Police warn of e-mail scam 07-16-04

PHONE: 961-2255
JULY 16, 2004


Police are warning Big Island residents about another scam, this one in the form of an e-mail letter from the Ivory Coast in Africa in which the recipient is offered $1.1 million in a scheme to pose as the “foreign business partner” of a man who had allegedly died.

In the letter, allegedly written by “Santos Joe,” the writer says he is the son of a businessman who was poisoned to death by one of his business partners.

Before the businessman “died,” he allegedly told his son he had deposited $4.4 million in an Ivory Coast bank account. He also allegedly told his son to “seek for a foreign partner in a country of my choice where I will transfer this money and use it for investment in a viable venture.”

The writer asks the recipient to go to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, pose as the “foreign business partner” to withdraw the money and “serve as guardian of this fund.”

He concludes: “I am willing to offer you 25 percent of the total sum as compensation for your effort after the successful transfer of this fund into your nominated account oversees.”

The letter then gives a telephone number to call.

Captain Samuel Thomas, head of the East Hawaii Criminal Investigation Division, cautioned residents to be wary of this or any similar offers.

“What they are really after is information about your bank account,” Thomas said. “Once they get that information, they will wipe your bank account clean.”

“Remember, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it most probably is,” Thomas said.

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