Inimitable Kalimpong writer Mr. Prabin Moktan has a take on Kalimpong’s history of susceptibility to hucksters and scammers.
Kalimpong has long been the happy hunting ground of fraudsters hoping to make a quick buck. These mainly prey on two typically middle class vulnerabilities- greed and ignorance. A scam that is relatively fresh in memory is what local hacks call the Subham scam. A company suddenly sprang up out of nowhere and promised to make available all manner of goods- from electronics to clothing- at half of the Siliguri price. A few brave folks with excess liquidity tested the waters and to their surprise found that the promises were being kept. A 10K TV was actually being sold for 5K. And no these weren’t stolen goods. They came with bills and warranties. The news spread like wildfire and before long the store was packed with ‘customers’ booking their goodies against an ‘ advance payment’. Naysayers who questioned the credibility of that business model and tried to warn those whom they wished well were dismissed as being unduly alarmists – after all wasn’t the proof of the pudding in its eating?
Then one fine day the good people of Kalimpong woke up to find that Subham had vanished into thin air along with crores of advance payments.