November 07, 2008Who Needs Soap Operas?
I'm convinced that 419 message writers—if only they knew how to use the CapsLock key—could find legitimate work writing for soap operas. Just like the daily TV "stories," 419 messages are tall tales that repeat themselves from time to time, usually involving death, sorrow, intrigue, and a hope for a better tomorrow.
Last month I wrote about a 419 message that included the story line of someone trying to muscle in on my "lottery winnings" by claiming to represent me in claiming the dough. That was supposed to get my dander up and trigger me to call/email the 419er.
Another variation on that theme arrived today. This time the letter was better-crafted than most, and claimed to originate from HSBC Bank in London. Get a cup of coffee, open up a box of bon-bons, and enjoy the story:
HSBC BANK PLC LONDON.(REGISTERED NO.1026167).
ADDRESS: 8 CANADA SQUARE LONDON , E14 5HQ ,
Chairman Committee On Foreign Contract And
Inheritance fund Payment Notification
FROM:HSBC BANK PLC LONDON.
The U.S.A Government, World Bank And United Nations Organization Official Has Approved to pay you part payment of your contract/Inheritance Fund payment Valued at USD$1.3m in conjunction with British Government and HSBC BANK PLC LONDON.
This decision was made last week.With this development, a woman by name (MRS: JANET WHITE) came to our office with an application stating that you gave her the power of attorney to be the beneficiary of your outstanding contract/Inheritance/award funds. She made us to believe that you are dead and that she is your next of kin. We got your email address and decided to send an email through this address hoping to find out if you are dead or alive and also to find out if you at any time gave this woman the power of attorney to represent you.
Please let us know also if you are aware that we are almost ready to transfer part payment of $1.3m USD of your outstanding funds to her nominated bank account stated below:
Bank Name:Washington Mutual Bank
Address:1723 Palmdale Bulv.
Palmdale Ca. 93550
Acct # : 3573813158
Rout # : 322271627
Swift code # : WMSBUS66
If you are not aware of the above instruction, do respond to this email immediately by contacting the Chairman of the International remittance department (Mr.Douglas Flint)
His contact information are written below:
Direct Telephone Number:+44-70-[removed]
For immediate transfer of your funds be informed that you are not allowed to correspond or contact any person or office with respect to this transfer other than this office, you are required to send to him an email with your full following information below:
1) YOUR FULL NAME__________________
2) RESIDENCE ADDRESS, CITY, STATE AND COUNTRY_______________________
3) PERSONAL CELL PHONE, FAX AND MOBILE PHONE NUMBER_________________________
Mr. Alex Hungate.
HSBC BANK PLC LONDON.
This guy reached deep to add respectability to his missive, dropping the names of the U.S. Government (whatever that is), World Bank, United Nations, and British Government. As preposterous as this sounds to experienced 419 readers, I certainly can see technophobic retirees getting caught up in this scam, failing to recognize that someone claiming to be an HSBC department chairman is relying on a free Hotmail account for official correspondence.
The belief that someone is roaming around London claiming to have power of attorney for your non-dead self could be a scary prospect to the unwary. All that Washington Mutual bank information looks mighty real, too (there really is a WAMU branch at that Palmdale address).
But it's all a hoax to get you to engage with the crooks. Once they have you on the hook, they'll reel you in like a carp.Posted on November 07, 2008 at 09:08 AM