Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Some people just don’t seem to learn. Despite repeated media reports about Malaysians falling prey to all manner of scams and frauds, there are people who find the lure of easy money too tempting to resist. Some of these scams are so obvious, yet there seems to be no lack of victims. According to statistics released by the police, Malaysians have been conned of a staggering RM20 million over the past few years by African fraudsters. Most of the victims are professionals such as lawyers, accountants and academicians. You would think these folks should know better!

These con men never give up. One of my email inboxes is 90% stuffed with spam, mostly scam letters. I’ve long given up using this email account except to keep abreast of the latest scams going around. Here are some recent samples I’ve had the displeasure to receive.

We are delighted to inform you of your grant award release on the 22th May 2009 from the Barclays Premier League Grant programme. You hereby have been approved a sum of £1,000,000,00.GBP in cash credit….

I wish to notify you again that you were listed as a beneficiary to the total sum of $11,000,000.00 (Eleven Million United states Dollars) in the codicil and last testament Of the deceased (Name now withheld since this is my second letter to you).Please get back to me ASAP so as to get this done immediately….

Dear Gmail Account User,
We encountered a problem with our database and a lot of records were lost, we are restoring our database to enable us serve you better. Your Gmail Team Account details are required so as to store in our database to keep your account active. Failure to do this will lose his or her account permanently….

Scammers at work in an internet cafe in Lagos, Nigeria. (Photo: ABC News)

This one below is my all-time favourite for its creativity – worthy of the grand prize in story-telling.

Dearly Beloved,

I am Lady Ruth Latsis suffering from cancerous ailment. I am married to Sir Silas Latsis, a shipping tycoon notable for his great wealth, influential extended family, and charitable activities all his life before his death. Our life together as man and wife lasted for three decades without child. My husband died after a protracted illness in April 17, 2005.

When my late husband was alive he had a lot of investments in the capital market (stocks and bonds valued at over $5 Million). Consequent upon his demise this stocks were transferred solely to me.

Recently, my Doctor told me that I have limited days to live due to the cancerous problems I am suffering from though what bothers me most is the stroke that I have in addition to the cancer.

With this hard reality that has befallen me, I have decided to distribute this stocks to persons in need, orphanages and motherless babies homes. I have chosen you as one of the beneficiaries hence, I have decided to give you $5 Million worth of my stocks and I want you to use this gift which comes from my husbands effort to better your lot, fund the upkeep of widows, orphans, destitute, the down- trodden, physically challenged children, barren-women and persons who prove to be genuinely handicapped financially around you. It is often said that blessed is the hand that giveth.

I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I do not need any telephone communication in this regard due to my deteriorating health and because of the presence of my husbands relatives around me as I am currently bedridden in the Family house and do not receive any visitors unless approved by the immediate younger brother to my late husband. I do not want them to know about this development in order to safeguard this bequest.

I have authorized my Private Attorney Gavan Connolly in the UK whom I communicate with via emails everyday, to issue a Letter of Authority in your favor to the Security Company handling this stocks and this will empower you as the beneficiary of this fund, he would also endorse my WILL
where I will include your name as one of my beneficiaries. My happiness is that I lived a life worthy of emulation. Please always be kind hearted all through your life.

I want you to immediately contact my Attorney through his email and provide for him all that he may require to finalize this arrangement, please make sure to maintain a confidential and Cordial relationship with him even in my absence because he is a very Trust worthy and caring person. Please assure me that you will act just as I have stated herein.

Hope to hear from you soon, it is well with you and members of your family. Ensure to keep this very confidential for security reasons until the funds are safe in your possession.

With Love,
Lady Ruth Latsis

Be alert to such online scams. Be suspicious of anyone promising easy money or promoting get-rich schemes. Think twice before you purchase any product that guarantees 100% results. There’s no such thing as a free lunch unless you truly deserve it. Money isn’t the root of all evil. Greed always is.

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