Recently, a MainStreet editor received one of those email scams from a desperate finance guy looking for help transferring millions of dollars to an overseas account.
It came from a potentially generous alleged foreigner we call Mr. S. J. We’ve decided that in the interest of financial journalism (and a bit of fun) we would respond to our would-be benefactor, using the pseudonym “MainStreet Mark.” It is our hope that these emails will better inform the public as to how these scams generally proceed, though we advise anyone receiving one of these emails to dump it immediately, and under no circumstances should you engage the sender in any type of communication. Got it? No circumstances.
Click here to see past correspondence with Mr. S. J.
In our last email, we tried to put Mr. S.J.’s mind at ease, assuring him that we did not think he was a scammer, and then we asked about his plan. Well, it seems to have worked. He sent us a 1,400 word tome (which you can read in its entirety) explaining the financial situation at hand. Here are some highlights, along with our comments in bold:• “ I contacted you concerning a deceased customer A.M.N. (An Iraqi Crude oil merchant), and an investment he placed under our banks management.” Whoa. A dead Iraqi crude oil merchant. We bet he was rich.
• “I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail confidential and respect the integrity of the information you come by as a result of this mail.” Sorry, dude. We’re not publishing your alleged name though, which we hope you appreciate.
• “In June 2001, A.M.N. …informed us that he had a financial portfolio of 18.3 million United States dollars, which he wished to have us turn over (invest) on his behalf.. I was the officer assigned to his case because of his high net worth profile… the accrued profit and interest stood at this point at 22.5 million United States dollars.” You must be a fantastic banker.