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December 16, 2007

One Sick 419er

Even if you think you've seen it all when it comes to tricks used by advance-fee (a.k.a. 419) fraudsters, one sick dude (or dudette) finds another way to sink several steps lower than what has come before. We've read the stories from cancer-riddled widows of deposed African ministers and we've won more lotteries than you can shake a stick at. Everybody simply can't wait to give us millions of dollars, euros, or pounds.

With so many 419 scams around the Internet—and the similarity of the pitches—the crooks try to make their initial offerings sound more legitimate. Why not commit fraud in the name of one of the most respected human rights organizations? Case in point:

Corso Ercole I d'Este 44,
Ferrara 44100 - Italy.

Executive Secretary: John Nichole
Email: [removed]@yahoo.it

Foundation's Officer,
Fondazion Di Amesty, ITALY


The Foundazion di Amesty, would like to notify you that you have been Chosen by the board of trustees as one of the final recipients of a Cash Grant/Donation for your own personal, educational, and business Development.

To celebrate the 28th anniversary program, The Amnesty Foundation in conjunction with the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS),United Nations Organization (UNO) and the European Union (EU) is giving out a yearly donation of US$500, 000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) to 100 lucky recipients. These specific Donations/Grants will be awarded to 100 lucky international recipients worldwide in different categories for their personal business development and enhancement of their educational plans. At least 15% of the awarded funds should be used by you to develop a part of your environment.
This is a yearly program, which is a measure of universal development strategy.

You are required to fill the form below and email it to our Executive Secretary below for qualification documentation and processing of your claims. After contacting our office with the requested data, you will be given your donation pin number, which you will use in collecting the funds. Please endeavor to quote your Qualification numbers (N-222-6747, E-900-56) in all discussions.

FULL NAMES: __________________________________
ADDRESS: _____________________________________
CITY: _________________________
STATE: __________________________________
ZIP: ______________
SEX: _______________
AGE: __________________
MARITAL STATUS: _________________
OCCUPATION: ________________________
E-MAIL ADDRESS: _____________________________
TELEPHONE NUMBER: _____________________


Executive Secretary: John Nichole
Email: [removed]@yahoo.it

All information is strictly confidential and will only be used for the
purpose to which it is been requested.

On behalf of the Board kindly, accept our warmest congratulations.

(Foundation Officer)

The web site address supplied at the top of the message is the real Amnesty International site for Italy. I truly fear that those recipients who don't recognize this as a 419 scam will visit the site and deem this message to be legitimate. With bills from Christmas presents coming due next month, 500 grand would seem to come in handy.

Except that those who swallow the bait will be asked to fork over thousands of dollars for various processing fees and taxes...and then never see a dime.

I have a gleeful vision of this crook getting caught in, let's say, Nigeria and then being tossed into prison. The sad part is that Amnesty International would probably come to the prisoner's aid if he were being treated inhumanely. At least one party in the whole mess has a heart.

Posted on December 16, 2007 at 09:50 PM