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fraud recognition & prevention education, fraud victim advocacy, law enforcement support

Fraud recognition & prevention education, fraud victim advocacy, law enforcement support

                    

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Let's take a good look at this letter  

Before we go any further, let's apply plain deduction tousing common sense to examine a Nigerian Scam Letter the content.

"I am DR CHARLES PIEDO, the director in charge of auditing and accounting section of international bank of Africa Lome-Togo in west Africa with due respect and regards."

1. The writer refers to himself as having a doctorate ( Dr CHARLES PIEDO).  In order to acquire a doctorate, one must go through at least 4 years of college, plus post-graduate studies - usually at a university, write a publishable research paper that represents an in-depth examination of some aspect of the field of study, and pass at least one grueling oral test.  Regardless of the country, the requirements are the same.

2. He states that he's not just anybody at the bank, he is the director in charge of auditing and accounting.  Considering the fact that he has a doctorate, and considering his position, we can now assume that his degrees must be in finance, probably international finance. 

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    But wait a minute!  If he has spent so much time and money to achieve such a position, wouldn't one think he would capitalize the title?  Director in Charge of Auditing and the text of a Nigerian Scam Letter doesn't make any sense Accounting.  

    We haven't even reached the end of the first sentence and already something doesn't jibe.

3. He further states that his position is with "international bank of Africa."   Shouldn't that be capitalized?  How about the International Bank of Africa.  Looks better, doesn't it?  Even if you never heard of the bank, the name of the bank should be capitalized.  Especially by such an important employee!

4. The next most obvious thing that pops out is the fact that the word "foreign" is  misspelled.  It would stand to reason that the Director in Charge of Auditing and Accounting, Foreign Remittance Dept. would certainly know how to spell the word "foreign."  As a matter  of fact, the letter is full of typos, incorrect grammar, and poor punctuation.  And this guy is supposed to have a doctorate. 

5.  So why is the letter so poorly written?  On closer examination, it even appears that it could have been written that way on purpose.  Why would anyone do that?

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6.  How about the offer?  What is not directly mentioned is that the proposition is HIGHLY ILLEGAL!  

Bottom line?  The con-artist's purpose is to gain the target's confidence, appeal to the target's financial needs or greed, bolster the target's ego, add a touch of mystery with far-off lands and the world of international finance (the Hollywood touch), spice it up with a shade of larceny, threaten the target with loss of opportunity by making the deal a secret, and above all - make sure the target feels that he is needed and in command of the situation.  Toward that end, the con-artist must make himself appear to be less capable and intelligent than the target.  Not always, mind you, but it is an often-used ploy.

Additionally, all the folderol surrounding the offer is specifically designed to direct attention away from the fact that he wants the target to embroil himself in a fraudulent activity: stealing funds from rightful owners by means of impersonation and false claims.    Nasty, nasty business.

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