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Thread: The Perfect Mark

  1. #1

    Default The Perfect Mark

    If you've ever wondered just how deep and far one of these Nigerian 419 scams can go with the right mark... zg

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    THE PERFECT MARK


    How a Massachusetts psychotherapist fell for a Nigerian e-mail scam.

    by MITCHELL ZUCKOFF
    New Yorker | 2006-05-08

    Late one afternoon in June, 2001, John W. Worley sat in a burgundy leather desk chair reading his e-mail. He was fifty-seven and burly, with glasses, a fringe of salt-and-pepper hair, and a bushy gray beard. A decorated Vietnam veteran and an ordained minister, he had a busy practice as a Christian psychotherapist, and, with his wife, Barbara, was the caretaker of a mansion on a historic estate in Groton, Massachusetts. He lived in a comfortable three-bedroom suite in the mansion, and saw patients in a ground-floor office with walls adorned with images of Jesus and framed military medals. Barbara had been his high-school sweetheart—he was the president of his class, and she was the homecoming queen—and they had four daughters and seven grandchildren, whose photos surrounded Worley at his desk.

    Worley scrolled through his in-box and opened an e-mail, addressed to “CEO/Owner.” The writer said that his name was Captain Joshua Mbote, and he offered an awkwardly phrased proposition: “With regards to your trustworthiness and reliability, I decided to seek your assistance in transferring some money out of South Africa into your country, for onward dispatch and investment.” Mbote explained that he had been chief of security for the Congolese President Laurent Kabila, who had secretly sent him to South Africa to buy weapons for a force of élite bodyguards. But Kabila had been assassinated before Mbote could complete the mission. “I quickly decided to stop all negotiations and divert the funds to my personal use, as it was a golden opportunity, and I could not return to my country due to my loyalty to the government of Laurent Kabila,” Mbote wrote. Now Mbote had fifty-five million American dollars, in cash, and he needed a discreet partner with an overseas bank account. That partner, of course, would be richly rewarded.

    Mbote’s offer had the hallmarks of an advance-fee fraud, a swindle whose victims are asked to provide money, information, or services in exchange for a share of a promised fortune. Countless such e-mails, letters, and faxes are sent every year, with a broad variety of stories about how the money supposedly became available (unclaimed estate, corrupt executive, and dying Samaritan being only a few of the most popular). Worley, who had spent his adult life advocating self-knowledge and introspection, seemed particularly unlikely to be fooled. He had developed a psychological profiling tool designed to reveal a person’s “unique needs, desires and probable behavioral responses.” He promised users of the test, “The individual’s understanding of self will be greatly enhanced, increasing the potential for a fulfilled and balanced life.” And Worley was vigilant against temptation. Two weeks before the e-mail arrived, he had been the keynote speaker at his eldest granddaughter’s graduation from the First Assembly Christian Academy in Worcester, Massachusetts. He cautioned the students about Satan, telling them, “He’s going to be trying to destroy you every inch of the way.”

    Still, Worley, faced with an e-mail that would, according to federal authorities, eventually lead him to join a gang of Nigerian criminals seeking to defraud U.S. banks, didn’t hesitate. A few minutes after receiving Mbote’s entreaty, he replied, “I can help and I am interested.” His only question was how Mbote had found him, and he seemed satisfied with the explanation: that the South African Department of Home Affairs had supplied his name. When Worley attributed this improbable event to God’s will, Mbote elaborated on the story to say that Worley’s name was one of ten that he had been given, and that it had been pulled from a hat after much prayer by someone named Pastor Mark.

    ...continued here - http://www.newyorker.com/archive/200.../060515fa_fact
    Last edited by zengrifter; October 27th, 2011 at 10:34 PM.

  2. #2

    Default

    I always wondered. I figured it was a single advanced fee bang and over... I was wrong! zg

  3. #3

    Default

    Last year, one scammer in Festac Town told the Associated Press, “Now I have three cars, I have two houses, and I’m not looking for a job anymore.”
    Seems like an awesome job to me LOL.

  4. #4

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    I am still confused on how the nigerian email scam can make millions of dollars. There are some DUMB people in this world.

  5. #5
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    Default dumb people?

    Dumb?!? Worley is a highly educated christian therapist! He even spoke at his daughter's christian graduation as a keynote speaker. The Bible is true and so are all the emails promising mega-bucks for being the middle man! (I hope it was obvious that I am joking)

    seriously though, that is intricate. I was with zg on that one, thought it was a one time thing, bang, you've been screwed. Instead all those emails, faxes, and phono calls. I can not beleive that worley guy went in for all that.
    Last edited by kender; November 21st, 2006 at 12:41 AM. Reason: joking

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by kender View Post
    Dumb?!? Worley is a highly educated christian therapist! He even spoke at his daughter's christian graduation as a keynote speaker. The Bible is true and so are all the emails promising mega-bucks for being the middle man! (I hope it was obvious that I am joking)

    seriously though, that is intricate. I was with zg on that one, thought it was a one time thing, bang, you've been screwed. Instead all those emails, faxes, and phono calls. I can not beleive that worley guy went in for all that.
    I think the reason people keep putting out more and more money is because they don't want to have "wasted" their original investment. They don't want to wake up and realize they have been duped out of their money. Instead they rationalize that if they can just put a little more money into it, they will get all their investment back plus more. They just don't want to admit they were stupid and made a dumb move.

    I got this idea from the post in the ZenZone about Scientology.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottH View Post
    I think the reason people keep putting out more and more money is because they don't want to have "wasted" their original investment. They don't want to wake up and realize they have been duped out of their money. Instead they rationalize that if they can just put a little more money into it, they will get all their investment back plus more. They just don't want to admit they were stupid and made a dumb move.

    I got this idea from the post in the ZenZone about Scientology.
    It's pretty simple math. Very very few people will fall for this, but once you find someone who does, you have a better chance of getting more money out of that same person than you have of finding another person who will fall for it in a reasonable amount of time.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Automatic Monkey View Post
    It's pretty simple math. Very very few people will fall for this, but once you find someone who does, you have a better chance of getting more money out of that same person than you have of finding another person who will fall for it in a reasonable amount of time.
    Actually it's easier than you think, I know 2 guys who are millionaires and who built their fortune by scamming. They pay some money to highly placed persons so they get the required signatures, they start a new magazine and then they just call small business trying to sell publicity spots in the magazine, they say bullshit like "Ya we already got over ten thousands of subscribers..." and then they sell publicity spots for a "special price" since it's you, the owner of the small business X and they want to be friends with you, and then they just print like 10 magazines, make fake bills and cover the evidences of fraud, etc. The business owner obviously notice something is wrong but he can't do anything since he can't proof anything, and he won't buy from them again but there is plenty of small businesses to attack afterward and once you got a bunch of them, you just start a new magazine with a new story, etc.

    It's way easier than it looks like.

  9. #9
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    Default

    I purchase a home at the beach in Fort Lauderdale for ten years during the late seventies and just about every professional scam operator passes through this city in his travels. I became friends with a "Blackhand" operator from Boston who used people with Aids to bankrupt mid-sized companies after he purchased an interest in them. He would put the person who had Aids up in a penthouse condo on the beach and made his final days a lot better then living in state sponsored home. All he did was do all the signing...lol In one case he got control of a good size travel agency and sold tours throughout the US and Canada offering trips too good to be true. There were no trips, but he collected over $400,000 in two months prior to trip and then just disappeared to San Diego and started all over again. People are stupid when they let greed take over their minds. This con even had street hustlers dumster diving early Monday morning prior to garbage truck pick-up for carbon copies of credit cards paying the kids $.50 per copy and then re-selling to New York connection for $3.00 a copy. Some kids made between $300/400 in few hours from weekend visitors buying tee shirts,etc. from jewish commando's operating beach stores around the Elbow Room on the strip.

    Life is good. Only in America..lol

  10. #10

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    I recently found out that my uncle's good friend blew his retirement nest egg on one of these Nigerian scams. And all most got busted for cashing a counterfeit cashier's check they sent him. zg
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  11. #11
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    Default scam ??????

    I guesss then i did not win the nigerian lottery , The Ghana sweepstakes ,and the Libyan super mega bucks either and i got e-mails saying I did . I also had 2 great e-mails about scam artists wanting to give me millions if I wired them 10K as good faith money and when they got over here we would both go to the bank and collect our money . Greed and or stupidity will get a sucker everytime !!! If it is too good to be true it is .

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by glovesetc View Post
    If it is too good to be true it is .
    No, it PROBABLY is... but you never know. zg
    "The dogs bark but the caravan moves on."
    .....................The Zengrifter Interview (PDF)|
    The Zengrifter / James Grosjean Reputation Debate
    -----------------------------------------
    “Truth, like gold, is obtained not by growth, but by washing away all that is not gold.” — Leo Tolstoy........
    "Is everything a conspiracy? No, just the important stuff."
    -------
    Find out about QuickBooks Hosting

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    Default

    I got one of these sent to my hotmail account once. I replied and basically said F**K you - however it never went through there was something wrong with the account that had sent me the e-mail.

  14. #14
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    Default

    I hope you all remember the ATM machine hack in which guys installed the magnetic strip by which they used to get all the private codes and password...

  15. #15
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    Default won the lottery

    last week - actually I won a bunch . I won the nigerian lottery , Ghana national lottery for foreigners only , the Darfur lottery , and the libyan Lot of loot lottery . Damn and i never entered one of them . Wonder how many this week my e-mail box will tell me I have won . LMMFPLAO !!!1

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