Everyone is (or should be) familiar with the infamous Nigerian 419 scam in which people write to you saying that there is this enormous fortune that needs to be taken out of some country and that if you are willing to assist, you will get a share of the proceeds. Everyone has received them would have noticed how poorly written these appeals are but as I explained earlier, that crudity is deliberate because the appeals have to be such as to not elicit a response from people who are likely to discover that it is bogus before they have parted with any money. Those people are a waste of the scammers’ time. The scammers want to only get responses from the really naïve.
Recently these appeals to me have gone upscale and taken the form of warning me not to be taken in by bogus scams. These alerts have arrived under the names of real people like James Comey (head of the FBI), Gene Dodaro (of the Government Accountability Office), and Ban Ki-moon (Secretary General of the United Nations).
I particularly liked Ban Ki-moon’s letter because it was so friendly, considering that we have never met. Here it is in its entirety, with just names and other details redacted.
UNITED NATION SCAM VICTIM COMPENSATION NOTICE. 2/18/2014
Attention Scam victim
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and family?, You may not understand why this mail came to you.
In regards to the recent meeting between the United Nations and the Present United States Government to restore the dignity and Economy of the Nations. Base on the Agreement with the World Bank Assistance to help and make the world a better place for all with the sole aim of abolishing poverty.
We have been having a meeting for the passed 2 months which ended 2 days ago with the secretary to the UNITED NATIONS.
This email is to all the people that have been scammed in any part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS have agreed to compensate them with the sum of Ј9,900,000 Nine Million Nine Hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling) This includes every foreign contractors that may have not received their contract sum, and people that have had an unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to Government problems etc.
Your name and email was in the list submitted by our Monitoring Team observers and this is why we are contacting you, this have been agreed upon and have been signed, so you are advised to contact Mr. Paul Williams of Royal Bank of Scotland UK, as he is our representative in UK, contact him immediately for your Compensation payment of Ј9,900,000 Nine Million Nine Hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling) Funds will be release direct to you in accordance with legal clearance and procedures.
This meeting was first held on the 8th of April 2005. You can view this page for your perusal. [url]
Therefore, you should send [name redacted] your full Name/telephone number/your residential address/Gender and Occupation.
Contact [name redacted] immediately for your compensation payment:
Contact Person: [name redacted]
Email: [email address]
Good luck and kind regards
Making the world a better place
Mr. Ban Ki-Moon
Secretary (UNITED NATIONS).
Then there was one that I received from someone who seems like a broker and wrote as if we knew each other well (even though he thought my name was mxs24) and was equally chatty and friendly (see the parts that I bolded) and was eager to give me a hot tip on a stock.
I know you were expecting to hear back from me much earlier but I didn’t want to get back to you empty-handed. I finally found the perfect stock for you and I am confident that it will make you some serious profit.
Remember the one I told you about in November of last year right? You did very well on it and I think this PRFC stock will do the same for your portfolio again.
I have to let you know though that I’m not the only one who found out about PRFC today.
A few of my colleagues are aware as well and they are telling their friends and family about it so I must advise you to move fast if you want to buy it.
I think it’s trading at just around 15 cents right now, if you wait too long it might be at 30 or even higher and at that time I won’t be able to safely advise you to buy it.
You can buy as many shares as you can first thing at market open on Friday or worst case scenario buy it on Monday but move fast.
I know you don’t care about what the company does because you know I’ve done all the due diligence for you already but PRFC is actually amazing and I think it will do much better than even the one I told you about a few months ago.
One of the company’s divisions offers mobile software solutions for the gaming industry. The mobile apps allow customers to play lottery and other games of chance and skill on their smartphones.
The software is extremely advanced and could be the backbone of all mobile casinos in the future.
It is expected that the US will legalize online gaming in the near future and this could catapult PRFC to new highs however even without that the company’s software is extremely valuable in the rest of the world and could become extremely profitable.
Something big is definitely brewing at the company. I heard something about buy out rumors but I don’t have all the details yet I will keep you posted over the coming days or weeks.
Anyway I won’t bore you with much more blabber, but if you have a second do check out PRFC.
By the way I will be expecting a nice gift from you once you make fat bank on this one and a nice dinner with the wives is in order.
It’s been too long since we last spent a good evening over a bottle of wine. I was going to call you to tell you about PRFC but I figured youre probably asleep now with those crazy shifts you’ve been working. Take care and call me if there’s anything.
Your favorite friend and only broker
Who could resist such an appeal from someone who is clearly a good friend though for the moment I cannot recognize the name and don’t recall ever contacting any broker?
This last one is a ‘pump and dump’ scheme, where people buy some actual stock in a real company at cheap prices and then talk it up to everyone in the hope of its price rising briefly so that they can sell their own stock for a profit before the price drops again.
In this case, the racket seems to have worked, suggesting that there are always people who can be duped even by the most obvious of scams.