This scammer has a gift. That’s the only way I can put it. In this scam email our hopeful scammer presents us with a compelling story as the backdrop for his ploy. Even with the numerous grammatical errors, and maybe somewhat because of them, the sincerity evident in this email engages us at our emotional center.
It is so unique in this respect that I am presenting it here as I received it, no BOLD Scam Flags, no snide comments in parentheses. Read it as if you had just received it and see for yourself if this one doesn’t tug a little at the heartstrings….
My dear Beloved,
I am Tom Toon the only son of late Mr. and Mrs. George Toon. My father was a wealthy cocoa and GOLD merchant in Abidjan; the capital city of Ivory Coast, my father was poisoned to death by his business associates on one of their outings on a business trip. My mother died when I was a baby and since then my father took me so special, before the death of my father on January 2002 in a private Hospital here in Abidjan he secretly called me on his bed side and told me that he has the sum of Nine million, three hundred thousand US Dollars. (US$9.3M) and Gold left in security vault in a foreign city which he deposited as family antiques. He also explained to me that it was because of this wealth that he was poisoned by his business associates.
That I should seek for a foreign partner in a country of my choice where I will take the money and use it for investment purpose such as real estate management or hotel management but I want to go into diary products. My dear, I am honorably seeking your assistance in the following ways:
1. To provide a non-resident bank account to facilitate the possible transfer of the money.
2 To serve as a guardian of these funds and for investment since.
3. To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education and to secure a resident permit in your country.
4. To change the name of the deposited item and beneficiary to your name since those responsible for the death of father the political affluence in my country and are after my life but I escape to neighboring country and will not want anything to be trace to me so they can’t get any information about me because I am living under disguise. Please, save my soul and help give me a future.
My dear, I am willing to offer you 40% of the total sum as compensation for your effort/ input after the successful transfer of this fund into your nominated account overseas. Furthermore, you indicate your options towards assisting me as I believe that this transaction would be concluded within the shortest possible time, you signify interest to assist me. Anticipating hearing from you soon.
Thanks and God bless.
PLEASE, THIS IS MY HOPE, I WANT YOU TO TAKE THIS INTO CONSIDERATION FOR CONFIDENTIALITY AND YOU CAN ALWAYS REACH ME DIRECTLY TO THIS E-MAIL email@example.com
My Heart Bleeds… Then Again, All Hearts Bleed
See what I mean? By the time you finish reading there’s just a small bit of doubt in your mind. Nowhere is the request for name, address, phone, bank accounts. Nowhere is the urgent call to contact some “agent”. This may be for real, you might think.
You might think it, but you shouldn’t. This one is just as intent on stealing your identity as the rest. Want proof? It’s in the header. Normally, you won’t see all this information when you read your emails. Most email programs are set to display the basic stuff: who it’s from, who it’s for, what it’s about. But if you look under the VIEW menu, you might find something that shows you the “Source”.
Let’s look at the source header for this email. From here out, it’s just like it always is, Scam Flags in BOLD. I’ll save my comments for last. Read on…
From – Tue May 13 19:58:02 2008
Received: (qmail 29392 invoked from network); 13 May 2008 23:54:35 -0000
Received: from unknown (HELO p3presmtp01-04.prod.phx3.secureserver.net) ([220.127.116.11])
by smtp27.prod.mesa1.secureserver.net (qmail-1.03) with SMTP
for ; 13 May 2008 23:54:35 -0000
Received: (qmail 15758 invoked from network); 13 May 2008 23:54:35 -0000
Received: from xyz.131.133.198.west-datacenter.net (HELO uaecourier.com) ([xyz.131.133.198])
by p3presmtp01-04.prod.phx3.secureserver.net (qmail-ldap-1.03) with SMTP
for ; 13 May 2008 23:54:35 -0000
Received: from User ([18.104.22.168])
by uaecourier.com (8.13.1/8.13.1) with ESMTP id m4obscured900;
Tue, 13 May 2008 17:50:09 -0600
From: “Tom Toon”
Subject: PLEASE SAVE MY SOUL AND HELP GIVE ME A FUTURE.
Date: Wed, 14 May 2008 00:50:39 +0200
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2600.0000
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2600.0000
X-Antivirus: AVG for E-mail 7.5.524 [269.23.16/1430]
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=Windows-1251
Notice the email addresses. We see that the email actually originated from an email address @uaecourier.com, not yahoo.fr as Tommy Toon would like us to believe. It then was relayed by vip.sina.com, which happens to be one of the largest email providers in China. Easy to get lost in that bunch… After that the email bounced around the web for few minutes until it found its way into my inbox.
You might argue that, after reading the email, of course he had to resort to such tactics so as not to be found out by his father’s enemies. I would counter that if this guy has that kind of expertise (it’s not exactly common knowledge how to route an email through multiple accounts), then this guy doesn’t need our help. I would also point out that he tells us that he has already left his home country, so he is perfectly capable of acquiring the money himself.
This is a scam. Don’t fall for it. If your “heart” makes you reach out to these people, then expect it to be trampled upon, “my dearest”.
I am Jon, and my sincerity is real.