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A message from the FBI ... or maybe notPosted Friday, August 29, 2008, at 2:32 PM
I know that there are people who are fooled by these various Nigerian 419 scams, but honestly, if you just pay the least little bit of attention to them you can easily figure out that they're fake. Do you really believe that you've been singled out to be the middle-man for a multi-million dollar transaction from some deposed African potentate? If so, I'd like to talk to you about taking the Brooklyn Bridge off my hands for a fair price.
Anyway, I got a completely new twist today -- I'm sure the scammer is patting himself on the back for his cleverness, but he's managed to make the fraudulent nature of his appeal even more obvious.
The e-mail claims to be from FBI director Robert Mueller, whose e-mail, you will be surprised to learn, is (and I'll spell it out to keep it from being clickable) federal bureau investigation dept. at yahoo.com!
The message starts out this way: "WE BELIEVE THAT THIS NOTIFICATION MEETS YOU IN A VERY GOOD PRESENT STATE OF MIND AND HEALTH. " Doesn't that sound exactly like a message from the FBI? Of course it does -- on Bizarro World, maybe.
Anyway, "Director Mueller" says it's come to his attention that we might have a transaction going on with the Central Bank of Nigeria, and he wants to set us straight:
"IN CASE YOU ARE ALREADY DEALING WITH ANYBODY OR OFFICE CLAIMING TO BE FROM THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA, YOU ARE FURTHER ADVISED TO STOP FURTHER CONTACT WITH THEM IN YOUR BEST INTEREST AND THEN CONTACT IMMEDIATELY THE REAL OFFICE OF THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN) ONLY WITH THE BELOW INFORMATION'S ACCORDINGLY:"
So, in other words, don't send your money to those other scammers. We'll be more than happy to take it from you instead.
Riiiiiiight. You just keep on waiting, there, "Director Mueller"; my check is in the mail.
Actually, I'm pleased to say this particular e-mail was caught by the spam filter on my personal account, but the FBI subject line made me take a second look, just out of curiosity.
John I. Carney is city editor of the Times-Gazette.
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