Tuesday 25 January 2005

Avarice Anonymous

A business opportunity for the non-thinking expert
For years, a number of enterprising but nefarious and dishonest people have traded successfully in exploiting an abundant resource of gullibility and greed. Surprisingly, this resource has been more abundant in the West than in the Third World where these business deals are hatched from.
It is with amusement that one has watched the re-living of that fable, moral, idiom or ditty - "A fool and his money are soon parted" [1]. Whilst one does not in anyway condone these activities, having an education and being dumb is probably the congenital illness of many who are duped into "Get rich quick - GRQ" schemes.
The only GRQ I tacitly approve of is the moderate activity of minimum funding of a licensed lottery where the fact is you have to be in it to win it, your numbers could come up, but it is not something to invest in and break the bank. One ticket with your chosen numbers is just as good as a thousand with your numbers, only one set of numbers would take the jackpot, if and only if Lady Luck called at your boudoir.
Dear Partner? Are you talking to me?
Anyway, back to this scamming business, I hardly get as excited about email as when someone out of the blue sends me some information with a header like this:
Dear Partner
My name is Owen Kings; I am the credit manager in a bank here in the West Africa.
Then the proposition
I am the account officer of a foreigner named Gerald Welsh who died in an air crash along with his wife on the 31st October 1999 in an Egyptian airline 990 with other passengers on board. You can confirm this from the website below which was published by CNN WEBSITE.
Fine, there is a few million dollars to be made for masquerading as the long lost heir of a deceased Bwana; say William Wilberforce for example or a despot like Sani Abacha, warlord or corrupt African Mandarin, whatever.
In some versions of the letter the amount in words does not correspond to the figures. [2]
Take time to find out
A simple act of detective footwork – that is – searching the Web for either “Owen Kings” or “Gerald Welsh” reveals it is a 419-scam. [3] Otherwise known as Advance Fee Fraud. In my view it is simply Wily Fox meeting Stupid Chicken – the result of that meeting hardly needs extraneous imagination.
The conclusion of this deal normally includes you sending your account details and a fee to help unlock the account. This fee can run into millions of dollars with the hope of earning more millions.
However, you get fleeced, No not robbed; because you willingly parted with money with the inadvertent intent of being an accomplice in a crime that might bring great reward.
The business proposition at times end with this nice sounding part
Because I intend to retire after the conclusion of this transaction. If this proposal is acceptable by you, please endeavour to contact me immediately. Do not take undue advantage of the trust I have bestowed in you by informing you of this transaction from my bank as I will advise you to kindly desist from responding at all if you do NOT intend to render any assistance. Endeavour to respond via my confidential and official email address which is richschol_white@yahoo.com or call me on +234-8034-7444-81 for detail information.
Indeed, your partner intends to retire on your funds and does not take kindly to your further inquiries if you are not gullible enough to respond in the affirmative to the proposal. The cheek!
My Retort
I will help you; we are not stupid people here.
First of all, your CNN reference does not exist.
Secondly, a search for Gerald Welsh on Google reveals that your letter is a 419 scam.
Thirdly, I have reported your nuisance to the ISP staff so your account would be removed forthwith.
Finally, get yourself a job and stop this dishonest stupidity, that you have the gall to call me partner in your nefarious scheme is too much of an insult to contemplate an effective response other than a rotten expletive.
Saving people from themselves
What one finds most surprising is the number of sites that offer help to people who have succumbed to their greed just as fish take to water. One wonders what help can be offered for the lacking of basic commonsense in the quest for easy money.
Luckily, I am not in law enforcement, the total redress for this situation is to both capture the scammer and the scammed who in addition to the shame of being humiliated and having lost money should be taken off the street.
These people are the selfsame sort who feed the beast of corruption that makes many Third World societies ungovernable.
Should there be a crime for giving in to your greed? Well not if you are having cheese cake, for the rest, the blame can only be yours - Surely!
[1] A fool and his money are soon parted
[2] Foreigner Named Gerald Welsh who Died in an Air Crash along with his Wife on the 31st October 1999
[3] Nigeria - The 419 Coalition Website
[4] 419 Known Operatives - FraudWatch International

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