Scam of the day – July 28, 2014 – Malaysia becoming a scam center

Recently Malaysia has become a major hub for scams, most prominently romance scams in which the scam artist, the only criminal we refer to as an artist, contacts the victim on a legitimate dating website, such as and starts an online relationship with the victim that soon progresses to a plea for money.  It has been estimated that the total cost of Malaysian cybercrime last year was 300 million dollars with romance scams being one of the most prominent of the scams perpetrated.  Two American women, in particular each was swindled out of more than $250,000.  The scammers are quite often from Nigeria or Ghana, but come to Malaysia because it is easy to get a student visa, the country has a sophisticated computerized banking system and the Internet infrastructure is strong.  This creates a perfect storm for scammers.  Often the scammers pose online as American, Canadian, Australian or British nationals who are in Malaysia for business.


There are many red flags to help you identify romance scams.  The most important thing to remember is to always be skeptical of anyone who falls in love with you quickly online without ever meeting you and early into the relationship needs you to wire money.  Here are a few other things to look for to help identify a romance scam.  Often their profile picture is stolen from a modeling website on the Internet.  If the picture looks too professional and the person looks too much like a model, you should be wary.  Particular phrases, such as “Remember the distance or color does not matter, but love matters a lot in life” is a phrase that turns up in many romance scam emails.  Also be on the lookout for bad spelling and grammar as many of the romance scammers claim to be Americans, but are actually foreigners lying about where they are and who they are.  Of course you should be particularly concerned if someone falls in love with you almost immediately.  Often they will ask you to use a webcam, but will not use one themselves.  This is another red flag.  One thing you may do is ask them to take a picture of themselves holding up a sign with their name on it.  In addition, ask for a number of pictures because generally when the scammers are stealing pictures of models from websites, they do not have many photographs. Ask for the picture to be at a particular place that you designate to further test them.  In particular be wary of  requests for money to assist your new “friend” out of difficult situation, which may be a false arrest, a car accident, an illness, injury or other emergency.

Scam of the day – March 4, 2013 – New Ghana email scam

It is important to remember that not all email scam letters come from Nigeria.  They come from everywhere and recently it seems many of them are appearing to originate in Ghana.  The essence of all of this type of letter is the same.  In fact, the basis for the scam goes back to a scam that started in the 1500s when it was called the “Spanish Prisoner” scam.  Although there are variations of the scam email, they all involve a promise of substantial funds for little or no effort on your part.  In this particular email, which is reproduced below my assistance is requested as a “reliable partner” when the email sender has no knowledge of who I am and the email is not even addressed to me in the salutation.   These scam emails may seem ridiculous, but they are still around for a good reason, namely they work.  There are some people who are either too trusting or too blinded by the promises of riches to consider this rationally.  Don’t be one of those people.

“Name:Hon. Ebenezer Sekyi-Hughes

This is Hon. Ebenezer Sekyi-Hughes, former speaker of the house of parliament Ghana.
I am in need of a reliable Trustee to help me receive my 1 box of consignments containing 11 MILLION GBP in London and Under the custody of the British embassy in Tokyo Japan.

This present Ghana government is an opposition party, they trying to accuse me of looting government treasury during my time in office and this is the reason why I need a dependable and reliable partner to receive the funds as my trustee to avoid any trace.
I am prepared to give you 30% of the total fund if you can help me receive it without any trace.

All we have to do is to ask my attorney to issue you a Power of Attorney and Change of Ownership certificate in your name while he will also handle other processes which he will explain to you.

Send me your passport copy and pictures so that I can know you better.

Hon. Ebenezer Sekyi-Hughes”


Never respond in anyway to any of these types of emails.  They are total scams and if you do respond, you will soon find that you need to pay money for various fees, bribes, or administrative costs in order to keep the process moving so that you can get your money.  Of course since this is a scam, you never will get any money.  The best thing you can do is to totally ignore the email although they can give you a bit of a laugh.