Fake calls for help can go wry and wrong in real life, too. So can rescues.
Believe it or not, I once faked a toothache to avoid meeting a yob who kept on bugging for a loan. I knew this fellow would never return the money. I used toothache as a polite way of declining the loan. But, in a day or two, I had a toothache requiring a dentist's intervention. Since then, I tell off people rather than telling white lies to be polite.
In any case, Nepalis are ingrate people, with one telling me that he will return my money when he can. So, no more trusting people for me.
The same Karma can haunt the real rescue scammers, too.
Here is another legend. In a land known not too long ago as paradise, some scammers decide to have a bit of fun with their guests for an instant dollar windfall.
"Guests are God," they would shout at the top of their lungs.
But rather than treat them honestly, the scammers did something that no self-respecting human would ever do: scam their deities big-time for insurance money.
The story was no less exciting than the cloak and dagger script of 'Serpico' or the fast-moving 'Mission Impossible'. The story was straight forward, crafted in tandem by some trekking and helicopter companies, among others.
The adventure script went like this. The frontline companies would treat their guests on treks to dinner laced with doses of pest designer drugs, sending them running to the loos numerous times to throw out (defecate) and throw up (puke).
Several trips would make them weak and sick. The frontline agents would then offer to charter helicopter rescues.
According to the reports, they would talk to the partners in the game plan and organise helicopters and hospices for 'Mission Fake Rescues'. Then, they will invoice the trekkers' insurance companies for thousands of dollars and divide the loot.
A few successful rescues indubitably emboldened the scammers and took their scams to new heights. Like the proverbial prankster, they continued shouting 'rescues' until one day the media pried open the lid on their noble 'lifesaving' deeds.
After shouting rescue an umpteen time, Karma turned the table on them by bringing COVID-19. While Covid may not have visited the world to punish the architects of fake rescues alone, its impact on tourism will not be less devastating.
It will, thus, be better for Nepali scammers to live and swear by the precept of 'Honesty is the best policy' for the collective good. COVID could be a precursor to something unimaginable beyond our comprehension.
All scammers would do well to remember that Karma will soon extend its long arms to punish the evildoers.