Sunday, June 12, 2011

Saudi Arabia: Big Mistake

"Allo?" I said.
"Alloooo. Kef inti habibty?" He said.
"Who are you and why are you calling me?" I asked politely.
"Me need massage." He said.
"What? Are you out of your mind?" I retorted.
"No. Me just need massage. Inti arifa, sah?" He responded.
"Look here, I don't give massage, okay? By the way how did you get my number?" I said, very irritated now.
"Me get number of you on How much you take for massage, habibty?" He said, seemingly undisturbed that he was having a conversation with an angry woman.

At that, I dropped the call. I got another call from an unknown individual. Same scenario. A few more anonymous calls during the week got me thinking. My callers all claimed that I had posted an ad on expatriates, offering massage services at a very good rate. Was I sleepwalking when I posted that ad? No, if I was sleepwalking, my husband would have been the first one to complain. Was it someone trying to play a game on me? No, that couldn't be. Then, it dawned on me. I had indeed posted an ad on when I was looking for an Arabic tutor, and in my post I wrote my contact number. So, what these sick guys actually did, was, take that number and call me to try out their luck.

Many expats living in Saudi Arabia are familiar with the website, You can get everything on this website, from a job, to a flat, car, electronic equipment, household furniture, services, business partners...and so on. Currently, it has an Alexa traffic rank of 11,733, with most of its visitors coming from India and Saudi Arabia.

I would be lying if I say I do not love this site. On this site, I got my second job, we bought our car, and I met a very good friend. In summary, you can benefit so much from this site (or get into trouble); it only depends on how you use it.

Men, do not make the following mistakes:
  • Give your personal details to anyone one who claims he is a prospective employer. Some fake guys offer nonexistent jobs and promise to get you a work visa for a huge sum of money. They are very wise and they will find a way to dupe you.
  • Give your personal details to anyone who claims to give you a loan on very low interest (so low you could think that you have found honey on the internet). Most of them are scammers. Very few got duped, so do not be the next victim.
  • Bring your mechanic if you are planning to buy a second-hand car. Some vendors would sell you a car with a bad engine. We made this mistake, and ended up spending more than 20,000 SAR to change the entire engine. If possible make a down payment and pay the rest on installment.
Women, do not make the following mistakes:
  • Those mentioned above.
  • Leave your number online even if you are offering a job, looking for a tutor for your kids or for any other thing. Your phone might not stop ringing because of some sick guys who are out to annoy others. Better still, let anyone contact you via email.
The golden rule is to avoid payment via money transfer for whatever article or service. even warns all users on its website and everyone knows these days that only a dummy would make that kind of mistake.

In short, you can get it all on, but you have to be careful when you deal with strangers. Do not make a big mistake.


  1. Very bad incident!!! People are so Jobless!!!

  2. Right, Kashif. Not only here in Saudi Arabia. It is a very bad experience.


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