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Revenge: The “Help Me Get Funds From My Father’s Estate” Scam

This is way off topic for me, but I decided to share this with you.

The other day I received a message from a Stephie Atta:

With Respect, I am Stephie Atta the Only Daugther of late Atta Mamadou. Before the sudden death of my father, he secretly told me that he has a sum of US$6.5M. I will require your assistance in receiving the funds in your account in your country. I will gladly give you 15% of the total sum for your assistance. Awaiting your urgent reply. Regards, Stephie Atta. Note: please reply to my private e-mail box below: (stephie.atta2008@ymail.com )

You’ve seen these before.  I get several a week, every week.

Last autumn I became riveted to a story entitled The Enforcers on the publicly-funded radio show This American Life.  I hesitated putting a reference to the story up on this blog.  But I guess I was pushed over the edge by yet another attempt at scamming me.

Here’s the description of the story from the radio program’s website:

Three guys who go by the names Professor So and So, Jojobean and YeaWhatever spend part of each day running elaborate cons on Internet scammers. They consider themselves enforcers of justice, even after they send a man 1400 miles from home, to the least safe place they can bait him: the border of Darfur. The three self-made enforcers tell Ira their story. (29 and 1/2 minutes)

In short, Ira Glass tells the story of how some “baiters” returned a con on one of the  email con men.

The outcome of this story isn’t pretty.  In fact, I felt the enforcers carried this too way far.  But you may have a different opinion.

Photo credit: © Andrea Danti – Fotolia.com


3 Responses

  1. hallo Dave … off topic for me, too, but here’s another famous person who got hit:
    (well, world-famous in the UK at any rate)

  2. I heard the story on This American Life as well. I thought they went too far, and as I recall, at least one of the three thought so as well, but the others thought the guy got what he deserved.

    The first time I got one of these scam emails I started laughing because it was so poorly done, but I guess, people have lost money and others have actually lost their lives when they travel to Nigeria. Amazing.

  3. Dave,

    These scams are horrible. Thanks for reminding everybody.


    Will Fultz

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