the list of my favorite thunderbird plugins in my upcoming blog. There are plugins available to do everything from your email client.

Thunderbird Quick Search
ThunderBird Quick Search- Pattern Matching "Sale"

4. Undelete – Even those gone from Trash box.

Stephen Parker mentions in his blog how to restore emails that you deleted even from your trash box. Looks like Thunderbird never actually deletes the emails, it just hides them. The emails can be restored by opening your mailbox file into any standard text editor.

5. It’s free.

All this makes Thunderbird an excellent choice for anyone who wants to stay on top of his email messages.

Facebook RSS feed using third party

I was trying to import my blog as RSS feed into facebook.  After lots of trouble, I was able to do it, though it should supposedly be an easy task using built in importer.

This is how I did it.

1. Went to Notes Application, click on settings, Import.

2. Encountered “Import Failed, We couldn’t find a feed using the URL you provided” by Facebook.

3. Tried Again.

4. Encountered “Import Failed, We couldn’t find a feed using the URL you provided” by Facebook Again……..

5. Tried Again.

6. Encountered “Import Failed We couldn’t find a feed using the URL you provided” by Facebook, yes Again.

7. Banged my head on the keyboard. Google opened up by miracle.

8. Googled around and found RSS graffiti (http://apps.facebook.com/rssgraffiti/?ref=bookmarks&count=0).

9. Installed it. Smiled at the sense of acheivement.

10. Wrote this small blog.

Hope it saves someone a lot of trouble.