Older Than You Think

Another story that “can’t” go into the newsletter since it will trigger filters. This one isn’t “adult” in nature, but you’ll understand the filter issue when you read the story.

This “would have been” included in the 9 June 2019 issue:

I’ll Be Damned — It’s True!

After five years of legal maneuvers, investigators have unraveled a “shell company” controlled by Sani Abacha, an Army general who seized power over Nigeria as dictator in 1993, and served as president until his mysterious death in 1998 at age 54. The company, called Doraville, had a bank account on the Bailiwick of Jersey where Abacha funneled money — now worth more than 210 million pounds (US$267 million). The money will be split among Nigeria, Jersey, and the United States, but is thought to be just a small portion of billions of dollars that Gen. Abacha laundered and squirreled away for himself. Last year, US$300 million Abacha embezzled from public funds was returned to Nigeria from banks in Switzerland. (RC/BBC) …And if you will help us get the rest out of the country by using your bank account as a holding place, we will happily let you keep 20 percent for your trouble.

Not the First Time

Just a little of the money from one raid on Nigerian scammers.

I’ve had to use the blog for several such stories over the years, such as the story behind this huge pile of money — which is only a portion of the cash recovered in a raid on Nigerian “419” scammers.

Like what?

Well, there’s the mind-boggling story behind the photo here, from the post This Can’t Go In the Newsletter in 2017. And there’s a page I put up in 2012 so readers could point it out to gullible friends and family, The Nigerian “419” Scam.

As usual, it all comes down to thinking before biting on something that’s too good to be true …since while you’re trying to get their “free money,” you’re really risking your own hard-earned money.

Older Than You Think

It’s an old scam. I don’t mean it goes back to the days of fax machines (and it does — think about that!). Rather, this is what I mean: in 1898, the New York Times called this kind of scam An Old Swindle Revived!

A clip from the 20 March 1898 New York Times. You can read the whole story on their site (subscription required).

But it still works for the scammers, because you know what? There’s a sucker born every minute.

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5 Comments on “Older Than You Think

  1. The fax machine was invented in 1843, though. Maybe the old scam came along with the fax?

    There is a difference between “invented” and “widely adopted”….

  2. Was easier in 1898 when you could target isolated populations that had no access to news or good information.

  3. Why do you just post a teaser — to read the story, we’d have to subscribe to the NYT!

    It’s not proper to copy someone else’s work to your own web site. Headline/teaser is the web standard for linking. You’d prefer I didn’t link it at all? -rc

  4. I received a phone call in April of 2019 from someone calling me ‘grandpa’ and claiming to be my grandson (without using my real grandson’s name). The caller claimed he was in Washington DC and had a car accident and needed cash to get his car back from a towing company — just send him $500 via Western Union telegram.

    I had a long conversation with this person. I thought it was an entertaining variation on the Spanish Prisoner scam and told the caller just that.

  5. I have been reading your column since the 90s, and it’s always been worth the money. I started with the free edition, but the cost of the Premium was reasonable enough to switch.

    I will continue to read it till one of us dies.

    I greatly appreciate your support, Lenny. -rc

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