I SPY: Romance Fraud
LONELY Australians, including many truckies, go to extraordinary lengths to find romance.
Over the past few years numerous drivers have told Spy they have subscribed to websites hoping to find a woman of their dreams.
Sadly, some have been burnt and spent thousands of dollars only to be disappointed.
Different truckies have told Spy they laid out tens of thousands of dollars trying to find a partner in far-off places such as Russia, Ukraine, the Philippines and some African countries.
Police have issued a warning to anybody looking for a partner in this manner to be wary.
"Romance fraud continues to be a criminal scourge across Queensland and Australian communities. For the first five months of this year, Queenslanders averaged sending nearly $1 million in cash every month to Ghana and Nigeria indicating an Australian send of more than $30 million, the vast majority of which was romance fraud-related. The consequences of this fraud can be absolutely devastating, both personally and financially. In some instances victims struggle to recover emotionally and may never recover financially," Queensland Detective Superintendent Brian Hay said.
Many Australians have fallen victim to this crime, with some complainants having lost in excess of $100,000.
The consequences to the victims include acute depression, financial hardship, loss of friends and family as well as suffering physical ailments brought on by the stress of realising they have been defrauded of their life's savings.
The advice is that these crimes can be avoided by simply not sending money to any person that you meet on the internet, regardless of how long you have known them, and not establishing an online relationship where the person is representing themselves as being overseas and unable to meet in person.
It must be pointed out that not all sites are fraudulent.
TRUCKIES see a lot of things on their travels but a Northern Territory driver had never seen snow.
That was until early August when he delivered into South Australia.
There was snow everywhere at Whyalla and it certainly was challenging driving his rig.
This bloke usually gets around in the heat with his air-conditioner on but when in SA, it was the heater.
He said it was a great experience.
Another NT truckie hauled goods to Tasmania around the same time and saw snow at the hamlet of Oatlands, which is off the Heritage Hwy.
Yet another driver emailed Spy some pics of roofs off buildings at coastal Burnie after strong winds.
They were beside the scenic Bass Hwy.
THREE Tasmanian truckies who deliver water in the south of the state were heard having a general whinge about life.
It was at a rest area and another driver told them they were lucky to be in Australia.
He had been watching cable television news that morning and saw a truckie who had been delivering water to Gaza in the Middle East and almost got blown up. This occurred during the military action by Israel against Hamas during which there were many civilian deaths.
The Gaza truckie was interviewed and mentioned that numerous other drivers had been shot at while taking water to residents.
The Tassie trio had to admit they had it far better Down Under than truckies in many other countries.
Not verywater wise
NUMEROUS people, including a Brisbane truckie, got a totally unexpected free bath. It was soon after the driver delivered an outboard motor-powered boat to a popular ramp.
The craft was taken off the truck and launched with the outboard motor just under the surface of the water.
Then the boat driver started the motor and water sprayed over everybody in close proximity.
Obviously some saw the funny side of the incident, with one quipping, "At least I got a free shower even though I am fully clothed".
SORE joints are a problem for many of our champion truckies around Oz.
One female driver has a sore ankle and over a period of time found nothing to relieve the pain. When a friend recommended she buy joint and muscle relief that is used on horses and dogs, she was apprehensive to say the least.
With some scepticism she placed some on the ankle and after some days noticed genuine relief.
Several other mates have told her they know of humans who have used it.
NEAR Broome in WA a truckie was horrified to see a caravan heading towards him with its roof flapping in the wind.
For a few seconds he was worried it might fly off and slam into his truck but luckily it didn't.
Other truckies in earshot have also seen similar incidents around Oz.
IT WAS a case of building material being delivered to the wrong address for one Victorian truckie.
He had rented a house in a country town and later moved with the help of relatives and friends after his own residence some kilometres away was finished being constructed.
When some guttering for the new place was overdue he phoned the transport company and, much to his chagrin, was told it had been dropped off at his former address.
So he rushed around to pick it up and was told by the former neighbour that a truck had in fact left it on the footpath.
A NSW truckie was intrigued by the distance a middle-aged female on a pushbike covered over a period of several weeks. The driver saw her pedalling along with a small amount of luggage near Cairns in Far North Queensland.
A few weeks later he was heading north of Rockhampton and spotted the lady again, noting she had travelled around 1000km.
He wondered what her story was and why she would be riding so far.