Monday, August 17, 2009

Email scams: From Nigerian princes to Three Kings

We've gotten our share of emails from African princes offering us huge sums of money if we'd help move funds from their country by giving them our banking information, and only fell for what turned out to be the "Nigerian email scam" once or twice. Then this weekend, we received a new attempt to separate us from our money that preyed on our patriotism as well as our greed.

It's a chance to take 30% of "legal" "oil money" that a "military unit" is trying to "move out of" Iraq. The Iraq war scenario with a twist from Three Kings (David O. Russell's 1999 film about four US soldiers attempting to steal gold bullion from Iraqi bunkers) turns out to be a version of a 419 email scam that's been circulating for a few years now:

From: Cpt Elton Deric
I am in need of your assistance. My name is Elton Deric I am in the Engineering military unit here in Ba'qubah in Iraq, we have some amount of funds that we want to move out of the country.
My partners and I need a good partner someone we can trust. It is oil money and legal. Basically since we are working for the government we cannot keep these funds, but we want to transfer and move the funds to you, so that you can keep it for us in your safe account or an offshore account. But we are moving it through Diplomatic means, to send it to your house directly or a bank of your choice using Diplomatic Courier Service.
The most important thing is that can we trust you? Once the funds get to you, you take your 30% out and keep our own 70%. Your own part of this deal is to find a safe place where the funds can be sent to. Our own part is sending it to you. If you are interested i will furnish you with more details.
But the whole process is simple and we must keep a low profile at all times. Waiting for your urgent response
Have a nice day
Elton Deric

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