Scams Little and Large

by | Jul 14, 2001 | Archives

Here are three more scams, including one you should watch for your elderly friends.

The Nigerians are at it again as evidenced by this letter from an eClub member.

	"I am so glad I decided to research this ridiculous email I received from a
woman in Africa. This is the fourth letter I've received concerning
investing money. And I just knew it had to be a hoax. Besides it's too
good to be true anyway. No one is going to turn over millions of dollars to
a complete stranger. Do these people in Africa think that Americans are
complete idiots?

The letter below is a mirror image of one of the SCAM letters listed on your
website. Thank you so much for informing the general population of the
scams looming on the internet.



Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2001 12:11:00 +0200 (CEST)
From: Didow Kouassi
Subject: request for investment.

Abidjan, Ctte dIvoire
West Africa


Dear Sir,

With due respect and humility I write you this letter
which I believe you would be of great assistance to me
and my children.
I am MRS JENETH KOROMAH, the wife of the late Dr
DAVID E. KOROMAH JR. of the blessed memory. Prior to
my husband assassination by the rebel forces loyal to
CORPORAL FODAY SANKOH of the Revolutionary United
Front (RUF), He was the Director General National Gold
and Diamond Mining Corporation of Sierra-Leone.

Few days before my husband was assassinated, he
instructed me and my children ( DIDOW and HENRY ) to
move out of Sierra-Leone and also to go in his
underground strong room where the documents of money
he has deposited in a security company in Abidjan Ctte
dIvoire in one trunk Box as family valuables and
treasures with the name of my first son DIDOW as the
beneficiary. The amount is US$15.500 (Fifteen million
five hundred thousand United States Dollars. We
managed to escape to Abidjan the Republic of Ctte
dIvoire through the help of my husbands friend who
is a trawler. As our travelling document was sized.

But due to the political problem here in Cote dIvoire
on September year 2000, I instructed the security
company to transfer the box that contained the money
to Europe Where they have branch office. Now the money
is in Europe for safe-keeping. I am now looking for a
worthy and God fearing person who will handle this
money for rapid profit for the future of my two
fatherless children.

For your information , the security company did not
know the real content of the box and we do not wish
them to know until the money is transferred to your
account. As it was deposited as family valuables and

Meanwhile, I want to leave Ctte dIvoire entirely for
investment of this money in your country and mostly
for the future of my children. I want you to please
assist us to claim the box from the security company
and also deposit the money in a local account there
in your name and order the bank to transfer the money
to your account in your country. As our foreign

We have it in mind to reward you with a certain
percentage for your assistance. As soon as we hear
from you.
Do not hesitate to call me on this line immediately you
receive this letter to enable
us proceed in Ernest toward retrieving the box and
transferring of the money into your account.

Finally, Please ensure that no one else knows about
this money as it is only myself my son, yourself and
the Rev. Pastor of the church where we worship knows
about this money.
May God bless you as you assist me.

Yours sincerely.

My reply told a sad tale.

“Thank you for letting me know. I am pleased we could help. Sadly this letter has netted the con artists tens of millions of dollars so some North Americans are stupid. Actually greedy is a better word.”

Scam #2: Blatant scams like this are not the ones that require your maximum care at this time.

The Financial Times warns in its Monday June 25 article entitled “Con Men Adapt to Investor's New Caution” that “as savvy US investors have swung their portfolios from stocks to bonds, con artists have also adapted to the changing environment. Whereas they once fleeced investors through stock schemes that flourished during the bull markets of the 1990s they have recently turned to seemingly conservative fixed income investments.

They sold bogus oil deals with the oil and gas bubble in the 70s, moved to stock manipulation in the 80s and have now shifted to fraudulent promissory notes.

Swindlers market them as having the safety of Treasury bonds with a bit of extra yield. Regulators warn that in reality the notes are often risky securities issued by speculative companies that could not borrow elsewhere.

In the three month period after the stock market began to slide state regulators have brought 370 actions against promissory note vendors responsible for more than $170 million in losses.”

Remember that con artists will always try to use some type of authority image to gain your confidence. They will have a phony high sounding business name, will say they are a banker or government official or often use religion to gain confidence (note the religious connotation in the Nigerian scam letter above). Prosecutors stated that in a recent Indiana case two insurance agents got on their knees to pray with elderly victims before separating them from their retirement money.

Scam #3: Elderly beware.

Older folks are especially at risk and another scam floating around now comes in the form of individuals claiming to represent social security with the task of enforcing a new law that pays war and or Holocaust repatriations (or some similar event). They claim to have to check the individual's social security number as it appears that the elderly individual has a valid claim. Once they have the social security number, they'll use this to rip off the individual in a variety of ways.

There of course is no such law.

My friends beware! It is easy enough to lose money with legitimate investments. With such cons there is no chance at all except for a guaranteed loss and there are some really bad guys out there!

Until next message, good global investing.