Beware of Wolves

by Patrick Liew on July 25, 2011

Have you ever met con men or con women before? I have.


Let me share one of them with you. Let’s just call him Tom.


I met Tom in an exhibition – a smooth talker, full of life and very amicable.


A quintessential con man you would say but it did not occur to me at that point in time.


Tom and I struck it off right from the beginning. We shared many things in common and after a short while, I felt a sense of bonding with him.


Without quite realizing it, I felt like I was Tom’s big brother. I had to look out for and after him.


Once, Tom told me about how he was abused while serving in a religious organisation. Since I knew a key leader in that organisation, I actually called that person to strongly voice my complaint about it.


Sadly, the leader must have thought it better to keep the truth to himself. He did not respond to my complaint.


I wished he had revealed what he knew about Tom. It would have save me a lot of time, energy and money.


Shortly after, Tom managed to find a job as a Sales Manager. Although he had no relevant experience, he managed to talk himself into the job.


How he did it, I still could not figure it out. Tom confessed to me that he had no clue as to how to run the sales operation.


If I tell you what I did for him, you will think I am really silly but I will tell you anyway.


I virtually taught Tom on a day to day basis how to manage his sales department. I even wrote a word-by-word script so that he can motivate his subordinates during a sales retreat.


I was doing all this for Tom but, without realizing it, I was also indirectly helping my competitor.


Tom was sharing some of my information with their staff.


I was strengthening my competitor while, at the same time, putting my business at risk.


And if you think that was dumb – there’s more.


Tom told me a ‘sob sob’ story about his personal assistant. What a nice person she was and the difficulties she was going through in life.


Tom felt she could go further in life if only she could further her studies.


“If only I have the money,” Tom said, “I will finance her education. I will even take up a loan because it’s really worth it.”


The foolish side of me was moved.


Yes, I loaned him the money.


Much later, I met the PA and asked about my money. You would not believe how she laughed right into my face.


The money was gone – but it was not taken away by her.


I questioned my intelligence and became sceptical about people for a while.


Truth be told, that was still not dumb enough. I will confess to you my ultimate foolishness.


Not too long after starting on his job, Tom was sacked.


And, boy! What a story he told me about how he was being victimized by his bosses.


That started a personal campaign to bring about justice for Tom.


I would be too embarrassed to tell you the amount of investment, including emotions I poured into putting up a case for him.


I even hired a professional to investigate the company. I wanted to put up a case and bring out the ‘dirt’ for Tom.


Eventually, I saw the real Tom. We went our separate ways.


I prayed he would wake up from his wrongdoings and correct himself. I don’t think he ever did.


Now, you would think I have learned my lessons. I wish this love note has a fairy tale ending. Sigh!


I went on in my life and was conned a few more times – not just by con men who looked and behaved like con men.


Mainly, I was cheated by people who don’t even know they were cheating others. They were committing what I called a half-a-con job.


For example, these people would come to me with a perfectly legitimate proposal. After I have invested my time, money, and effort, they would take my money. Many of them would even put a knife behind my back.


There is a verse in the Bible that I kept in my heart. In fact, all of us should learn from it regardless of whether we are Christians or not:



Beware of wolves in sheep’s skin.

Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. (Mt 10:16)



I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Inspiration blog at

Visit my Transformation blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


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