It’s been quite some time since one of these lost relative scams ended up in my inbox (see below). Probably only thanks my double spam protection. But this mail, sent from a yahoo.fr account, is a classic example of how scammers try to find victims. I have no relative with the initials J. C and I have no relative who have ever worked for any petroleum company in West Africa, but if I wasn’t aware of what was going on, and if I was the greedy kind, I might try to act as if I had.
In fact, that is what the scammers want in these cases. In fact, there probably never even existed anyone with the surname Lindqvist, and the initials J.C working for the Ascon Petroleum Develepment Company in Togo. But if they can make a somebody think that they have even the smallest chance of laying their hands on 7.2 US$, the victim might also be prepared to pay a few bribes, a few fees, taxes and commissions to be able to get this tidy sum. And when, in the end, the victim realises that it was all a scam… How could they prosecute, when they actually where about to claim an inheritance they where never supposed to have?
That is what the lost relative 419 scams is all about. And I think more people fall for these than for the other 419 scams. Only, the ones who do, won’t tell anyone.
Here is the most recent example:
from: Ahmed Kaddia <firstname.lastname@example.org>
date: Jul 24, 2007 3:25 PM
subject: Private and very urgent message to you / Attn : J. C. Lindqvist’s relative
Barrister Ahmed Kaddia
Rue Pisimoula 52 ,
Lome-Togo West Africa.
I am Barrister Ahmed Kaddia , a solicitor at law and personal attorney to late Engr. J. C. Lindqvist a relative of yours , who used to work with ASCON PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY here in Republic of Togo . Here in after shall be referred to as my client.
On the 30th of April 2004 my client , his wife and their only daughter were involved in auto crash along Casablanca road Lomé capital of Togo . All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost there lives. Since then I have made several enquiries to locate any of my late client’s extended relatives but this has proved unsuccessful.
After these several unsuccessful attempts , I decided to trace your contct over the urgent need to claim his asset with a bank here .
I have contacted you to assist in repartrating the fund valued at US$7.2million left behind by my client before it gets confisicated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this huge amount was deposited. The bank has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have his account confisicated within the next twenty one official working days .
I seek the consent to present you as the Next of Kin to the deceased , so that the fund can be paid to you .
Therefore , on receipt of your positive response , we shall then discuss my compensation ratio and modalities for transfer . I have all necessary information and legal documents needed to back you up for the claim . All I require from you is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through .
I guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law . Please get in touch with me for more details.
Barrister Ahmed Kaddia