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The State of the SCAM

See the REPLY the Desk got below!

©05 The Media Desk
Permission to reuse for informational purposes
with credit to the Desk, is hereby given.

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Links were working as of posting date of article. 1 Feb/05

      Miss Susan in Canada got a letter from Tony Curtis. Seems he needs help laundering some money that's in an abandoned account in a bank in London. It would seem that one Mr. Dionijs and his entire immediate family died some time ago in a plane crash and left over seventeen million dollars in an account. Now Mr. Curtis is looking for somebody to pose as a relative in order claim the money. All they need is Susan's bank information to transfer the money to, and then later, out of, leaving her a quarter of the total as her reward for her participation in what amounts to a criminal act.
      Well, the famous Tony Curtis is about eighty years old, is semi-retired from acting and now spends much of his time painting. Visit It's unlikely the Oscar Nominated Tony Curtis of over 100 motion pictures including the 1960 slave revolt epic Spartacus is moonlighting at a London bank.
"Hollywood... the most sensational merry-go-around ever built."
Tony Curtis

      The email must be from another Tony Curtis.
      Is there any chance that her letter is an actual chance for her to have some hard cash transferred into her bank account? Could this be an actual plea from a real but unscrupulous bank official who wants to whitewash some funds that will otherwise end up in the government's hands? Are ANY of these things a real offer where you can end up with a few extra Euros/Rupees/Dollars/Yen?
      In a word- "No."
      It is the Infamous African Cash Transfer / Advance Fee SCAM.
      The 419 Scam. Named for the section of the Nigerian Penal Code that deals with fraud.
      Think of it as the step-father of the Bank Phishing SCAM that is currently bilking the gullible and unaware out of their life savings. And the 419 SCAM is itself the grandchild of even older swindles dating back to the original Ponzi Scheme, the Prisoner Con and other deals where people could get something for nothing. And in the letter Miss Susan got the SCAMMER seems to be using a account for his work in the SCAM. See letter posted below.
      Once you're in, either by giving the scammer money or information, the temptation is very strong to stay in it to see it through in the hopes that you won't be ripped off.
      Of course, you will be.
      This is more than an email inbox annoyance or a phone call that interrupts dinner. Real money is lost, and in some cases, lives are lost.
      In December of 2004 a Virginia woman was conned out of over twenty thousand by a local variant of the Advance Fee Scam. She actually did receive a check to deposit after she sent the crook the advance money, however, the check she received was absolutely worthless. Except as evidence. No arrests have been made to date in the case.
      It isn't just regular people who have been scammed. A University of Miami, FL law professor is in the middle of a stink in which over a million dollars was stolen from a US truck leasing company in a check deposit scam.
      Others have lost thousands of dollars when people wire transfer the money to the scammers. The scammer then either vanishes into the ether or after a week or so writes back saying they need just a little more money for some unforeseen costs before they can make the big transfer. In many cases the victim then realizes they have been had, but don't report the crime because they feel really stupid.
      And it is not just victimizing Americans and Canadians.
      In Brunei a woman was conned out of the equivalent of fifty thousand dollars through the scam.
      In 2003 a Czech who had been victimized by the scam took their revenge on an official at a Nigerian Embassy, shooting and killing an innocent embassy employee.
      People have been duped into flying to Nigeria or other (usually African) country, and have been held for ransom or in some cases, murdered.
      And them some of those that appear to be working against the SCAM seem to be a SCAM themselves. This outfit charges a hundred dollars to join it so you can help them work to kill the 419 scam. ... ... something doesn't smell right there. Site intentionally NOT hotlinked
      Now wait a minute. The Desk has links to everybody from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Fraud Unit to various authorities in the USA and the 419 Coalition Website which are all working to put the scammers in jail. Why would it pay somebody for the same thing? What exactly is this group doing besides begging for money to keep the site up?
      The site claims they are an authority on the Nigerian Scam, well, cool, so is the Desk. It doesn't charge anybody for anything. So is the White Collar/Financial Crime Division of the FBI... they don't charge either.
      They say they have names of individuals and front sites for the scam and sample letters you can read. They want money from you so you can see this information. Well terrific. Front sites are routinely exposed and the info is posted by the RCMP and others, names are named at the Dept of Justice, the Desk has posted how many sample letters (with a new one below) and has NEVER asked for a DIME from ANYBODY!
      The Desk will withhold final judgment on, but… if it quacks like a scam.... reports that the average loss to online scams last year was just over eight hundred dollars per incident.
      Unless you're pulling in money that rivals professional athletes, a loss of just eight hundred bucks will hurt. A loss of thousands like some of the above may spawn bankruptcy proceedings.
      There are variants of the 419 scam that include the infamous 'foreign lottery', the 'church donation', and even 'tax refund (rebate)' letters that included our old friend "Slavery Reparations".
      A couple of years ago a scam worked its way through several African American churches where a very earnest individual would go to the church and claim to be able to produce 'Slavery Reparations' for the members. The only thing that was produced however were empty checkbooks for those that put their money into it. All it was was an in person version of the Advance Fee scam. Hundreds were taken in for thousands of dollars that they ended up having to repay on their taxes, and, for a change, several of the scammers did go to jail.

MONDAY, JUNE 16, 2003

Morris James, Sr. Promoted Fraudulent "Slavery Reparations Tax Credit"
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal court in Macon, Georgia today barred Morris James, Sr. and his company, the National Resource Information Center, Inc., from promoting a nationwide slavery-reparations scam. Judge Duross Fitzpatrick of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia signed a preliminary injunction order barring James from selling packages that promote false claims for tax credits or refunds and from preparing tax returns or other documents claiming credits for reparations. The court also ordered James to turn over his customer list to the Justice Department.
  "Claiming tax refunds or credits for slavery reparations is illegal," said Eileen J. O'Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division of the Department of Justice. "The Justice Department is taking vigorous action to stop the promotion of schemes that undermine the federal tax system and leave honest taxpayers footing the bill."
  Papers filed by the Justice Department in the case allege that James has promoted the slavery-reparations tax credit by selling "tax information packages" at meetings held in churches throughout the United States. According to the Department's filings, James and his organization sold the packages to more than 6,300 customers.
  The Justice Department has previously obtained injunctions to stop five other reparations-scam promoters or return preparers: Willie Haugabook, also of Montezuma, GA; Eddie and Erma Mims of Sylvania, GA; Robert Foster of Richmond, VA; and Andrew L. Wiley, of Durant, MS.

      Wishful thinking and a slick con artist and… Makes you appreciate PT Barnum.

      An interesting side note is that in 2003 eighty-nine percent of all complaints about internet fraud were against auctions. The merchandise received was not what was ordered, nothing was received, the amount billed to the credit card was not the bid amount, and so on. In late 2003 Ebay removed the link to the Internet Fraud Watch reporting site. Then the percentage dropped to the mid twenties.
      It isn’t that auction fraud went down, only that the public's access to report crooks on the auction site was cut. Ebay says they have their own internal fraud protection unit. For this report information on how many crooks they had put in jail was searched for, it wasn't found.
      "caveat emptor" indeed
                  Let the Buyer Beware
End Tangent

      There is good news however.
      Fifty people in the Netherlands were charged in the 419 scam, although none were convicted, it is a good first step.
      Nineteen people have been charged in the bust of an identity theft ring. See the US Dept of Justice info page:
      Other Scam Spammers have been convicted of wire fraud for internet scams. Nigerian Money Laundering
      Others have been convicted in Canada as well as in Nigeria itself. Several have actually gone to jail.
      Yet the Scam still grows.
      A recent news story from Michigan told of a man who was going to wire $3,500 to a person who had emailed him with the story that the Michigan man had won a Greek Lottery. He was in the act of sending the money when he began to question why he'd have to pay for 'winnings'.
      A woman in Asia borrowed a large sum of money from her employer and sent it to someone who had persuaded her that she was related to a deceased African millionaire.
      Some people are too trusting for their own good. Others are new to the Net and Email and fall for the scams due to inexperience and naiveté. Others are simply gullible.
      The only thing that those on the Web that are fighting this SCAM and others, such as the Desk and various 'Scambuster' sites like those listed below can do is keep up the flow of information and sound advice.
      Such as:
      DELETE IT.
      And, such as the 'slave reparations' scammer, if somebody comes to your church or group with an offer that just sounds too good to be true…. Call the cops.


FBI: Financial Crimes Division

For more information about the slavery reparations scam see the IRS site:
The Quatloos page that contains the above press release about the reparations tax scam.

Sources for 419 Scam Information The US Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria

Nigerian Scam news articles at

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police's page about the 419 Scam

The Famous view of it all.

419 Coalition Website

Warning about the new fraudulent check scheme from the Securities and Exchange Commission:

The Info on Internet Fraud, Mail Fraud, Credit Card Fraud, Phishing, Phone Fraud.

More 419 SCAM info from the Desk at Record Breaking Letter
And The Desk's Urban Legend and SPAM page

Emailed SCAM SPAM from Miss Susan in Canada below.
Addresses deleted to discourage the SCAMMER

419 Scam Letter: Iraqi War Version, Hong Kong Flavor
Posted As Recieved, no editing other than email address

From: CHEUNG PUI [mailto: chdeleted]
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 9:11 AM
Subject: HELLO

Hang Seng Bank Ltd
Sai Wan Ho Branch
171 Shaukiwan Road
Hong Kong.
Dear Sir/Madam
I am Mr. Cheung Pui credit officer of the Hang Seng Bank Ltd,Sai Wan Ho Branch. I have a obscured business suggestion for you.
Before the U.S and Iraqi war our client General Ibrahim Moussa who was with the Iraqi forces and also business man made a numbered fixed deposit for 18 calendar months, with a value of Twenty millions Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars only in my branch. Upon maturity several notice was sent to him, even during the war early this year. Again after the war another notification was sent and still no response came from him. We later find out that the General and his family had been killed during the war in bomb blast that hit their home.
After further investigation it was also discovered that General Ibrahim Moussa did not declare any next of kin in his official papers including the paper work of his bank deposit. And he also confided in me the last time he was at my office that no one except me knew of his deposit in my bank. So, Twenty millions Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars is still lying in my bank and no one will ever come forward to claim it. What bothers me most is that according to the laws of my country at the expiration 3 years the funds will revert to the ownership of the Hong Kong Government if nobody applies to claim the >funds. Against this backdrop, my suggestion to you is that I will like you as a foreigner to stand as the next of kin to Major Fadi Basem so that you will be able to receive his funds.
I want you to know that I have had everything planned out so that we shall come out successful. I have contacted an attorney that will prepare the necessary document that will back you up as the next of kin to General Ibrahim Moussa , all that is required from you at this stage is for you to provide me with your Full Names and Address so that the attorney can commence his job. After you have been made the next of kin, the attorney will also fill in for claims on your behalf and secure the necessary approval and letter of probate in your favor for the move of the funds to an account that will be provided by you.
There is no risk involved at all in the matter as we are going adopt a legalized method and the attorney will prepare all the necessary documents. Please endeavor to observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning this issue. Once the funds have been transferred to your nominated bank account we shall share in the ratio of 70% for me, 30% for you . Should you be interested please send me your full names and current residential address and I will prefers you to reach me on the email address below ( and finally after that i shall provide you with more details of this operation.
Your earliest response to this letter will be appreciated.
Kind Regards
Mr. Cheung Pui


The Reply to the Email Dr. Leftover sent to the SCAMMER

[NOTE: Desk and SCAMMER email addresses scrambled in headers. Full headers were sent to YAHOO! for investigation of the SCAMMER's account]

The phone number listed is (or was anyway) a working number in Nigeria.

Return-Path: maddress deleted and reported to
Received: from ([unix socket]) by (Cyrus v2.2.8) with LMTPA;
Mon, 31 Jan 2005 15:12:04 +0300
X-Sieve: CMU Sieve 2.2
Received: from ( [])
by (8.13.1/8.13.1) with ESMTP id j0VCBUCZ029648
for < …>; Mon, 31 Jan 2005 15:11:30 +0300 (MSK)
Received: from ( [])
by (8.13.1/8.13.1) with SMTP id j0VCBSfI067547
for <>; Mon, 31 Jan 2005 15:11:29 +0300 (MSK
) (envelope-from m…
Received: (qmail 44981 invoked by uid 60001); 31 Jan 2005 12:11:17 -0000
Message-ID: <>
Received: from [] by via HTTP; Mon, 31 Jan 2005 04:11:17 PST
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 04:11:17 -0800 (PST)
From: peter efe address deleted and reported to>
To: ...<>
In-Reply-To: <>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="0-495046592-1107173477=:43849"
X-SpamTest-Info: Profile: Formal (206/050130)
X-SpamTest-Info: Profile: Detect Hard No RBL (4/030526)
X-SpamTest-Info: Profile: SysLog
X-SpamTest-Status: Not detected
X-SpamTest-Version: SMTP-Filter Version 2.0.0 [0125], KAS/Release

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

Attention; desk ID

Thanks for your email message. Please you can call me on my direct mobile phone number so that we can disscuss this transaction fully, you can equally give me your direct mobile phone number and home phone number so that i can also reach you.
Meanwhile, send me your full bank information so that we can start processing the release of the sum US$26,000,000.00 to your account as the beneficiary .
Note that once the fund is released to your account , i and my mother will be coming to meet you in your country for the disbursement . And we will also need your assistance in investing part of our share in your country . I hope you understand every thing.

Iam waiting for your urgent response .
Thanks for your co operation and assistance .

Best regards.
Mr Musa Balogun.

N/B My number is 23480 33185088

The Desk's note to the SCAMMER

Desk wrote:

Im sorry. I'm new to e mail and I don't think the last one i sent sent itself.

let me know if there is something somebody from here can do to help

-----Original Message-----
From: peter efe []

Original Message Deleted is posted above


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