Saturday, November 24, 2007

P. T. Barnum Lives

Five years ago, when the Nigerian bank scam was really hot, I decided to engage a spammer in correspondence because his approach was so creative. Keep in mind, these kinds of scams, which started in the fax age, continued for many years because enough people fell for them! I found it interesting that after a while he began responding as himself rather than his character.

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At 03:59 PM 5/8/2002 +0000, you wrote:

Dear sir,

I am MR. J. AGBATA AGULU, former accountant general and contract award member committee to the Nigeria Football association, parent body of the world youths championship, Nigeria 99' Local Organizing Committee, an affiliate of Federation of International Football Association (FIFA).

In the course of our preparation to host the world youth soccer championship tagged (NIG' 99). Early two years ago, huge sum of money running into millions of United States dollars was budgeted by the then Military Government for the successful organization of this competition.

In the same vain, FIFA via his president, MR. JOSEPH (SEPP)BLATER, made millions of dollars available for the same project. The Federal Ministry of Sports in present position of Mr. Damishi Sango and othert corporate organization and football loving individuals who made huge donations.

However, in my capacity as the accountant general, to both the local organizing committee (LOC), and the Nigeria Football Association(NFA), I and some of my colleagues in sensitive positions were able to compromise our position here to over inflate or over-invoice most contracts, which were awarded for the construction and the refurbishing of the 8 STADIA used for the competition. The contractors who handled these projects have been paid-off.

It is pertinent to note that a total sum of FORTY-SEVEN MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED UNITED STATES DOLLARS (US$47,000,000.00) was realized as OVER-INVOICE after the successful completion of all the Stadia. This over-Invoiced sum is lying in my organization's (NFA) suspense account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), ready for transfer into the beneficiary's account oversea, waiting for the appropriate opportunity to do so. In this year's (2002) budget speech, the new civilian president has ordered that all foreign contractor's debt should be paid in order to boost more foreign investor into Nigeria.

On this note, I have been unanimously mandated by my two colleagues to seek for a honest and trustworthy foreigner who will assist in ensuring the successful transfer of the above sum into a personal/company's account since the Nigeria Code of conduct does not allow us (CIVIL SERVANTS) to operate a foreign account. Hence, I called your embassy that described your country as being economically conducive for investment and her people as transparent and trustworthy to engage in business on which premises I write YOU.

It is also pertinent to let you know that 30% of the total fund will be for you, while 10% will be used to settle any expenses that might be incurred by both parties and the remaining 60% will before us (I and my colleagues to be invested for us into foreign investment by you in your country).

You might be surprise, amazed and curious of an offer like this, but be rest assured that this business is real and genuine as every modalities and logistics towards the successful transfer of this fund has been worked out. All we require from you is your co-operation. This transaction is leak-proof. We kindly request that you accord it the highest level of secrecy it deserves. Your swift response will be highly appreciated.

Best regards,


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Receiver : "MR. J. AGBATA AGULU."
Date : Thu, 09 May 2002 07:53:00 -0400
Subject : Re: Attn the Sir,

Kind sir, I will do this if you'll buy my bridge in Brooklyn.

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At 12:34 AM 5/11/2002 -0700, you wrote:




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Receiver : "Jim Ezeh"
Date : Sat, 11 May 2002 22:43:39 -0400
Subject : Re: Attn the

Dear Mr. Agbata,

This is an interesting story. In 1964 my uncle, then Vice President of Brooklyn, took possession of the Brooklyn Bridge through an unorthodox transaction involving the Pipefitters Union, Local1252.

Mr. Antonio Fugazi, Vice Principal of the Union had assumed ownership through a scheme involving over-invoicing the Office of the President of Brooklyn. My uncle, the Vice President, learned of this scheme and convinced Mr. Fugazi to relinquish ownership of the bridge, lest this scheme be made public. After all, under Brooklyn law, Mr. Fugazi could have received the death penalty.

My uncle passed away last year, and I was his executor and sole beneficiary. Now I am in possession of the bridge, and am in a very difficult situation. The bridge has been appraised as being worth $2.4 billion US dollars. However, it is a cash drain at present since it needs many repairs.

I have attempted to institute tolls at both ends. This worked well at the Brooklyn end of the bridge, where I made an arrangement with the current President of Brooklyn to pay him 10% of my revenue. But on the Manhattan side, the representative of King Bloomberg has refused to allow a toll booth to be erected unless I first make a cash payment to the King of $25 million US dollars.

Thus, I propose that you become my partner in this effort by advancing me the $25 million. Then, once I have erected the Manhattan side toll booth, the bridge will be a viable business. We can then easily find a willing buyer who will pay the appraised value of $2.4 billion which I propose to share equally with you. After all, without the $25 million advance, the bridge is really worth nothing to me, but with your cooperation, I can realize $1.2 billion dollars in value, all exempt from US taxes.

If you agree to this cooperation, please respond with the following information:

Bank Name
Routing Number
Account Name
Account Number

I will then proceed to draft an agreement per the above description and make the transfer of $25 million. I expect the process of erecting the new toll booth (for which I have the funds – I just need help with the King's $25 mil) and then finding a buyer for the bridge to take one month, and perhaps one month from then until I receive the $2.4 billion. I will then immediately transfer your $1.2 billion to the same account unless you provide different instructions.

I look forward to your positive response.


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At 07:36 PM 5/14/2002 -0700, you wrote:



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Receiver : "Jim Ezeh"
Date : Tue, 14 May 2002 22:56:20 -0400
Subject : Re: Attn the Sir,

Sure, but what did you think about the Washington Post article I sent you earlier?

(Note: I had earlier copied him an article from April 29th about victims of similar scams)

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At 05:41 PM 5/15/2002 -0700, you wrote:



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Receiver : "Jim Ezeh"
Date : Wed, 15 May 2002 22:22:36 -0400
Subject : Re: Attn the Sir,

I think it shows that you and your friends are perpetrating a clever but heartless scam aimed at parting greedy and foolish people from their money. I amazed that it has worked, but can't believe anyone finds it credible anymore when people like me are getting 2 - 3 letters like your s every day.

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At 04:28 PM 5/16/2002 -0700, you wrote:


Sphere: Related Content


Writeprocrastinator said...

"Mr. Antonio Fugazi"

Paging Mr. John J. Pyramid. Paging Mr. John J. Pyramid.

I bow down to you, oh future leader of Brooklyn.

Writeprocrastinator said...

Happy Hannukah!