Sunday, April 30, 2006

Sad spam stories

I'm beginning to get Nigerian-style scam letters in my junk folder again. Some of them are getting to be quite creative. Here's a list of the latest, starting with the most recent.
  • Ayisha Haja from Brunei - A 23-year-old young Mongolian woman who was "married out" to a prince of Brunei 30 years her senior. As revenge she managed to "divert $16.5.000.000.00 (Sixteen million five hundrend thousand dollars) as bonds into a private finance house without his knowledgement." She wants your help getting it out of the country, and will pay you "$1.5.000.000.00 (One million five hundred thousand dollars) of the total fund" for your help.
  • CAPTAIN WILSON EZE from the Congo - A former captain in the Congolese army, of unknown age. A procurement officer, he managed to get away with $15 million in funds he was supposed to use to purchase arms from a company in Johannesburg, South Africa. Currently living in asylum in South Africa, he seeks your assistance to invest the $15 million in a "stable economy". He can't do it there because of his current "political status." He's willing to give you 30% of the $15 million for your troubles.
  • MOHAMMED SALA of Dakar, Senegal - A "Bills and Exchange" manager at the Foreign Remittance Department of the Bank of Africa, PLC. He has come into possession of an "abandoned sum of $30,000,000.00 (Thirty Million United States Dollars only)." It belonged to an investor who died, along with his family, in the "terrorist attacks" on 9/11 (no indication where exactly). No one has come forward to claim the sum, and before it's claimed by the bank as its own, he wants you to work with his partners to be the designated heir. There's a complicated scheme to "recycle" the money through the importation of "Agricultural Machineries", which I assume they'll sell at a profit in Dakar. All they need is personal information including your bank account. You get 30% of the sum for your troubles.
  • M/s Marlet Bornwick in Bangkok, Thailand - She's a "Financial Adviser on offshore and real estate investment and management with a private security & finance firm." She comes "to know of you while searching for a reliable and reputable person to handle this confidential transaction", I assume via Google. She's got $4.5 million left by one "Mr. Mahmood Ahmed A. Abdullah, an oil merchant from Iraq", who died in the "war in Baghdad last year." Once again no relative has come forward to claim the money, and she and a number of associates have decided to seek a foreign representative to move the funds out of Thailand. You are expected to travel to Thailand to seal the deal. You get 5% of the fund for travel expenses and another 15% for your troubles.
  • Mr. Danladi Bako somewhere overseas - Seeks a partnership to transfer and invest $32 million that was deposited in a secure account, then never used. Really? It involves payment to "an American Oil exploration company by Eleme Refining & Petrochemical Co. Ltd (EPCL) in 2000." Checking via Google I find there's an EPCL based in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State Nicaragua, and it's doing business with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Mr Bako and his associates want to transfer the money out of the country using you as their agent, to invest the money for two years. You get 25% directly for your troubles, plus 5% for "sundry expenses" in managing the fund on their behalf.
  • Mrs. Fatima Sheikh of Kuwait - A 68-year-old widow of the late "Mr. Abdullah Sheikh, former owner of Petroleum and Gas Company." Dying of cancer, with no heirs, she seeks your assistance in moving $25 million out of a company in South Africa her husband invested before his death. A sweet little old lady, she wants 80% to go to charity and 20% to go to your for your troubles.
  • MISS. RITA NUHAN of Liberia - Once again I was discovered by searching "a human resource profile database on your country in the Internet." Damn Google. Her father, former Issac Nuhan Vaye, Deputy Minister of Public Works in Liberia, was killed by Charles Taylor. She's stuck in a refugee camp in Dakar-Senegal. She's 20, single, and she's got $5.4 million on her. She needs you to transfer her and the money away from Dakar-Senegal.
I started getting these April 21st, and they've been showing up steadily, about one/day, since. Over the years I've gotten a number of the 9/11 abandoned fund stories. Fatima of Kuwait's email showed up twice. The others are new to me and somewhat creative. All of them have large sums of money, in US denominations, and they all want your help (for a reasonable fee) to move the funds from where they are to where you are. So what's wrong with all these pictures?
  • Come on people. You got this from an unsolicited email. Reality check, please!
  • Here's another helpful clue. Google's spam filters (which seem to be pretty good) kicked every one into the spam bucket.
  • I can't speak for other countries, but I believe I can speak for the US when I say that if you suddenly came into very large sums of money from overseas that you'd instantly wind up on somebody's anti-terrorist radar, with a swift visit from someone in Homeland Security. Perhaps they are as bad and bumbling as some stories in the press portray them, but I really don't think that's the case.
I can't believe anyone would believe any of these. But somebody is, somewhere. That's why they keep showing up.

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