No conclusion offered, except what you might infer from the fact I'm putting both these stories in the same post. First up:
A 52-year-old Swedish woman has been left out of pocket after she was lured into handing over her cash to secure an imaginary lottery win.
The woman, from Sundsvall in northern Sweden, was told by a gang of international fraudsters that she had won $2.5 million in a lottery, local newspaper Dagbladet reports.
But first the woman was told she would have to open a bank account in the Netherlands to secure the money. For this there would be a fee and the unsuspecting woman duly paid up.
The requests continued and the woman was tricked into handing over a total of 460,000 kronor ($57,000), most of it bank loans, over a nine month period.
And then, closer to home:
Fort Wayne is discovering the cost of free money.
Of course, the $787 billion federal stimulus bill isn't doling out “free” money; that money adds to the national debt, owed collectively by all of us. But in the course of pursuing millions of dollars in spending from the federal stimulus bill, the city of Fort Wayne is spending thousands of dollars a month for lobbyists and consultants:
?Steve Brody, a former executive with Lincoln National Corp., is being paid $7,500 a month to keep his eye on the stimulus-spending chase locally.
?Indianapolis law firm Barnes & Thornburg is getting $5,000 a month to stay in touch with state officials who have a hand in dispensing stimulus spending. The firm also agrees to give city government and its departments advice on “strategy” in pursuing stimulus dollars.
?In Washington, D.C., B&D Consulting is keeping abreast of the distribution of stimulus spending as part of its regular $90,000 per year contract with the city. As is the case with Barnes & Thornburg, B&D is providing the city with advice.