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Claim: Laima Veski, a 5-year-old girl, needs your donations to survive.
Example:[Collected on the Internet, 2002]
First of all I want to present my apologies for this impersonal letter, an acquaintance of mine told me about your e-mail address.
Please, find two minutes of your spare time for my letter because my whole life and my childs life depend on this. My daughter Laima Veski is 5 years old. As a result of a birth trauma she has been suffering from a very rare kind of the central nervous system disease. You cannot even imagine how difficult it is to see your small and innocent child bearing such a pain! She cant sleep because everything hurts her all the time.
In 2001 I managed to borrow $3000 from all the acquaintances of my family and performed the first and very serious operation for my daughter. Finally we had a ray of secret hope. Doctors said that our daughter
would need about two years of postoperative prophylaxis. Laimas medicines were too expensive, so my loved husband Janis had to go to Chechnya against contract to earn more money. I had been getting letters and postal orders from him until June, 2002.
The last letter I received on the 21 of June 2002. Since that time I have not heard anything from Janis neither letters, nor financial support. All my endless attempts to find out something about my husband were
I have to spend all the time at home looking after Laima. I will run out of money for medicines in two weeks. My welfare payment and Laimas sick benefit are enough to pay rent and to buy food only. We cannot hope for state structures and funds here in Latvia because we are not pureblooded Letts. We have been always oppressed and discriminated.
Any possible financial help will save my little Laima.
Please, if you are not indifferent about my ill daughter, do what you can to help. Your possible help is a great hope for little Laima and our whole family.
Origins: This plea to help an ailing child has been appearing in inboxes since early October 2002. Unfortunately, not nearly enough information is given in the entreaty on which to base any sort of
search for further information, let alone to make a determination about its truth or falsity. According to this tale, there's a five-year-old girl suffering from an unnamed "very rare kind of the central nervous system disease" who needs your dollars for medicine. You don't know where she lives (not even the city), who her doctors are, what her illness or prognosis is, or even if she exists. What you do know, however, are the details of the three bank accounts you're supposed to send your money to. (We've snipped that detail from the plea because we strongly suspect this is a scam, and we don't want to help it along, even by accident.)
Should you send money to help the little girl? No. Given that you have no idea if the child is real or not, you should keep a tight hold on your wallet until a great deal more is known. The information superhighway has its share of panhandlers and con artists, a facet of online life that has to be kept firmly in mind. There are people out there who will try to part you from your money, and they will spin heart-rending stories about dying children if that's what it takes to move your cash into their pockets.
Given that there are so many real children in need, why take the chance that your benevolence is going down a rat hole?