Posts Tagged: ‘spanish prisoner scam’

Scam of the day – August 20, 2014 – Nigerian letter scam Iraqi style

August 20, 2014 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

Although it may seem as if this scam only began in earnest with the invention of email, in fact, the scam itself is just a variation of a scam that is more than four hundred years old when it was called the Spanish Prisoner Con.  At that time a letter was sent to the targeted victim purportedly from someone on behalf of a wealthy aristocrat who was imprisoned in Spain under a false name.  The identity of the nobleman was not revealed for security reasons, but the victim was asked to help raise money to obtain the release of the aristocrat, who, it was promised, would reward the money-contributing victim with great sums of money and, in some versions of the con, the Spanish prisoner’s beautiful daughter in marriage.

In the more recent incarnations of this scam, you receive an email in which you are promised great sums of money if you assist a Nigerian in his effort to transfer money out of his country.  Other variations include the movement of embezzled funds by corrupt officials, a dying gentleman who wants to make charitable gifts or a minor bank official who is trying to move the money of deceased foreigners out of his bank without the government taking it.  Similar scams have managed to keep up with the news by appearing to originate in China or, in this case, Iraq.

What all of these scams have in common is that soon after agreeing to help, you learn that money is needed to be sent by you for lawyer fees, bribes, insurance and other costs.  The reward is always just around the corner and the fees keep mounting.

Here is an example of an email I recently received.

“Dear Sir

With much sincerity of purpose, I make this contract with you after satisfactory information we gathered from the Chamber of Commerce here in Iraq.

I am a private staff for Haider J. Hamza a Senior Accountant back in my country with various influence at the Ministry of oil; I believe my proposal will interest you.
My boss have decided and instruct me to contact you secretly in view of transferring the sum of US$55.5M [Fifty Five Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars] only to your Company or Personal Account through the remittance banks used by our country scattered all over the western countries and some A-list banks in Asia.

However total confidential and legal arrangement requires to be smoothly executed to have funds either transferred or as to be determine by factors as our communication progresses.This particular funds is projected from an over invoiced contracted award to a foreign company who has long been paid and the over invoice remains dormant for many years now.Since the completion and payment has far exceed the period of six years; the constitution allows my principal to use his discretion and his candid returns in the past was turn in for personal gains by far superiors, hence he intend doing something for himself this time.

As persons under government pay roll, it is indicting to openly take possession of such funds which is where your assistance as the foreign contactor is highly required.
Among others; my principal we ensure :
Payment approval from relevant offices for the release of the contract sum in favour of your Personal / Company details.
You are expected to furnish us with necessary details such as:
Your personal name in full.
Name and Address of your Company.
Proof of tax paid in your country for a minimum period of 1yr. (Personal tax payment proof or company tax payment proof) is acceptable.

The sharing mode as proposed by my principal is 35% for your company and 65% for him
I anxiously wait to hear from you.
Zaher AbdulKarrem.
email: zaherabkarrem@yandex.com”

TIP

There are a number of ways to confirm that the email you are receiving is a scam including a careful review of the email address, however, you do not need to even go that far in your considerations.  Although you may want to open the email (so long as you do not click on to any links) for sheer entertainment purposes, all of these scenarios are scams.  Just ask yourself, why are you being singled out for this email?  You are not.  The emails are sent out all over the Internet.  Don’t be a victim.  Do not respond to the email in any fashion.  If you do, you will be hounded.

Scam of the day – February 27, 2014 – Another Nigerian letter that isn’t from Nigeria

February 27, 2014 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

Today’s Scam of the day comes right from my email and I am sure that it has appeared in the email boxes of many of you.  Although it may appear that the Nigerian email scam began in the era of the Internet, the basis of the scam actually goes back to 1588 when it was known as the Spanish Prisoner Scam.  In those days, a letter was sent to the victim purportedly from someone on behalf of a wealthy aristocrat who was imprisoned in Spain under a false name.  The identity of the nobleman was not revealed for security reasons, but the victim was asked to provide money to obtain the release of the aristocrat, who, it was promised would reward the money-contributing  victim with great sums of money and, in some circumstances, the Spanish prisoner’s beautiful daughter in marriage.

Today’s scam of the day is yet another variation of what has come to be known as the Nigerian letter scam.  In the various versions of this scam circulating on the Internet today, you are promised great sums of money if you assist a Nigerian in his effort to transfer money out of his country.  Variations include the movement of embezzled funds by corrupt officials, a dying gentleman who wants to make charitable gifts or a minor bank official trying to move the money of deceased foreigners out of his bank without the government taking it.  the example below of the email I received isn’t from Nigeria, but the scam is the same.  Although generally, you are told that you do not need to contribute anything financially to the endeavor, you soon learn that it is necessary for you to contribute continuing large amounts of money for various reasons, such as various fees, bribes, insurance or taxes before you can get anything.  Of course, the victim ends up contributing money to the scammer, but never receives anything in return.

Here is a copy of the email, I recently received:

“Dear Friend,
i need your kind attention. I will be very glad if  you do assist me to relocate this sum of ( US$15.Million dollars.) to your bank account for the benefit of our both families.
only i cannot operate it alone without using a Foreigner who will stand as a beneficiary to the money, that is why i decided to contact you in a good manner to assist me and also to share the benefit together with me.
for the sharing of the fund 50/50 base on the fact that it is two man business note that you are not taking any risk because there will be a legal back up document as well which will back the money up into your bank account there in your country.
all i need from you now is to indicating your interest and I will send you the full details on how the business will be executed.
Thanks & Best Regards,
Dr Lahman”

TIPS

This is a simple scam to avoid.  It preys upon people whose greed overcomes their good sense.  The first thing you should ask yourself is why would you be singled out to be so lucky to be asked to participate in this arrangement.  Since there is no good answer to that question, you should merely hit delete and be happy that you avoided a scam.  As with many such scams, which are originating outside of the United States, the punctuation and grammar are not very good.

 

Scam of the day – January 8, 2014 – Not all Nigerian emails come from Nigeria

January 8, 2014 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

Today’s Scam of the day comes right from my email and I am sure that it has appeared in the email boxes of many of you.  Although it may appear that the Nigerian email scam began in the era of the Internet, the basis of the scam actually goes back to 1588 when it was known as the Spanish Prisoner Scam.  In those days, a letter was sent to the victim purportedly from someone on behalf of a wealthy aristocrat who was imprisoned in Spain under a false name.  The identity of the nobleman was not revealed for security reasons, but the victim was asked to provide money to obtain the release of the aristocrat, who, it was promised would reward the money-contributing  victim with great sums of money and, in some circumstances, the Spanish prisoner’s beautiful daughter in marriage.

In the various versions of this scam circulating on the Internet today, you are promised great sums of money if you assist a Nigerian in his effort to transfer money out of his country.  Variations include the movement of embezzled funds by corrupt officials, a dying gentleman who wants to make charitable gifts or a minor bank official trying to move the money of deceased foreigners out of his bank without the government taking it.  the example below of the email I received purports to be from Afghanistan, but the scam is the same.  Although generally, you are told that you do not need to contribute anything financially to the endeavor, you soon learn that it is necessary for you to contribute continuing large amounts of money for various reasons, such as various fees, bribes, insurance or taxes before you can get anything.  Of course, the victim ends up contributing money to the scammer, but never receives anything in return.

Here is a copy of the email, I recently received:

“DEAR FRIEND, PLEASE ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE MYSELF.I AM CAPTAIN GREG, IN 4TH BATTALION, 64TH ARMORED REGIMENT UNIT HERE THAT PATROLS THE HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN.I AM SEEKING YOUR ASSISTANCE TO EVACUATE THE SUM OF TWENTY FIVE MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS TO YOU, AS FAR AS I CAN BE ASSURED THAT IT WILL BE SAFE IN YOUR CARE UNTIL I COMPLETE MY SERVICE HERE. THIS IS NO STOLEN MONEY AND THERE ARE NO DANGERS INVOLVED.GET BACK FOR FULL DETAILS.EMAIL:greg123@r7.com”

TIPS

This is a simple scam to avoid.  It preys upon people whose greed overcomes their good sense.  The first thing you should ask yourself is why would you be singled out to be so lucky to be asked to participate in this arrangement.  Since there is no good answer to that question, you should merely hit delete and be happy that you avoided a scam.

 

Scam of the day – August 8, 2013 – Nigerian email scam with a twist

August 8, 2013 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

The Nigerian email scam has been with us as long as there has been email.  In fact, the scam is just the latest incarnation of a scam that was used as long ago as the 1500s when it was called the Spanish Prisoner Scam.  By now, hopefully, everyone is familiar with how the scam works.  Under various pretenses, you are promised a huge windfall of money at no cost to you.  However once you have communicated with the scammers, you soon learn that there are various costs to you that suddenly arise for things such as taxes, processing fees, bribes and other reasons.  Many individuals have lost huge sums of money chasing the pot of gold that never comes.

Today’s email, which is reproduced below has an interesting twist.  It promises $15,500,000 allegedly for payment of a scam victim compensation fund even though I have not been victimized by any such scam, however, the twist is that I will be paid through a debit card that I can only use through ATM withdrawals of a maximum of $5,000 per day which means that in order to fully access the funds it would take me more than eight years of daily withdrawals to take out the entire amount.

Here is a copy of the email I received.

United Nation Organization                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Reports & Publications Department                                                                                                                                                                                                                     760 United Nations Plaza,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  New York, NY 10017, USA.

RE: DOCKET NO.   OP 292.

Attn: Sir/Madam,

Fund Beneficiary,

We wish to inform you that your payment valued at US$15,500,000.00 (Fifteen Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) with the United Nations Security Council and IMF recovered from a Bank in Nigeria as an unpaid Inheritance fund/Scam victim Compensation fund with an accrued interest belonging to you has been approved to be released to you without any delays.

We have mandated the Inter-Switch Card Nigeria Limited to issue you an ATM VISA Debit Card which you will use to withdraw this US$15,500,000.00 from any ATM machine in your country or in any part of the world but the maximum amount you can withdraw in a day should between US$3,000.00 to US$5,000 only.

You are strongly advised to contact the operation manager of Inter-Switch Card Nigeria Limited MR. SAM MBA via his open access email address:  info@interswitch-UBA.zzn.com   OR   auditinfomationngng@yahoo.com      and email him your release code ATMPMT09812 to enable him confirm and send you the ATM VISA Debit Card or do you want it by Bank to Bank transfer?

For more directives.

Lastly you are warned to disregard other contact or any communication you have with other offices regarding this same fund. We are sorry for the plight you have gone through in the past.

Thanks for adhering to this instructions.

Yours Sincerely,

MR. Kiyotaka Akasaka

Public Information Officer”

TIPS

As always, you should never respond to one of these emails because if you do, you only alert the scammer that they have a real person with whom they are dealing.  You don’t get something for nothing.  You don’t win contests that you have not entered and you do not get compensation from victims’ funds where you have not been a victim.  By the way, the real Kiyotaka Akasaka is a United Nations diplomat.  The real Kiyotaka Akasaka is not involved in anyway with this scam.

Send me your favorite Nigerian scam letters that you receive and we will include them on Scamicide.

 

Scam of the day – April 17, 2013 – Smartphone credit card scam

April 17, 2013 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

Many scams are merely updates of older scams.  The Nigerian letter of today is actually just the most recent incarnation of a scam that was being done in the 1500s when it was referred to as the “Spanish Prisoner Scam.”  Smartphones and other portable devices have made our lives easier and we all depend on them, however, they have also made the lives of identity thieves and scammers easier too as they use them to foist old scams on you by way of new technology.  The FBI has recently issued a new warning about a text message that people are receiving that purports to be from the issuer of your credit card telling you that your card has been deactivated.  You are then told to call a specific telephone number and provide your personal information including your name, credit card number and other personal information in order to reactivate your card.  Although this scam is being used by identity thieves around the country, the FBI warning dealt with calls coming from the 907 area code which is Alaska.  But even if you don’t live in Alaska, you may well be receiving a text message from your own local area.  This impersonation of your credit card issuer in order to get you to provide the identity thief with information that the identity thief can use to make you a victim of identity theft is called “phishing.”

TIPS

Never, and I do mean never, respond to a text requesting personal information unless you have confirmed that the message to you is legitimate.  In this case, if you have even the slightest concern that the text message may be from your credit card issuer, you should call your credit card issuer at the number indicated on the back of your credit card to confirm whether or not the text message you received was legitimate.  Then you will find out for sure that it was a scam.  You can never be sure when you receive a telephone call, email or text message who is sending you the message.  The risk of providing personal information to an identity thief is too high for you to trust any such communication.

I also urge you to pick up a copy of my book “50 Ways to Protect Your Identity in a Digital Age” which provides you with a wealth of specific steps you can take to make yourself safer on your smartphone, tablet or other portable devices.  You can click on the picture of the book on the right hand side of this page to go to Amazon where you can purchase the book at a discount.

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

March 3, 2013 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

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
Email:honesekyihu@yahoo.co.jp

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
Email:honesekyihu@yahoo.co.jp”

TIPS

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.

Scam of the day – February 3, 2013 – Variation on Nigerian email

February 3, 2013 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

Not all Nigerian letters come from Nigeria, some of them appear to come from Libya, although merely because the email refers to a particular country does not mean that the email actually originated in that country. What we call the Nigerian email scam did not even originate in Nigeria.  The scam has been with us for hundreds of years, first appearing in the 1500s and was originally dubbed the Spanish Prisoner scam because the victim was told that a Spanish nobleman was being held prisoner and that if the unsuspecting victim would just help with the ransom, he would be rewarded not only with a substantial amount of money, but also the Spanish nobleman’s daughter’s hand in marriage.  The gist of the scam remains the same today.  Generally it starts with an email to you that under any of a number of pretenses promises you great riches, initially without any expenditure of your own funds, but as the victim gets drawn into the plot, funds are required from the victim for fees, bribes, or other costs in order to get the funds being dangled in front of the victim.   Below you will find a typical email that turned up in my email box this week.

TIPS

The first thing you should always consider when receiving an email such as the one below is “why me.”  As just about always in these situations, if it sounds too good to be true it usually is phony.  Don’t try to outsmart the scammers.  That could possibly lead to serious trouble.  The best course of action is to just get a good laugh at the email and then hit “delete.”

“FOR YOUR PERUSAL,

I am Engineer Luis Edward a petrochemical/oil
exploration engineer with ARABIAN GULF EXPLORATION COMPANY (AGECO)  one of the
registered oil & gas exploration company in Libya.  I need your
collaboration to investing in your country. Can you assist me and two other
colleagues to “RECEIVE” some funds raised from sale of crude oil? Get back to me
for more details. Thank you for your anticipated partnership while your response
is expected if you are capable.

Waiting for your response.

Engr. Luis Edward
ARABIAN GULF
EXPLORATION COMPANY (AGECO) LIBYA”