Google+ Followers

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Dash of Gaddafi in email scams (Another skills of Awang Hitam)

THE Internet scammers do not look like they will ever go out of fashion. In keeping with the times, the "Nigerian letters" are now given the Gaddafi flavour.
One flew into my inbox a few days ago and there's more to come I'm sure.

"I am Abdullah Mahmood, a legal representative of Seif al-Islam Gaddafi," it said in reference to the influential son of and at one time heir apparent to murdered Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

"We are in a desperate need to stash away the sum of US$80 million (about RM250 million) due to the present political upheaval in Libya. This we want to do with your help. Get back to me for more details if you are interested."
The sender even disclosed his purported location -- somewhere in Thailand.

International news network RT, previously known as Russia Today, reported recently that a new scam is circulating on the Web in which a mischief-maker under the guise of the late Libyan leader's wife is attempting to extort money using the old Internet throwback commonly referred to as the "Nigerian Letters" ploy.

"Someone claiming to be Safia Farkash al-Baraasi Gaddafi is spewing messages from an e-mail account announcing that they need to unload several tonnes of gold and can only make it possible with help from you," RT said in a recent news posting.

"As you might imagine, Mrs Gaddafi isn't really the owner of the Gmail account that is sending these pleas en masse, and the likelihood that anyone that lends a hand by way of providing personal information will come into possession of the precious metal is as possible as Gaddafi himself delivering it across the Atlantic on a magical, seafaring condor."

Almost all of such offer letters will involve the disclosure of some personal details which may or may not turn you into the victim of not just identify theft, but one of the oldest tricks in the Internet hooligan's playbook.

Before this, there was an influx of similar pleas from Saddam Hussein's connections in Iraq.

"Dearest Beloved", began one that was sent to me also from Thailand not too long ago. "Before I proceed, may I humbly introduce myself to your goodself. My name is Mrs Fadilah Mohammad, an Iraqi refugee. My husband was one of the personal aides to the president of Iraq who was formerly overthrown out of power by American government.

"We inherited US$11 million (about RM35 million). The funds were originally gotten from my late husband proceeds.

"My late husband was able to safeguard the fund with a very good diplomatic contact from my country. I have decided to contact you because I am interested in investing in your country, which is investment-friendly.

"Please kindly guide and assist me in making the right investment since I am also interested in buying a residential property as I will be moving my family over there as soon as everything regarding technical and logistics details are worked out and ascertained to our respective satisfaction.

"In view of your participation, I am ready to give you a good negotiable percentage for your assistance, or better still commit it into viable joint venture projects. Be assured that you stand no risk of any kind as the funds belong to me and my only survived son. As soon as I get your consent, we will quickly move this fund to your country for investment."

There have been so many of this kind of rackets over the years. Some people fell for the scams. But many didn't, even if these were so sweet-sounding emails rushed in from Nigeria, then Sierra Leone and then Ivory Coast.

Under normal circumstances, Dr Jerry Okoro would have passed off as a perfect gentleman offering a genuine business proposition.

"It is my pleasure to write this mail basically to seek your consent on transaction which involves transfer of an over-invoiced sum of money from my ministry to your bank account. The amount involved is US$40 million (RM130 million)."

But he would require your personal details such as full name and address, name and address of your bank, account number and the various codes, etc. And therein lies the pitfall.

The latest dash of Gaddafi in the scam email is but another smear to the Libyan despot's name.

Already the world had watched how he was treated in his final hours. And how his body was afterwards put in a freezer at a shopping mall for all to see. Only the Arabs can do this, someone said. Horrifying.

More on Gaddafi -- an email from a dear friend last week was very profound indeed. And this was no scam mail: "They may call him a tyrant but I say a prayer for arwah Gaddafi for all the good deeds he had brought to his Libyan people amidst the bad ones that he was also known for.

"Like arwah Saddam, these were Muslim leaders who went off the sunnah track in their zeal to hold on to power, but they were still Muslims, killed by fellow Muslims.

"And the kafirs clapped loudly at the 'liberation' of the Iraqis and Libyans, and salivate for the oilfields that will help stave away the economic quagmire they themselves created with their capricious lifestyles.

"Al Fatihah."

That's a fully loaded one

 Credit to NST: Syed Nadzri
Read more: Dash of Gaddafi in email scams