Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

My Lucky Day

Woo Hooo on ME! Although I have never been in Nigeria, somehow someone there neglected to pay me my TEN MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS! Yes! Yes! This is “online” with my dearest dreams! Someone wants to give me a lot of free money! Wooo HOOOO!

From: “Barrister Afred Mark”
Subject: FOREIGN PAYMENT INVESTIGATING UNIT.
Date: April 28, 2009 3:25:28 PM GMT+03:00

FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
TINUBU SQUARE LAGOS

FROM THE DESK OF:
AFRED MARK & ASSOCIATE’S
LEGAL ADVISER TO THE
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN).

ATTENTION:
PAYMENT INVESTIGATING UNIT.

From the records of outstanding payment with the Federal Government of Nigeria, your name was discovered as next on the list of The outstanding beneficiaries who have not received their payments.

I wish to inform you that your payment is being processed and will be released to you as soon as you respond to this letter. Also note that from my record in my file your outstanding payment is US$10.5, (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only)

Please re-confirm to me if this is Online with what you have in your record and also re-confirm to me the followings.

(1) Your full name.
(2) Phone, fax and mobile #.
3) company’s name,position and address.
4) profession, age and marital status.
5) Copy of int’l passport or any scanned identity to prove yourself.
As soon as this information are received, your payment will be made to
you in a certified bank draft from central bank of Nigeria and a copy
will be given to you for you to take to your bank and confirm it.

YOURS SINCERELY,
AFRED MARK.
LEGAL ADVISER TO THE
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN).

What? What? It’s a scam? Oh! Oh, say it isn’t so!

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April 29, 2009 Posted by | Africa, Communication, Crime, Financial Issues | , , , | 2 Comments

Intlxpatr Has an NBK Account?

Also in my Intlxpatr mail this morning, LLLOOOLLL!

When I clicked on the “Update Now” type so that I could print their web address and encourage YOU to submit false data, their website did not even work.

Losers.

Beware. These scammers are out there. Some aren’t as stupid as these guys. Some can fool ya.

Dear valued Watani Online Bank member:

Due to concerns, for the safety and integrity of your Watani Online Bank
account we have issued this warning message.

It has come to our attention that your Watani account information needs to be
updated as part of our continuing
commitment to protect your account and to
reduce the instance of fraud on our website.
If you could please take 5-10 minutes
out of your online experience and update your personal records you will not run into
any future problems with the online service.

Once you have updated your account records your Watani account
service will not be interrupted
and will continue as normal.

To update your Online Banking records click on the following link:
Update Info

Thank You.

© Member FDIC Copyright 2008 Watani Financial Corporation1-800-Watani .

January 22, 2009 Posted by | Crime, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Financial Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Social Issues | | 4 Comments

NBK Scam Letter

This is a total hoot. Like I really have an account under the name “Intlxpatr”. My friends, if you get this letter, do not click on the blue type and go to the website which will LOOK a lot like NBK, but will not be NBK. DO NOT give them any information, none! If you have the slightest doubt, go to your bank directly, but do not give these identity thieves any information!

From: info@update.com

Dear valued Watani Online Bank member:

Due to the number of incorrect login attempts, your Watani Online Bank Account has been locked for your security.
This has been done to secure your accounts and to protect your private information.
In case the login attempts were not done by you..
At Watani Online Bank we care about your security .
So, for your protection we are proactively notifying you of this activity.

If you did not trigger this lockout, follow this link to Log on to your Watani Online Account:
Click here to unlock your online account

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Thank you for using Watani Online Bank !

January 13, 2009 Posted by | Blogging, Bureaucracy, Crime, ExPat Life, Financial Issues, Kuwait, Lies | | 10 Comments

“Hello! My Name is Heather . . . “

Every now and then, one of my readers writes to me. Most of the time, it is on an issue, and behind the blog we have a great conversation. (I learn so much from you, my readers.) 🙂

Occasionally, I will get one that makes the little hairs on the back of my neck rise up. I wish I had saved the one I got that started “Hello! My name is Heather (last name) and I live in (small-town) Iowa, and I would like your permission to share your (wonderful) blog with my friends.”

She went on to tell me a little about herself. I don’t know why – there was something about the letter that made me uncomfortable, and I have learned to trust those feelings.

I wrote to her and told her she was welcome to share my site, that anyone could visit, they were welcome. I didn’t share any personal details in return.

Her next e-mail coming back told me a whole lot about her life, and . . . it didn’t ring true. I don’t know why. When your instincts are telling you something is not right, you just MUST listen.

At the end, she asked who I really was, and where I was from and more oh-now-that-we’re-such-good-friends kinds of questions. Bingo. It felt like the whole thing had been set up to ask me that very question. I wrote back, as I always do, that I blog as Intlxpatr for a reason, and that I protect my anonymity.

Funny. I never heard from “her” again. I don’t believe a word she said, including I don’t know that I was corresponding with a woman, much less a woman named Heather.

Why on earth would anyone target me?

My friends, there are crazy people out there, people who think differently from you and me. No matter how good someone sounds, no matter how trustworthy, this is a virtual world, not a real world, and if you gut tells you to beware – then listen. Listen to that gut feeling, listen to the hairs on the back of your neck, and listen to that uneasiness . . . something is not right.

Given enough time, most scams and cons just can’t keep up the deception.

I once worked for an organization which would give emergency loans. I was pretty good, and pretty fast at putting a loan together, and verifying that the loan was needed. One day, a man came in with a serious problem, and with him was his boss, verifying his need. He had all the right papers, too. I made the loan.

Not two months later his boss came in to me with a hangdog look and said “I have to tell you about (so-and-so).”

He had been dealing drugs and had serious problems. His boss had vouched for him. The guy was clean cut and articulate and knew how to present himself. He had all the right papers – and both his boss and I were totally fooled. The boss brought the guy in to apologize to me – he was on his way to jail and he would never repay the loan; I had to write it off. The con-man looked at me and apologized sincerely, and gave me one piece of really really great advice:

“The reason they call us con-men is because we are really good at what we do. We make you believe us.”

Con-men fail in many other areas of their lives – anything that requires consistency and a long term commitment. They can’t perform under scrutiny over time – it’s mostly wires and mirrors and smoke, and it all falls apart when it is examined too closely.

Con-men also create drama that make you feel YOU have to commit now. They have deadlines, and terrible consequences. When you feel that happening in your life, take a deep breath. Slow things down. When you feel unduly rushed, when someone is pushing you for a quick decision on a major issue – that is the time to SLOW WAY DOWN, to examine closely, to give a situation some time. There are con-men and con-women in every culture.

“Heather” – or whoever “she” really was – has agendas you and I can’t begin to imagine. She/He may need money (they often do!) or your connections. He or she may just like messing with people’s lives.

Listen to your instincts, and take your time. Take a deep breath, relax – YOU set your own timeline. Ask around, ask if anyone you know has had experience with a similar approach, especially on the internet. Protect yourself. Protect yourself. Protect yourself.

January 29, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Community, Cross Cultural, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Living Conditions, Relationships | , , , | 14 Comments