Residents Warned of E-mail Scam 03-27-01

PHONE: 961-2254
MARCH 27, 2001


Police are warning Big Island residents to be wary of another scam originating from Nigeria — this one using the Internet’s e-mail.

In this version of the scam, a person representing himself as the manager of the Union Bank of Nigeria in Lagos offers the recipient a scheme in which the recipient is to represent himself as the next of kin of an alleged engineer and oil merchant with the federal government of Nigeria who was killed in a “ghastly air crash.”

According to the writer, who identifies himself as “Dickson Lakaya,” the dead engineer, identified as “Johnson Creek,” died leaving $38.5 million in the bank.

If no one related to Creek comes forward to claim the $38.5 million, the letter writer says, the money will be declared “unclaimable” and subsequently be donated to the “Trust Fund for Ammunition which will further enhance the course of war in Africa and the world in general.”

“In order to avert this negative development, myself and some of my colleagues in the bank now seek for your permission to have you stand as late Engr. Johnson Creek’s next of kin so that the fund…would be subsequently transferred and paid into your account as the beneficiaryæs next of kin,” the letter says.

The letter goes on to say that all documents “proving” that the recipient is the next of kin will be provided.

In return for posing as the next of kin, the writer promises the recipient he or she will receive 30 percent of the money, or $12.83 million.

Although the writer doesn’t ask for money up front, he does ask the recipient to keep the scheme confidential and to reply to his offer via e-mail or by telephone for more information.

Police said this is merely the latest scam to originate in Nigeria. Over the past few years, police have received several complaints from residents who were contacted by telephone or regular mail and offered “opportunities” to make large sums of money. In the past, would-be victims have been asked to provide front money in order to receive a much larger amount of money later.

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