Planning to Retire Soon!

If you are planning to retire in the Philippines soon, I suggest you visit several excellent websites on pro's and cons of retiring in the Philippines. However if you want to retire in the provinces, where life is simple, standard of living cheaper, less traffic congestion and pollution, availability of fresh seafood and vegetables compared to the big cities, my island province is the place for you! If this is your first time in my site, welcome. Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news in the right side bar of this blog. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on the infringement of your copyrights. The photo above is the front yard of Chateau Du Mer-Our Retirement Home in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Received Another Scam Letter Yesterday

Once a month I have received similar letters(see below) that smells "skunky" and definitely a scam. However, the first time I received letter of this genre was two years ago. The letter informed me that I won a lottery in England. To get my winnings, I need to send personal information about my bank account etc....I was almost tempted to call the sender without giving any information just to verify his letter, but I decided it will be a waste of my time.

Last week one of my readers informed me that after reading my blog on Chain letters, he got a call from a man from West Africa that he won ten million dollars and to receive his winnings he must send him $5000 processing fee. So he said today must be his lucky day. I immediately answered him, it is a scam and he must never send a single dollar or any information about his bank account. Here's his comment in my blog and my response.

You and your blog are a godsend. I believe my dream of becoming a millionaire is finally coming to fruition. I should send out your chain letter as instructed and help realize my dream. Two weeks ago I received a call from a man in West Africa. He told me I won $10 million in a lottery. He spoke confidently and enlightened me about my new found wealth. He explained that I need to send him $5,000as a processing fee. He will wire my winnings upon receipt of my fee. He called again last week and convinced me to give my bank account number. I can no longer contain my excitement and eagerly await for his next call where to send the fee. My banker warned me of similar scams targeting seniors like me for the last several years. He discouraged me from sending money because many have been victimized in the past. The bank and compliance managers also dissuaded me from doing the same. They said free money never falls on your lap for nothing. I don't believe my bankers, they are jealous of my coming fortune. I hope my African benefactor calls again before the long weekend starts. I won't be able to deal with my bank until they reopen on Tuesday morning. It feels like an eternity waiting for my millions to arrive. If he does not call by today, I might start having doubts about the new twist on my fortune. I will be very disappointed. What is your opinion? Did you ever believe in the power of chain letters in the past? Anonymous ( He gave his name though)

My Response: Hi Anonymous! This is a scam. I received several similar letters almost every month on the same subject. Do not send a single cent and never give your bank account number or any personal information. Again, I warned you this is a SCAM!

I have not heard from this reader since last week. I hope he also listened to his bankers advice!
Here's the scam letter, I received verbatim today!

Fund Release Board Panel Dept.International Settlement Dept.
Intercontinental Bank of Nigeria.Plot 21, Ahmadu Bello Way
P.O. Box 72688 - Victoria Island.
Attention Sir/Madam,

This is to officially inform you that we have verified your payment file and found out the reason why you have not received your fund is because you have not fulfilled the obligations given to you in respect of your contract/inheritance payment.

Secondly we have been informed that you are still dealing with the none officials in the bank all your attempt to secure the release of the fund to you. We wish to advise you that such an illegal act like this have to stop if you wishes to receive your payment since we have decided to bring a solution to your problem.

Right now we have arranged your payment through our swift card payment center Asia pacific, that is the latest instruction from Economic community of west African States (ECOWAS) and Nigerian Government.

This card center will send you an ATM card which you will use to withdraw your money in any ATM machine in any part of the world, so if you like to receive your fund in this way, please let us know by contacting us back and also send the following information as listed below.

1. Full name
2. Phone and fax number
3. Address were you want them to send the ATM card to
(p.o box not acceptable)
4. Your age and current occupation
5. Attach copy of your identification

We have been Mandated by the ECOWAS Parliament to issue out $9,500,000.00 as part payment for this fiscal year 2011. Also for your information, you have to stop any further communication with any other person(s) or office(s) to avoid any hitches in receiving your payment. Note that because of impostors, we hereby issued you our code of conduct, which is (ATM-259). Wait for your expedite response.

Yours in service,
Mr. Henry Nelson
Fund Release Board Panel Dept.International Settlement Dept.
Intercontinental Bank of Nigeria

Note: Have you received similar letters in your e-mail recently? Please share!

Here's information from fraudgallery,com on Scam letters from West Africa:

1. Scam Letters: 542 different examples!By date received, with names of supposed senders, country where the money is supposed to have originated, and amount. Many duplicates omitted. Many of these emails have been reformatted for readability; the recipient's email address, and all angle brackets or HTML tags were removed. All of the other email and postal addresses, phone numbers, etc., are as given in the email, but be warned, do not attempt to contact the perpetrators!. They are ruthless and violent criminals.

2.How does the fraud work?The bait is the fictional millions of dollars described in each one of these letters. The goal is to get you to come up with money for the "expenses" required to transfer those millions to you. The victim thinks, a few hundred or a few thousand dollars is trivial when $31 million is at stake. Each demand for more money is claimed to be the very last obstacle before the big money is released. Sometimes, the victim is lured to Nigeria, where even worse things happen.

3. How did they get my email address?Exactly the same way all spammers get your email address. Spammers "harvest" email addresses mentioned on web sites. Others run "dictionary attacks" — programs which query mail servers if they have an address AAA100, AAA101, AAA102, etc. That's why you get tons of unsolicited commercial email even if you've kept your email address a secret. And spammers sell each other CD's with millions of addresses. Remember that practically all spam email is fraudulent anyway, so there is no reason why sellers of penis enlargement pills and vinyl siding wouldn't sell lists of email addresses to Nigerian scammers.

4.Why is it called "Nigerian Fraud"?Regardless of the country or countries mentioned in the letter -- even countries located outside of Africa -- the fraudsters are usually from certain families or gangs based in Lagos, Nigeria.

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