See below for yet another in a series of elaborate digital frauds. Somewhat surprising is the considerable improvement in grammar and argument – it may even have been written by a native English speaker. Not surprising is the use of a decade old framework – the Nigerian 419 scheme – to lure unsuspecting Westerners into providing key banking information in exchange for a share in a large and unattributed overseas estate. The “four one nine” comes from the section in the Nigerian penal code which deals with such frauds. To hear Der Spiegel tell it: “A 419 is a mass crime, a money generator, and could aptly be described as the use of globalized methods as revenge by the losers of globalization.” Most worrisome is that the crime’s virtual beginnings take on a pseudo-realistic “Truman Show” flair, as victims are eventually flown to Lagos in person and introduced to limo drivers, hotel staff, and bank workers who carry the scam to its logical conclusion. This isn’t a miracle cure for erectile deficiency or a $100,000 qualified student loan, but a fully-integrated bricks and clicks criminal network operating within the borders of a Western resource ally, suggesting that the real “losers of globalization” might not be confined to developing states alone…
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Benjamin Ghanemy
Date: Sat, Jul 5, 2008 at 8:11 AM
Subject: A TRUE STORY/READ UNDERSTAND AND GET BACK TO ME
I am Benjamin Ghanemy, British citizen and Principal assurance manager for the HSBC in London. A staff of Yokozona consultancy firm got in touch with me regarding the estate of Simeon Arag. And an investment placed under our banks management 3 years ago. 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. I contact you independently of our investigation and no one is informed of this communication. I would like to intimate you with certain facts that I believe would be of interest to you.
In 1997, the subject matter; Simeon Arag came to our bank to engage in business discussions with our private banking division. He informed us that he had a financial portfolio of 8.35 million United States dollars, which he wished to have us turn over (invest) on his behalf. I was the officer assigned to his case; I made numerous suggestions in line with my duties as the de-facto chief operations officer, especially given the volume of funds he wished to put into our bank. We met on numerous occasions prior to any investments being placed. I encouraged him to consider various growth funds with prime ratings.
The favored route in my advice to customers is to start by assessing data on 6000 traditional stocks and bond managers and 2000 managers of alternative investments. Based on my advice, we spun the money around various opportunities and made attractive margins for our first months of operation, the accrued profit and interest stood at this point at over 10 million United States Dollars, this margin was not the full potential of the fund but he desired low risk guaranteed returns on investments. In mid 1998, he asked that the money be liquidated because he needed to make an urgent investment requiring cash payments in United Kingdom. He directed that I liquidate the funds and had it deposited with United Assets Management and securities UK (in their Securities Trading Firm).
I informed him that HSBC London would have to make special arrangements to have this done and in order not to circumvent due process, the bank would have to make a 9.5 % deduction from the funds to cater for banking and statutory charges. He complained about the charges but later came around when I explained to him the complexities of the task he was asking of us. Cash movement across boarders has become especially strict since the incidents of 9/11. I contacted my affiliate in United Kingdom and had the funds available in United Assets Management and securities. I undertook all the processes and made sure I followed his precise instructions to the letter and had the funds deposited at United Assets Management United Kingdom. United Assets Management and securities UK is a specialist bank that accepts deposits from high net worth individuals and blue chip corporations that handle valuable products or undertake transactions that need immediate access to cash. In Line with instructions, the money was deposited with United Assets Management UK (in their Securities Trading Firm).
Simeon Arag told me he wanted the money there as soon as he got into the United Kingdom, This was the last communication we had, this transpired around 25th February 1999.In Sept last year, we got a call from United Assets Management UK informing us about the inactivity of that particular portfolio. This was an astounding position as far as I was concerned, given the fact that I managed the International private banking sector I was the only one who knew about the deposit at United Assets Management UK, and I could not understand why Simeon Arag had not come forward to claim his deposit. I made futile efforts to locate Simeon Arag.
Four days later, information started to trickle in, apparently Simoen Arag was dead. A person who his description was declared dead of AUTO ACCIDENT TRAUMA in Birmingham England.We were soon enough able to identify the body and cause of death was confirmed. The bank immediately launched an investigation into possible surviving next of kin to alert about the situation and also to come forward to claim his estate. In the field of private banking, opening an account with us means no one will know of its existence, accounts are rarely held under a name; depositors use numbers and codes to make the accounts anonymous. This bank also gives the choice to depositors of having their mail sent to them or held at the bank itself, ensuring that there are no traces of the account and as I said, rarely do they nominate next of kin.
Private banking clients apart from not nominating next of kin also usually in most cases leave wills in our care, in this case; Simeon Arag died in testate. In line with our internal processes for account holders who have passed away, we instituted our own investigations in good faith to determine who should have right to claim the estate. This investigation has for the past months been unfruitful. We have scanned every continent and used our private investigation affiliate companies to get to the root of the problem. It is this investigation that resulted in my being furnished with your details as a possible relative of the deceased.
My official capacity dictates that I am the only party to supervise the investigation and the only party to receive the results of the investigation. You have unfortunately declared, and I know that you are in no way affiliated with this individual. What this means, you being the last batch of names we have considered is that our dear late fellow died with no known or identifiable family member.
This leaves me as the only person with the full picture of what the prevailing situation is in relation to the deposit and the late beneficiary of the deposit. According to practice, United Assets Management UK will by the end of this quarter broadcast a request for statements of claim to HSBC in London, failing to receive viable claims they will most probably revert the deposit back to HSBC in London. This will result in the money entering the HSBC in
London accounting system and the portfolio will be out of my hands and out of the private banking division.
This will not happen if I have my way. What I wish to relate to you will smack off unethical practice but I want you to understand something. It is only an outsider to the banking world who finds the internal politics of the banking world aberrational. The world of private banking especially is fraught with huge rewards for those who occupy certain offices and oversee certain portfolios. You should have begun by now to put together the general direction of what I propose. There is US$8,370, 000.00 deposited in United Assets Management UK.
I alone have the deposit details and they will release the deposit to no one unless I instruct them to do so. I alone know of the existence of this deposit for as far as United Assets Management UK is concerned, the transaction with Simeon Arag concluded when I sent the funds to United Assets Management UK, all outstanding interactions in relation to the file are just customer services and due process. United Assets Management UK has no single idea of the history or nature of the deposit. They are simply awaiting instructions to release the deposit to any party that comes forward. This is the situation. This bank has spent great amounts of money trying to track this man’s family; they have investigated for months and have found no family. The investigation has come to an end.
My proposal, I am prepared to place you as the next of kin in a proposal to instruct United Assets Management UK to release the deposit to you as the closest surviving relation. Upon receipt of the deposit, I am prepared to share the money with you in half. That is: I will simply nominate you as the next of kin and have them release the deposit to you. We share the proceeds 50/50.
I would have gone ahead to ask the funds be released to me, but that would have drawn a straight line in my involvement in claiming the deposit. I assure you that I could have the deposit released to you within a few days. I will simply inform the bank of the final closing of the file relating to Simeon Arag I will then officially communicate with United Assets Management UK and instruct them to release the deposit to you. With these: all is done.
I am aware of the consequences of this proposal. I ask that if you find no interest in this project that you should discard this mail. I ask that you do not be vindictive and destructive. If my offer is of no appeal to you, delete this message and forget I ever contacted you. Do not destroy my career because you do not approve of my proposal. You may not know this but people like myself who have made tidy sums out of comparable situations run the whole private banking sector. I am not a criminal and what I do, I do not find against good conscience, this may be hard for you to understand, but the dynamics of my industry dictates that I make this move. Such opportunities only come ones way once in a lifetime. I cannot let this chance pass me by, for once I find myself in total control of my destiny. These chances won’t pass me by. I ask that you do not destroy my chance, if you will not work with me let me know and let me move on with my life but do not destroy me. I am a family man and this is an opportunity to provide them with new opportunities. There is a reward for this project and it is a task well worth undertaking. I have evaluated the risks and the only risk I have here is from you refusing to work with me and alerting my bank.
I am the only one who knows of this situation, good fortune has blessed you with a name that has planted you into the center of relevance in my life. Let share the blessing. If you give me positive signals, I will initiate this process towards a conclusion. I wish to inform you that should you contact me via official channels; I will deny knowing you and about this project. I repeat, I do not want you contacting me through my official phone lines nor do I want you contacting me through my official email account. Contact me only through the numbers I will provide for you and also through this email address. I do not want any direct link between you and me. My official lines are not secure lines as they are periodically monitored to assess our level of customer care in line with our Total Quality Management Policy. Please observe this instruction religiously. Please, again, note I am a family man, I have wife and children. I send you this mail not without a measure of fear as to what the consequences, but I know within me that nothing ventured is nothing gained and that success and riches never come easy or on a platter of gold. This is the one truth I have learned from my private banking clients. Do not betray my confidence. If we can be of one accord, we should plan a meeting, soon.
I await your response.
Please you are advice to contact me onward via email address below
(email@example.com) for easy communication