Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Opportunity Knocks?

"Dear Friend,
My name is LOI C.ESTRADA,The wife of Mr. JOSEPH ESTRADA, the former
President of Philippines located in the South East Asia. My husband was recently impeached from office by a backed uprising of mass demonstrators and the Senate. My husband is presently in jail and facing trial on charges of corruption, embezzlement, and the mysterious charge of plunder which might lead to death sentence. The present government is forcing my husband out of Manila to avoid demonstration by his supporter. During my husband's regime as president of Philippine, I realized some reasonable amount of money from various deals that I successfully executed. I have plans to invest this money for my children's future on real estate and industrial production. My husband is not aware of this because I wish to do it secretly for now. Before my husband was impeached,I secretly siphoned the sum of $38,000,000 million USD (Thirty Eight million United states dollars) out of Philippines and deposited the money with a Finance firm that transports valuable goods and consignments through diplomatic means.
I am contacting you because I want you to represent me as the
beneficiary at the finance firm and claim the money on my behalf since I have declared that the consignment belong to my foreign business partner. You shall also be required to assist me in investment my share in your country.
I hope to trust you as a God fearing person who will not sit on this money when you claim it, rather assist me properly, I expect you to declare what percentage of the total money you
will take for your assistance, When I receive your positive response I will let you know where the Finanace company is and the payment pin code to claim the money which is very important. For now, let all our communication be by e-mail because my lines are
right now connected to the Philippines Telecommunication Network services.
Please also send me your telephone and fax number. I will ask my son to contact you to give you more details on the transaction and speedy the completion as soon as I received a positive response from you.
Thank you and God bless you and family.
Mrs. Loi C. Estrada "

So, the con artists are getting a little bit more clever are they? Everyone knows about the scams emanating from Nigeria that ask you to send them some money in order to unlock a huge amount more so they have to try some new tactics.

Firstly, you'll notice that it's from the Phillipines instead of Nigeria. As if changing the country is going to fool anyone who knows about the scam already. Then there is the blatant name dropping. Do they really expect me to reply to them just because they mention Joseph Estrada and God? I'm sure that Mr Estrada's wife is called Loi but anyone can claim to be someone else when they're online.

More subtle, though is the lack of any request for money. Instead they want you to give them contact details so they can let you know what to do next. No doubt they are more persuasive over the phone. They also dangle in front of you the intriguing prospect of being able to decide how much of the money you will keep for yourself.

Unfortunately, I can see some people falling for this as they have done for previous incarnations of this con. Me, though, I think I'll pass.

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