Promise of millions nothing more than international scam

Posted: Sunday, August 19, 2001

It cannot be said too often: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Most people know the adage is true. Nevertheless, greed and gullibility make people susceptible to a variety of scams. Otherwise, con artists would quickly be out of business.

One scam is perpetrated from several African nations, particularly Nigeria. Kenai Peninsula business and government leaders recently have been the recipients of faxes or e-mails which request their cooperation in transferring money -- millions, nonetheless -- from a dormant account established by military officers involved in an abortive coup plot. Those officers have since been executed because of their offenses, says the letter.

Those writing say they have perfected a system to transfer the funds into a foreign account and are looking for a foreign partner whose bank account "would be competent to carry such amount without attracting unnecessary attention of the international security."

A person willing to help is invited to respond to a phone number or e-mail address for more information. A meeting would follow in Europe "to formally discuss your reward person to person and to perfect a business guide agreement to avoid any future problems."

Sounds like the plot to a bad movie, doesn't it? Would that making money carried that kind of intrigue and travel and the promise of "millions." It doesn't. It still depends on one's hard work, careful spending and wise investing. There are no short cuts, no easy ways to fame and fortune.

Law enforcement experts say the best thing to do with such e-mails, faxes and letters is to trash them immediately. Do not respond in any way.

Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done about them because the countries from which they originate don't have the kinds of judicial systems needed to deal with these problems, according to the experts.

No doubt about it, easy wealth is tempting. Don't get lumped into that category of "there's a sucker born every minute." The sad truth is, however, that's what keeps crooks in business.

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