So far my scam awareness posts have been focused on emails that I’ve received, simply because that’s how I get most of them. However, scammers still target people in other ways of course, such as by telephone and post.
And so the other day I received an unusual business card. I’ve no idea who put it through my letterbox, but it’s clearly the only thing they’re capable of delivering, unlike the promises made on the card. And it appears this blatant fraudster has been around for quite some time.
Here’s the text of the card:
24- HOUR RESULTS. NOBODY CAN BEAT LATIF BORN GIFTED!!!
If you have a problem that has not been solved by anyone in this world or think your problem is impossible to solve, ring LATIF immediately.
Your entire problem will be fulfilled in SEVEN DAYS. For example: business, financial, career, depression, separated from the person you love, domestic problems regarding husband, wife & children, health, exams, court cases, immigration, studies and sexual impotency or any other problems, physical sport improvement, to be high rank, to be a winner. JUST ASK?
No matter what your problems are I can help you to solve them in seven days. Latif’s work is 100% guaranteed, breaking black magic and evil spirits in 48 hours. If any healer has left your work incomplete or unsuccessful see Latif immediately. Latif has the high knowledge of removing problems.
THE RESULT: Believable.
Call MR LATIF now for an appointment.
Tel: Mob 079 0803 3099 – 074 0533 2641
London Bus No: 330 – 58 – 276
To the vast majority of people, everything claimed here is clearly utter nonsense and impossible. But then it’s not me he’s targeting. Like any scammer, he’s hoping to target people who are desperate and vulnerable, and he’s trying to maximise his chances by posting cheap, flimsy cards through as many people’s doors as possible.
And sadly there will be people who feel their lives are at such a low point that they will believe his ridiculous claims, or at least be willing to take a chance on them when all other hope seems lost. Goodness knows how much he charges for his so-called “services”, but it’s awful that he’s attempting to get at people who genuinely need serious help and support. If it weren’t for that sobering thought, the absurdity of this card would otherwise be hilarious.
After all, if this man is as incredible as he claims, why is he reduced to posting cheap little cards? Why isn’t he all over the news and the internet as the magical god that he is? We surely all need to know about him, he could change the world! I think everyone on the planet has at least one of the issues he claims to be able to fix.
So why does nobody know about him? Why is nobody raving about him? Why isn’t he taking the endless opportunities to prove his worth? Why isn’t he in hospitals curing people for instance? He could save the NHS an absolute fortune – he could become a millionaire from them alone if he charged sensibly for his services and delivered hem as promised!
Perhaps he could also extend his magical powers to improving his writing skills. Which is the least of our worries here, I know, but I always like to point them out, as it’s further evidence of how dodgy they are. But there are numerous flaws in what is overall a very strange piece of writing, such as:
- “Latif has the high knowledge of removing problems” is an odd way of wording a sentence.
- “NOBODY CAN BEAT LATIF BORN GIFTED!!!” is lacking punctuation in the middle, unless his actual name is “Latif Born Gifted” – but then he’d be “Mr Gifted”, surely!
- “JUST ASK?” should have an exclamation point rather than a question mark, as it’s not a question.
- Most of the text is written in third person, referring to Latif as if someone else is talking about him. But then all of a sudden it jumps to “No matter what your problems are I can help you…”, before then saying “Latif’s work is 100% guaranteed.”
- There are also various timescales claimed, including “24 hour results”, “breaking black magic and evil spirits in 48 hours” and “I can help you to solve them in seven days.”
What’s by far most concerning, however, is that this scammer has been around for quite a long while and nobody has stopped it. To keep the scam going for this long suggests that some people have fallen for it, otherwise he wouldn’t waste his time continuing it. A quick search of the web reveals absolutely nobody verifying his claims or singing his praises, and no websites or social media accounts for him. But there are various people pointing out how much of a scam it is:
- The earliest version of the text I’ve found is from a newspaper ad in 2004, by a Mr Yasin from Hounslow, who even gave a street address at this point. In the scrollable image of the original newspaper on that site, you’ll find it at the very bottom right of the page, and below it is the text generated by optical character recognition.
- In 2005 someone posts about being given the card with the name Mr Khalid on it.
- The first instance of the name Mr Latif I’ve come across is when a complaint was made about him in 2010, resulting in an Advertising Standards Authority Ruling that he failed to respond to. They basically told him to stop with his misleading claims unless he could prove it.
- Mr Latif was still going in 2012 though, still using the text he was told to remove.
- In 2014 Mr Latif took out a short newspaper ad with different text and phone numbers. Unless there are two god-like Mr Latifs out there, it’s quite likely to be the same person, as there are some similarities to the text on the card.
- The next instance of Mr Latif’s card I can find, still with the same wording, is from 2015. The mobile number is the same as on my card from now in 2018, but the other number in 2015 is a landline.
- In 2017 his card pops up again. This time he’s moved slightly – still in East London, but compared to 2015 he’s moved from Canning Town to Manor Park. He now has 2 mobile numbers, the first the same as before. There’s some interesting replies to that tweet, including a claim that he applied for a job!
- In the year since that post, he seems to have moved once more, though again not very far. The second mobile number and the bus numbers on my card are different to the 2017 version.
So I guess what we can take from all that is that Mr Latif either couldn’t figure out his own name for the first few years or has stolen somebody else’s advert for himself, he can’t decide where he should be based in East London as he keeps moving around, and his apparent powers don’t stretch to technology given that he keeps having to replace one of his mobile phones and hasn’t figured out how to use the internet to advertise himself.
And in a career that’s lasted at least 15 years, there haven’t been any reviews of his work posted anywhere, he hasn’t had any publicity in the media for his life-changing skills, he’s ignored the Advertising Standards Authority who ruled against him, and he’s never presented any proof of his ridiculous claims.
In other words, Mr Latif is a lying con artist. Which will be obvious to most people, but his persistence in advertising his scam suggests there may be some who fall for it. So avoid him or anyone else who makes claims like that. It’s all rubbish that nobody can prove, and will just leave you with more problems rather than less.
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