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How stupid do you have to be to fall for this scam?

Subsonic Chronic

TRIBE Member
E-mail scam costs victim thousands
Robin Harvey



Cyberspace has breathed new life into many old cons, and the Nigerian letter scam, an $8 billion worldwide swindle, is now flourishing through e-mail.

The fraud usually involves a plea from a politician, dignitary or their family from a tumultuous African nation. It has many variations but essentially an e-mail arrives asking for help in transferring money secretly sequestered due to corruption or military and political upheaval in any number of West African nations.

In exchange for your help you are offered a percentage of the money, often in the millions. Consumer Watch received such an e-mail pitch March 31 seeking help to transfer millions from Nigeria.

That was just a month after a Richmond Hill man received his first scam e-mail. He eventually lost more than $13,000 (all figures in U.S. funds), including the cost of airfare and telephone calls to Europe. He does not want his name used to protect his privacy, partly because the police probe into his case is still ongoing and, given the shady character he met in March, he fears for his safety. We contacted him through Phonebusters, a joint OPP and RCMP operation.

On Feb. 27, our victim received an e-mail from a man asking for help in transferring $25.4 million. It claimed to be from Thomas Savimbi, son of Jonas Savimbi who died fighting for the liberation of Angola. Savimbi wanted help getting the millions his father had stashed away in a metal box inside a crate before his death.

The funds were in an Amsterdam safe with a security and courier firm. Savimbi said it was too dangerous for him to transfer the money. He said he had all the documents and mechanisms in place. All the Richmond Hill man had to do was fly over and pick up the money and put it in an account in his own name.

For his trouble, the 30-year-old man would get 20 per cent. "I know some of it was wanting to believe this was real — that I could get this money — but also in his letter he sounded sincere and like he needed help. I did honestly want to help him," our victim said.

A lawyer made contact March 11 from an Amsterdam office to arrange the transfer. Eventually, the lawyer faxed legal documents and official-looking notices from the security and courier firm. Then on March 20, to our Canadian victim's shock, the courier company called asking for $14,470 in handling and access fees.

The Richmond Hill man was told the firm would accept credit cards and traveller's cheques. So on March 28, he flew to Amsterdam. Once there, the lawyer said they could not use traveller's cheques or credit cards, only cash. The $5,000 in cheques were cashed and another $7,000 was demanded, withdrawn from his credit cards.

Two large, seedy-looking characters, who worked with the Amsterdam crew, had started following our victim everywhere he went and he felt he should do what he was asked. He was now seriously concerned for his safety.

On March 30, the millions arrived in a metal crate, which contained scores of shrink-wrapped $100 American bills stamped "classified." Inside, there was a bottle of liquid and a letter allegedly from the CIA stating the money could not be used for terrorism.

Another man, who claimed to be a high-ranking banking official, said he had to wash off the stamps. The banker cleaned one bill and told the Canadian to spend it to verify it was real. Later that day, the banker called and said the liquid was faulty and he needed $500,000 to buy more. By this time our weary Canadian knew he'd been had and he flew home. "I just hope my story can help others," he said.

Of the17,000 complaints the Internet Fraud Complaint Centre has received this past year, 2,600 concerned Nigerian or African letter scams, according to the international centre's first annual report.

Sergeant Barry Elliott of Phonebusters says the scheme targets professionals and people who have access to money. The scam is so elaborate and the attention to detail so complete, with forged documents and the mention of real political situations, it seems believable. Anyone getting such an e-mail pitch should ignore it and pass it along to Phonebusters. You can call 1-888-495-8501, fax 1-888-654-9426 or e-mail info@phonebusters.com.
 

Subsonic Chronic

TRIBE Member
I don't know about anyone else, but I've received this particluar email before, and it was blatantly obvious that it was either a scam or a joke.

If you honestly believe that some African dignitary randomly emailed YOU so that you could help them get money and take home a cool few million for your troubles... then you almost deserve to get scammed.

Pete
 

labRat

TRIBE Member
great ... now what am i going to do with this ticket to Amsterdam?

oh well - *riiiiiiiip*

--craig
 
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DJAlchemy

TRIBE Promoter
a friend of mine ran into something similar... Only the same scam took the form of a private investor willing to invest millions into his company. The money trasfer ofcourse, had a 'trasfer tax' of thousands that he would have to pay before he got the investment. Needles to say he figured out it was a scam and said fuck it.

Peace & love. D
 

Michkey

TRIBE Member
I was going to say something about people being stupid for falling for a scam like that...

but I did kind of buy some shitty speakers off the back of a truck for like $350 last year ("we have extra inventory that the boss doesn't know about," says the guy in the white van in the Wal-Mart parking lot)
 
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stir-fry

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Michkey
I was going to say something about people being stupid for falling for a scam like that...

but I did kind of buy some shitty speakers off the back of a truck for like $350 last year ("we have extra inventory that the boss doesn't know about," says the guy in the white van in the Wal-Mart parking lot)
are they the Cerwin vega's that everyone i know owns a pair of?
 

Cheeka

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Michkey
I was going to say something about people being stupid for falling for a scam like that...

but I did kind of buy some shitty speakers off the back of a truck for like $350 last year ("we have extra inventory that the boss doesn't know about," says the guy in the white van in the Wal-Mart parking lot)
hahaha - I know someone who almost fell for that too :p
he was on his way to pick me up from work and didn't have his bank card so he wanted me to get $$$ out for him
I laughed and told him sure... but you're fully getting scamed.
he thought I was wrong... but decided not to get them.
a guy he worked with got approached by the same guys a couple of days later.
I saved the day :D!!
 

Michkey

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by stir-fry


are they the Cerwin vega's that everyone i know owns a pair of?
No, the brand is AST, or something like that. They're these huge carpeted loudspeakers that only sound even mediocre when totally cranked. All bass and treble, no midrange = shite.
 

defazman

TRIBE Member
Best scam ever....

"Wallet Inspector"
"OK, here you go, I believe you'll find everthing in order...."
 

TaCk OnE?

TRIBE Member
I sent an email to EVERYONE on my list once, and I still haven't found the RED HOT LOVER promised...or the free gift certificate to the Gap.

what was that number again?

1-888-....
 
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orange richie

TRIBE Member
Beleive it or not, Nigeria's second leading industry is scams! Also, the government does little to prevent people from scamming and is actually known to condone them. What do you expect from a country where a lot of the people don't own shoes...

Rickardo Belmiro de la Cruz...
 

Plato

TRIBE Member
i havent gotten that breed of email spam for three years.

but just from the look of it i knew it was spam/fake/scam/etc

i bet this guy is in his 60's and only knows how to turn ont he computer connect to the web and check his email from his kids.

p[l]a+0
 
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