Dear Sir,
I cannot belive how reader “John Stevenson” can be so Naive! John – can't you recognise timeshare when you see one? and how a grown adult can fall for the dodge (years old) of the scratch card nonsense is beyond belief.

Do you not understand that everybody is a “Winner.” Come on, you must have known what you were letting yourself in for. They probably sent you away knowing that if you came back then they really had a 'Mug'. Or maybe the high pressure sales guy was busy etc etc. It's time for a wake–up call John.

Kind regards & best of luck (You'll certainly need it)

A.J. Yorks. By e-mail

This is no «scam...»

Dear Mr Stephenson,
Following on from your letter to the paper, Thursday August 22.
I am surprised and disappointed at your immediate assumption that this was a ”scam” as you so untactfully described it. You and your good lady wife were very nearly the lucky beneficiaries of a marvelous prize donated by the Nigerian – Majorcan Friendship Association, an organization with charitable status in Nigeria.

Allow me to briefly explain the origins of the NMFA.
The son of a senior minister in the previous Nigerian administration used to take his holidays in Santa Ponsa on a regular basis and he observed how disadvantaged many of the visitors appeared to be when compared to his own privileged financial status. He quickly realized he was in a position to help at least some of these less fortunate people thanks to a windfall recently acquired by his father in Nigeria. This windfall was due to untraceable banking irregularities which had left his father in possession of seven million dollars located in an “overseas dollar” account in Lagos. The only destination for these funds could be overseas so this public spirited young man persuaded his father to set up the NMFA so that a little financial happiness could be spread amongst those suffering the holiday blues in Santa Ponsa.

The reasons for those mysterious questions, twice repeated is simplicity itself.
1) Are you married. I am sure you know that Nigeria is a very religious country, particularly in the north where Muslim fundamentalism is particularly strong. No offence must be given and benefiting unmarried couples with money from a Nigerian charitable organization would be grave folly.

2) Do you have a Visa card. I am sure you are aware of bank charges, we all suffer from them and the banks grow fatter at our expense. Making the funds available for these marvelous holidays and expensive gifts entails large transfers from the dollar account. As a charitable organization the NFMA undertakes to spend ALL its money on worthy causes and bank charges do not fall under this category. It is really a technicality but in order to receive these munificent gifts you will be required to pay the transfer charges to have the funds sent over. It will only be 300 or maybe 400 dollars (sometimes 500) , but I am sure you will agree that is a pittance when you consider the benefits. Indeed you were told you had already won 600 euros (dollars) which would recompense you and leave you in credit.

3) Are you taking medication. It is a sad reflection of the world we live in today that some people cannot accept when a gift horse opens its mouth in front of them. In the past there have been a few, and I do stress just a few lucky tourists like yourselves who have cried foul when showered with the rain of gold bestowed by NFMA. It is the associations considered belief that these people were probably on drugs of some sort which altered their perceptions of reality. We have all heard about what happens in the discos on this holiday isle. To prevent this type of unpleasantness and guard against the smearing of the good name of the association and its charitable work it is now the policy to ensure all the beneficiaries are of sound mind and sound control of their finances.

John, I trust the above answers your Doubting Thomas attitude and we will shortly see you back on the promenade at one of our glorious beach resorts eagerly searching out a representative from the NMFA.

Yours in hope..

John Little Obasanjo. By e-mail

Scratchcard experiences

Dear sir,
In response to the letter from John Stephenson (22.8.02) may I be allowed to quench his thirst for information on unsollicited scratchcards.
Over the last few years I have had three experiences on this subject.
Experience 1: Whilst lying on the beach in Javea I witnessed a couple being stopped by a young lad, questioned, offered a scratchcard and asked to scratch it in his presence. The vendor was ecstatic that he had encountered a winning card and that the recipients had to go to a certain hotel to claim their prize. He told them this was the first time it had happened to him and he would now qualify for a bonus. This happened 3 more times within an hour! Unbeknown to the “winner” the objective was to subject them into buying timeshare property.

Experience 2: Whilst holidaying abroad I willingly accepted a scratchcard knowing full well I would win a prize, but my curiosity got the better of me. On arriving at the appointed hotel in the obligatory free taxi I was met by a representative of the company. I then spent the next 6 hours being harrassed into buying timeshare property and it was only my wish to see how far they would go which kept me there. They even offered to let me phone my bank in the U:K. to discuss funding. They will stop at nothing. I left promising to return at 10.30 am the next morning with a decision and claim my prize. Need I say more! Experience 3: A friend of mine with the same devilish attitude as me actually went as far as to go on the holiday which he had “won”. Whilst the other “winners” spent their time being shown round timeshare properties and being asked to sign on the dotted line, he skipped off to stay with a friend only to return in time to catch the plane home.

The moral of the story: If you don't want to scratch the card, tell them you live there. Believe me it works every time.

Keith J. Wood. By e-mail

Big thanks to the fire brigade

Dear Sir,
Thanks to the efficient and speedy action by the Island's fire services involving the local fire engine and auxiliary members, two helicopters and sea plane a serious fire in the forest area adjoining the Son Servera to Cala Bona road was extinguished over a period of three hours.

The two helicopters used a water point near this road to refill their buckets adjacent to a powerline requiring skill and care on the part of the pilots. Whilst the sea plane untilized the Cala Bona - Cala Millor bay to refill.

It is likely this fire was instigated by a careless thrown cigarette from a passing vehicle. As a resident in this somewhat isolated area I wish to draw attention to the efficient and speedy action by these fire services.

There are many felled and unattended trees within this forest area offering a repeat of this danger.

Yours faithfully

G. T. Hugill.