For the past two months I've been receiving an email every week from someone who describes himself as a "professional hacker". He claims to have hacked my computer and has got all my data. He says he's made videos of me indulging in objectionable acts. He's warned me that if I don't pay him what he asks, he will send all of my computer data as well as the sordid videos he's made to all the contacts in my computer. In the beginning he demanded US $ 850, but recently raised it to US $ 990. If I tell anyone about this, he says, I'll get into serious trouble.

I was reminded of those Nigerians who would send letters to nationals of other countries about the huge amount (usually ten thousand dollars) they would get if they filled out the accompanying form and paid a hundred dollars into their bank accounts. A woman even emailed me that she is the manager of a bank where a millionaire's unclaimed millions were lying. She couldn't claim the amount herself but if I agreed, she and I would share the amount equally. I wonder how many fall for such scams. I remember a government servant in Punjab (a lawyer himself) who lost a couple of million.

In Pakistan there have been fraudsters who would promise to double your money if you gave it to them for a month. I remember, when I was a boy of ten, a man who said something similar. My older cousin asked him, "If you can double our money, why don't you double yours?". Unfortunately, a sucker is born every minute, and there will always be victims.