January 06, 2005A Nimble 419er: Abu Oma (& Mother)
I don't normally bother reading every 419 (advance-fee) scam letter that arrives. I mean, there are only so many hours in a day, and untangling near-English (intentional or otherwise) has grown rather old. Plenty of other people on the Web perform a variety of forensic analyses on these missives that nonetheless hornswaggle too many greedy victims out of hundreds of thousands of dollars each.
Every once in awhile, though, my curiosity gets the better of me. Just to keep up on the latest 419 schemes and see if a chuckle lies within. Last month's plea from a woman claiming she was near death due to (I kid you not) prostate cancer shows you that there is occasional entertainment value to this tripe.
Thus, today, I found one in my Suspects pile claiming to be from "Abu Oma & Mother." Their sad story had them being refugees from Sudan, now seeking asylum in Senegal. Unlike hundreds of other stories I've read, theirs lacked a certain logic, but the story goes that Abu's father had been assassinated in the Sudan. Not particularly up on his geography, Abu tells me:
My late father HON DR. FELIX OMA who was the former ministre of finance and economy in Sudan before he was assinated by the rebbles in the captal city of Khartoon 2003.
Sorry, Abu. My mind drifted to picturing the Flintstones' kid, Pebbles, in a cartoon.
Abu and Mom not only managed to get out of the country, but they also got $10.5 million out, too. They now want to come to some other country (I guess it doesn't matter which one) as soon as they find a "trust worthy foriegn personality to help us transfer the money and invest it in his country." The rest is classic 419 stuff.
Out of additional curiosity, I did a little due diligence. Actually appallingly little due diligence. Searching for "Abu Oma" in Google, I found that he (and Mom) have been at this under the same name for about a month. Using the precise same Senegalese telephone number (probably a cell phone) for a contact number, he made similar pleas earlier for the same amount of money. Last month, he was the son of a murdered Sierra Leone general, named Almammy ("How I luv ya") Abu.
Okay, the picture is finally coming clear. Mother Oma is a transnational bigamist, whose husbands unfortunately get killed after amassing exactly 10.5 mill. Sort of the inverse of the movie "Speed." Keep your secret bank stash under $10.5M, and you live; reach that magic number, and you'll be Bam-Bammed, while your widow and son Abu head for the computer to give away a chunk of your hardly-earned money to a complete stranger.
What if I helped them come here? Might I fall under the spell of the apparently desirable Mrs. Oma? Would my stepson, Abu, take on my family name as he did with his other "dads?" They'd help me amass a fortune that could reach $10.5M. Uh oh.
If you should get an URGENT BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY message from Abu Oma Goodman (& Mother), do some due diligence first.Posted on January 06, 2005 at 05:50 PM