Stupid Scammer Watch: One Last Shuvitt
By Ken Magill
From the couldn’t-make-it-up-if-I-tried files comes a short email exchange I had with a 419 advance-fee scammer yesterday.
As some long-time readers know, I like corresponding with Nigerian 419 scammers. I figure every minute they spend with me is a minute they’re not scamming someone.
For those who don’t know, Nigerian 419 fraud—named after the applicable Nigerian legal code—is a scam where someone claims to have millions of dollars they’d like to get out of a country, usually Nigeria, but needs assistance doing so. The scammers offer would-be dupes a large percentage of the transaction if they’ll let the money pass through their account.
Once someone takes the bait, they are told some advance fees are required to process paperwork or bribe government officials. When 419 fraud works, the scammer will keep coming up with new fees and the scammee will keep paying in an effort not to lose money already spent.
[Warning: If crude, juvenile humor offends you, read no further.]
Yesterday I received the following message from someone claiming to be Nicholas Goodwin: “I am contacting you again to confirm if you received my previous email regarding you having the same last names, with my late client/inheritance claim. Please do respond for more information.”
As I read the message, I thought: “This sounds like a perfect opportunity to resurrect Shuvitt Inyurass.”
Shuvitt Inyurass was my alter ego in a 2009 exchange with a 419 scammer in which I introduced family members such as Pierce D. Boyle and Lihtta Pharty Inyurass.
Yesterday, I responded to Nicholas Goodwin as Shuvitt Inyurass with the following message. “Hi: I received your email. What was your client’s last name?”
Just a few hours later, I received the following response in which Goodwin coincidentally came up with a variation of a name I wouldn't have gone near:
“Thanks so much for your response.
“My mail to you was written as a matter of last resort because of the circumstances surrounding this claim. Mr. Dickson Inyurass was an oil merchant and he had oil dealings around Europe and Africa. He died in 1998 at 54, alongside his wife, Maria, 46, and their only daughter, Katharina, 11.
“Mr Dickson Inyurass lived most of his years here in the LONDON. I served as his private attorney for the last eight years preceding his death, and I had known the family a little while before then. Mr Dickson migrated into LONDON a long time ago as an orphan.
“I contacted you because after the death of my late client, I was informed by the Bank to search for any member of his extended family (related especially consanguinally), to put up a claim, or who could be so represented as managers or trustees for his deposited funds with them which stands at over 30 Million Pounds due to the fact that he died with his immediate family members.
“I feel and know that you will be able to make this claim successfully because of your rare last name which is the same as that of my late client's and as a result of this I do not want the Bank to be aware that I contacted you first in order to prevent them from going into much investigations on whom you actually are and that can put the success of this transaction on the line.
“This is a deal I am offering you and I want you to know that it requires only a mature mind to understand all I am saying and I believe you are mature enough which is the reason I am going further.
“NOTE that if they request to know how you came to know that your family member (Dickson) had such an amount of funds with them and who contacted you, which I am not sure they will ask, but in order to be on the safer side, if you are asked, be confident to tell them that the extended family discovered some documents in his archives showing that Mr. Dickson Inyurass lodged such funds with them and that is why you have been sent by the paternal family to contact the bank.
“I want you to know that I have these documents as well as the death certificate of Mr. Dickson Inyurass to show to you as proof and I will release them to you as soon as I have attained your confidence, maybe after we speak on phone. I will also provide you with any information you need as we proceed.
Send your direct telephone number to me so that I can call you.
Editor’s note: When a scammer outdoes me in coming up with juvenile names for Shuvitt Inyurass's relatives, it’s time for Shuvitt Inyurass to retire. So long, Shuvitt Inyurass. You’ve amused me—and hopefully some readers—greatly. You will be missed.