©06 The Media Desk
Permission to reuse for informational purposes
with credit to the Desk, is hereby given.
The Desk got a DEATH THREAT in reply to its telling the scammer that the tables had been turned on them!
Below this article is a series of emails the Desk got from something calling itself Zik Atiku with a phone number in Togo in West Africa. The later letters are written in reasonably good English and with a dose of sincerity seldom seen in these things. Evidently once the victim makes contact with the scammers, they kick the responses up to somebody who is a little more literate than their initial letter writers. Which also means that the African Scammers practice better customer service than most US Companies and Government Agencies.
[NOTE: "Mr Atiku" got NO personal information from the Desk other than a Yahoo email address. He doesn't even know the Desk's real name. As we are sure that we do not know the scammer's real name, turnabout is indeed fair play. ]
But the thing of interest here is the "Letter of Application Form". And it is this form that makes the Desk wonder if this was a true 419 Advance Fee Scam or just an attempt at Identity Theft.
In a 419 or other direct financial crime the scammer will be up front about asking for banking information. They want your bank routing number and account number and any other information needed to access your account.
The application from Mr. Atiku which is supposed to go to the Commerce Bank of Lome in Togo does not ask for any banking information. Instead, it is seeking only personal information such as name, age, occupation and home phone number. Enough specific information that a crook would be about halfway home in procuring your identity and beginning to do their dirty work, running up thousands of dollars in bills in your name, or perhaps worse, scamming others and committing other crimes in your name.
There does appear to be a real 'Commerce Bank' in Lome, Togo. However, it has been such a frequent target of scammers that it may have changed its name recently. Up to date Internet directories for the Togolese Republic are quite scarce.
It is also fascinating to note that somehow the Desk's "pen name" is related to some poor soul named Phillip Innocent Leftover. As that is an odd combination of words indeed, you would expect at least one of the better search engines to come up with something on them. Especially if the late gentleman was a person holding half a billion dollars. Wouldn't you?
However google.com, ask.com and www.ixquick.com (the international metasearch) came back more or less empty. There was a smattering of popes, a book by some guy named Phillip with the word 'innocent' in the title, and somebody that plays the mandolin.
Just on a whim the Desk bounced the name off woyaa.com, the African search engine. It came back with about the same results as the others, with the added bonus of some personal ads for dating sites. If Mr. Phillip is deceased, it seems he is missing out on a good time.
Evidently the wealthy gentleman who has assumed room temperature... never lived in the first place.
Which means there is no fortune to which the Desk can lay partial claim.
Which means this exchange will most likely involve some sort of advance fee to transfer the funds, which puts it right smack dab in the middle of the 419 file.
In the end, all this scammer got was trouble for his efforts. As of this writing his scheme is being reported to both of the ISP's listed in the email- myway.com and excite.com with full email headers intact.
Of course, this will only be a minor inconvenience as they probably have multiple email addresses and accounts under a wide range of names. Which is only fair as the Desk has the same, which attract scams and spams, which the Desk reports, which makes the scammers change their accounts to send more, which the Desk reports..... etc.
And now the usual advice-
IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE- it is.
NEVER BUY ANYTHING FROM A SPAM EMAIL.
DO NOT FORWARD THESE THINGS.
REPORT SCAM AND PHISHING ATTEMPTS TO THEIR ISP.
To: a Desk account at yahoo.com
Subject: LETTER OF APPLICATION FORM.
From: "zik" @myway.com
Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2006 16:54:14 -0400 (EDT)
My Full: Address.................................................
My Phone Number.................................................
My Fax Number:..............................................
Attention!! Mr Emmanuel Gabriel.
Director Foreign Remittance Dept.
(COMMERCE BANK) Lome: Togo.
Email; a 'commerce bank' email address at @excite.com
I, Mr...................................., currently living in :.........................,. I humbly apply to this bank (COMMERCE BANK ) Lome Togo today (.........th day of September 2006) as next of kin to your deceased customer Mr Phillip Innocent Leftover.
Who happens to be an expartriate oil consultant with Shell Development Company also a business tycoon based in Lome Togo,while he was alive, he unfortunately died in a car accident along Nouvissi express Road on their way to Northern part of Togo.
I humbly apply putting claim over his deposit balance fund with this (COMMERCE BANK ) Lome Togo west africa valued at (USD$5,000,500,00 million Dollars) Five Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars Only,left in his account number 44-25525842.
I also wish my application will be given an urgent attention as I wish his balance be released and transferred into my country as stated above.
Please accept my apology for such a late application as it was due to some family logistic problems which have been finally settled.
Thanks in anticipation for your co-operation.
Thanks for your urgent response and the contents well understood. Well since you are going to be bussy through out the rest weeks, why not fill the application this time and send to the bank,so that by next week they will start the proceedings on your favour. I hope that this my idea will help us due to the time involved. I have to stop here untill i hear from you.
Thanks for your effort so far.
I write to know whether you have received my previous email and application which has been sent to you?. Please confirm and get back to me as soon as possible. Thanks and Have a nice day.
Mr Zik Atiku.
I got your prompt email response with many thanks and the contents was quite understood.
Well after my view over your previous email message i have been decide sending the application to you also the guideline on how you should claim the fund as the rightful beneficiary next of kin.
Sir,go through the application form after it was studies,kindly fill it proparely and tender to the bank with their email address below a 'commerce bank' email address at @excite.com
Note:after you have submitted the application to the bank any message you received from the bank concerning this transaction you most forward it to me for my direction before you will respond back to the bank because i don't want you to do any mistake along the line.
Moreso,remember that i'm still working with this bank, so you most protect my image, i don't want you to disclose my involvement to the bank due to my active service with them for the moment and i most resign as soon as you received this inheritance under your custody.
I have to stop here just go through the form after it was filed tender it to the bank with their given email address also get back to me after you have tendered it also your private phone number is highly needed on your next mail for easier communication.
Thanks for your effort.
Mr Zik Atiku
Thanks for your updated information received, Well you have used your human power not knowing that blood is ticker than water. Dr.Leftover, We gave you only 10 days to give up/pass away in this world. May your wicked soul rest in peace. Just make sure you finalize whatever you has with other people within 9 days because why you are going to die on or before 22nd of september 2006. Don't you know that your wickedness and evil doings has been found you through this chanel.
Dr.Leftover May your wicked soul rest in peace till we meet in heaven.
[end death threat]
Also: 419 Coalition website http://home.rica.net/alphae/419coal/news2006.htm
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