Wednesday, 15 June 2011

From the inbox:

Warmest Greetings;
I am Yusuf Mohammed,The Personal Assistant on financial matters to the Former President Mubarak of Egypt who is facing trail presently in my Country Egypt.I want you to see this as an opportunity for us to establish a very good relationship,I made away with the sum of $148 million and escaped from my country Egypt before the arrest of my Boss since this funds were in my Custody.
I am presently in Nigeria  and have deposited the money which came along with in a security company in Ghana before arriving Nigeria to take a shelter, but the Security Company advised me to lodge the money with Zenith Bank here in Nigeria due to money laundry restrictions they have in Ghana. Please I want you to reply me now so I can give you more information's as we go into Partnership and how I want this funds to be invested in your country before I can finally come over with my family hence i want you to keep this transaction to yourself In the event you are not interested, I sincerely ask that you disregard this email and tell no one about it as i am seriously in need of you to be of help to me now. I hope you can be trusted in this regard. Yours truly, Yusuf Mohammed.

Oh come on: they are called Nigerian scams for a reason! If you want me to fall for this at least don't be based in Nigeria.  It has got to the point that the genuine money launderers cannot do business from there.

I like the way Mobarak is used here though. An interesting wrincle here is that googling the text comes up zip. Unusual. It's only when you google the themes that you find the others. Basically, all the news and general gossip about Egypt has washed out the scam reports. Do I need to go through the red flags?

Yusuf Mohammed is a popular enough name - in fact he's a Nigerian footballer. The Nigeria connection is odd but no red flag.
"Personal Assistant on financial matters": how is this a real title? I'd buy: "personal accountant" or "personal financial adviser"... but I'd expect him to give his title in his own language and translate it.
Bad grammar: though its getting quite good.
The sum is given in dollars - possible - but you'd think if he smuggled money out on his person it would be in a more available currency, or converted so something more portable. Anyway - isn't Mubarak's money supposed to be in Swiss bank accounts or something?
"I am presently in Nigeria" - puh-lease!
There is also no mention of how he came to pick me as the person to help out with this: surely someone in a position to smuggle like this also has international contact who will, like, know them personally?

There are a bunch of variations on this theme - where there is strife and tragedy, some scammer is trying to exploit it.

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