Friday, April 25, 2008

US Treasury Department Identity Theft Video

Anatomy of a “Nigerian Letter” Scam Part

Here is a letter I received by email today. It is a variety of the “Nigerian Letter” or 419 Scam whereby identity thieves attempt to obtain information in order to commit identity theft or other crimes. I receive at least ten of these letters per week this is one of the better ones. The writer claims to be from Togo and at least names a real city in that country. I have reprinted the letter in full and the reasons why it is an obvious scam. When I receive their reply letter I will post it as well.

Dear Friend,

May the peace of our Lord be upon you and your family.

I crave your indulgence at this mail coming from somebody you have not know before. I decided to do this after praying over the situation. You should please consider the transaction on its content and not the fact that you have not known me before. I need not dwell on how I came by your contact information because there are many such possibilities these days.

I would like to introduce myself as Mrs. Charite Habibi, of Repulic of Togo, widow to Late Mr. Usman Habibi (former Consular of the Togo Embassy in Madrid - Spain ) .I have been recently been diagnosed of Cancer of the Pelvics.

I am writing from my sick bed. There is this US$10.5Million my husband deposited with my name in a bank, here in
Lome, Republic of Togo. With my health condition and because my husband and I have no children, I am looking for a credible person to whom I will pass the right of next of kin.This person will apply to the bank and request from them, the procedure towards retrieving the fund from them.This is on the condition that you will take 25% of the fund for yourself, 5% used for expenses, while you will use the remaining 70% for the less previlege people in the society. This is in fulfilment of the last request of my husband: that a substantial part of the fund be used to carter for the less previleged.

If this condition is acceptable to you, you should contact me immediately with your full names and contact information so that I will send you the document that the bank issued on my name when the funds was deposited. So that you will contact the bank directly, and demand from them the procedure towards the release of the fund to you from their bank. I cannot predict what will be my fate by the time you wll recieve the fund, but you should please ensure that the fund is used as I have described above.

I will be most grateful if you can come forward and help me so that I will give you more details and the contact details of an attorney I have told about the matter.

Please think about this project and give it a second thought before you Consider this and get back to me as soon as possible. Finally, it is my humble prayer that the information as contained herein be accorded the necessary attention, urgency as well as the secrecy it deserves.

I Expect your urgent response if you can handle this project. Email me back for more details.

Respectfully yours,

Mrs. Charite Habibi .

How do we know that this is a scam:

1. It is too good to be true. Wealthy people do not contact strangers offering to give them large sums of money for free. If a deal is too good to be true, rest assured that it is.

2. This email came from Why would a widow in Togo have an American Yahoo Account?

3. A Google search for “Usman Habibi” produced another copy of the same letter on a bulletin board on a French language website as a comment to an article about drinking bottled or tap water.

4. The same letter was posted on March 15, 2008 at by Mrs. Faith Ali. Who also clamed to be the widow of Usman Habibi. It is quite a coincidence that Mr. Habibi had two wives, left $10.5 Million to each, and that both of them developed “cancer of the pelvics”.

5. A search of the telephone directory in Madrid showed no listings for a Togo embassy in Madrid. In fact, Togo only has embassies in Brussels, Paris, Ottawa, and Washington DC.

It is important to note that these scammers use made up names when sending these letters. If Usman Habibi, Faith Ali or Charite Habibi even exist in all likelihood, they are also innocent victims of these con artists. Personal Finance News