JimWes Thinks

February 28, 2015

Nigeria Scam Hijacked by Ghanaian Auditor (part 2 of 3)

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 4:54 pm

The Nigeria or ‘419” scam spread across Africa before it became fully globalized a few years ago. Still, the majority of the scam solicitations come from the appropriately named “Dark Continent.” Millions of scam e-mails are sent out from Africa across the spectrum of the Internet but Nigeria still is champion.  Advance fee romance scams,” fleecing lonely folks seeking love, are one of the top moneymakers for the Nigerian scam artists, but great ingenuity is displayed by a wide variety of nefarious solicitations preying upon the avarice of weak human victims.

According to an article published last year quoting from the 2011 Internet Crime Report : “In 2011, the FBI received close to 30,000 reports of advance fee ploys, called “419 scams” after the section of the Nigerian criminal code that outlaws fraud. The agency received over 4,000 complaints of advance fee romance scams in 2012, with victim losses totaling over $55 million.”  This is a truly growth industry. In 2013 the FBI received over 6000 complaints .Targeted victims are usually people aged 40 years and older, divorced, widowed, disabled, and often elderly.

Of the hundreds of disgusting (though often interesting due to their originality) Nigeria scam requests I have received via e-mail and Skype over the past few years, one finally pushed my button causing an eruption of ire. It was the first and only scam request I have ever received from an AUDITOR.

Now I happen to be a CPA and auditor having practiced, taught and written about my proud profession over the past 60 years and having been very active over the years in professional organizations like the Institute of Internal Auditors and the Interamerican Accounting Association. Thus the following e-mail from an allegedly traitorous auditor lit my fuse. (I know, of course, that the person and post mentioned are fictitious and the author is not an auditor but a crook, but it is the principle of the thing — the insult to my profession).

Here is the Skype message received followed by my reply:

“Charles Cofie. would like to add you on Skype

ATTN:

I am Charles Cofie director in charge of auditing and accounting section in Barclays bank Ghana, West Africa. With due respect and regard I have decided to contact you on a business transaction that will be very beneficial to both of us at the end of the transaction.

During our investigation and auditing in this bank, my department came across a very huge sum of money belonging to a deceased person who died on November 1997 in a plane crash and the fund has been dormant in his account with this Bank without any claim of the fund in our custody either from his family or relation before our discovery to this development.

Although personally, I keep this information secret within myself and partners to enable the whole plans and idea be Profitable and successful during the time of execution. The said amount was US$12.5M (Twelve million five united states dollars).

As it may interest you to know, I got your impressive information through my good friends who works with chamber of commerce on foreign business relations here in Accra Ghana. It is him who recommended your person to me to be viable and capable to champion a business of such magnitude without any problem.

Meanwhile all the whole arrangement to put claim over this fund as the bona fide next of kin to the deceased, get the required approval and transfer this money to a foreign account has been put in place and directives and needed information will be relayed to you as soon as you indicate your interest and willingness to assist us and also benefit yourself to this great business opportunity.

In fact I could have done this deal alone but because of my position in this country as a civil servant, we are not allowed to operate a foreign account and would eventually raise an eye brow on my side during the time of transfer because I work in this bank.

This is the actual reason why it will require a second party or fellow who will forward claims as the next of kin to the Bank and also present a foreign account where he will need the money to be re-transferred into on his request as it may be after due verification and clarification by the correspondent branch of the bank here the whole money will be remitted from to your own designated bank account.

I will not fail to inform you that this transaction is 100% risk free.

On smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 35% of the total sum as gratification, while 5% will be set aside to take care of expenses that may arise during the time of transfer and also telephone bills, while 60% will be for me and my partners.

Please, you have been advised to keep top secret as we are still in service and intend to retire from service after we conclude this deal with you.

I will be monitoring the whole situation here in this bank until you confirm the money in your account and ask us to come down to your country for subsequent sharing of the fund according to percentages previously indicated and further investment, either in your country or any country you advice us to invest in. All other necessary information will be sent to you when I hear from you.

I suggest you get back to me as soon as possible stating your wish in this deal.

My personal email address: charlescofie633@gmail.com

Yours faithfully, Mr Charles Cofie”

—-

REPLY: Dear Mr. Cofie:

Words cannot express my intense feelings upon the receipt of your Skyped message yesterday. The degree of respect and regard for me that you declared are abundantly clear as well as the respective potential financial effect upon both of us as a result of the successful conclusion of the transaction you propose. I am certainly surprised and pleased that I am known to the chamber of commerce on foreign business relations in Accra since I have never traveled to, or worked in, Africa.

I regret that I cannot immediately assist you and your partners in carrying out the brilliant and intricately designed financial transaction you suggest. The fact is that I have recently been arrested by the prosecutorial authorities here having been accused, unjustly of course, of a similar activity. Thus at present I do not have the full freedom to act that you presuppose. Notwithstanding, the good news is that my bail is a mere $10,000; therefore upon paying it I shall be able to flee the country and join your illustrious and industrious group in Ghana.

What is needed, of course is that you forward to me immediately, at the address you already have, a cashier’s check in the amount of $15,000 to cover my bail and airfare. Based upon your profession of faith in my character and business acuity, I am sure that I shall receive the needed funds within the next few days.

I remain truly and sincerely your humble servant.

Ripe Pickens, CPA, CIA, CFE

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