Monday, October 18, 2010

A True But Disappointing Tale From Dubai

I may have told this story before.  It's worth retelling.

Earlier this year I received an unsolicited email from a financial media company in Dubai.  They claimed to have noticed my blog and wanted to pay me $300/week to write a column for their website.  I was intrigued and asked to see the contract.  The contract looked attractive at first glance but it lacked some details that raised my eyebrows. 

First, there was nowhere on the contract for me to sign.  Everything I've ever signed in my life that required some kind of legal commitment had a clearly marked line for my signature.  I emailed the Dubai guys to ask where they wanted me to sign, and they basically said "sign anywhere."  Oooooo-kaaaaaay.  I did not sign.  Furthermore, the contract asked me to send them the my checking account number so they could directly deposit my weekly pay.  NO WAY was I sending my checking account details to people in the Middle East whom I've never met.  These guys had probably never heard of PayPal, which was created to enable secure transactions between parties who were heretofore strangers. 

I sent the Dubai guys a polite email message informing them that I was no longer interested.  This all transpired months ago but I still remember it today as I consider ways to expand my presence in cyberspace.  There are plenty of other ways to do business.