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Million Dollar Dreams on net: A Racket online to cheat the net users
"It was since mid-2005 that some mails started coming to my mail inbox with crying subject-lines like – ‘You Can save Us’, ‘Want to Invest in your country’, ‘Let’s be business partners’ etc... All the mails were about an illegal transaction of a huge sum (some times more than $10 Million) deposited by their parents or husbands or masters in various international banks"
Basudev Mahapatra :July 3, 2007 (updated on 12 October 2008)
Are you desperate to be a millionaire overnight? Although it is almost impossible, you may receive a mail with an unimaginable offer to be a millionaire without any effort but helping some one by making a huge fund pass through your bank account leaving a share for you. The offers are so lucrative that one would fall into the grips of the mailer. The cyber crime most possibly by an international racket has its impact extended to India and even its poorest state Orissa.
Recently, a Bhubaneswar based hotelier had to commit suicide after being cheated by a racket. Almost a year back, a young businessman Tony Wallis filed an FIR with the Cuttack City cyber crime branch of Orissa Police indicating that he had been cheated by a group of frauds operating internationally and trapping people. Tony was pulled into the trap by Jesica Neka of England who contacted with a huge foreign investment proposal and cheated Tony by six lakh rupees. The case is now under investigation by the crime branch.
Soon after the going through the news I thought it’s not only Tony, many Indian businessmen and youth of India would have fallen in the net of such fraudulent gangs operating internationally, as many such lucrative mails have also entered into my mail inbox during the second half of 2005.
I always check mails and particularly Spam mails by the subject line. It was since mid-2005 that some mails started coming to my mail inbox with crying subject-lines like – ‘You Can save Us’, ‘Want to Invest in your country’, ‘Let’s be business partners’ etc. Driven by the inquisitiveness I opened the mails. In almost all mails the sender introduced him or her as the minor offspring of a senior politician of Nigeria or Palestine, Iraq or any of the African Countries based in refugee camps or some where outside their respective countries.
The text of almost all the mails were about a huge sum (some times more than $10 Million) deposited by their parents or husbands or masters in various international banks which was to be given to someone close to the deceased or lost depositor.
The next paragraphs were carrying more lucrative lines requesting the addressee (Me) to present myself as the next to the kin of the depositor before the members of the bank or farm where the sum is deposited and receive the huge sum. As the mails further went ‘you have to come to the city, as told by the senders or their international Agents, to collect the amount.’ For this job the addressee was promised to get 10%, 20%, 30% and, sometimes. 40% of the total deposit amounting to a sum between one to more than ten million USD, as commission.
The mail from "Paul Jaja" <firstname.lastname@example.org> was lucrative than any other with its content like – “My name is Mr. Paul Jaja; I am the chief Accountant of a bank here in Nigeria...A foreigner late Engr. David Hardy who is from your country, an Oil merchant/Contractor with the Federal Government of Nigeria, until his death in a ship mishap, who banked with us at our Bank and had a closing balance of US$21.5 million, which the bank now expect any of his available next of kin to claim...In order to avert this development, myself and some of my trusted colleagues in the bank now seek your indulgence to have you stand as late Engr. David Hardy's next of kin so that the fund will be subsequently transferred and paid into your foreign account. On indicating your interest, all documents and proofs to enable you get this funds will be carefully worked out and we are assuring you a 100% risk free transaction. You will be allowed to retain 30% of the total amount after the transaction.”
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It was some time in the evening of Monday, 19 Dec 2005 that I saw a mail with ‘Compensation’ in the subject line and opened it to read. The mail was from "tony aka" <email@example.com>, sent on Sat, 17 Dec 2005 at 13:29:14.
The content of the mail went like this: “Dear Friend, I'm sorry but happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds transferred under the cooperation of a new partner from paraguay though i tried my best to involve you in the businnes but God decided the whole situations. Presently i'm in Paraguay for investment projects with my own share of the total sum... Now contact my secretary in Burkinafaso her name is Mrs Sofia Alex on her e-mail address below firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask her to send you the total of US$800.000.00 which i kept for your compensation for all the past efforts and attempts to assist me in this matter... Regards, Mr.Tony Aka.”
I was quite acquainted with such kind of stories in the previous mails I received. I acted as instructed in the mail and wrote: “Hi Sofia, Good evening. Please find the attached mail of Mr Tony Aka where in he advised me to contact you and ask you to send the cheque of the described amount to the following address in India... All the bests.”
Responding to my mail promptly "Mrs. Sofia" <email@example.com> wrote: “The Cashier's Cheque Is Here with Me Written on Your Name by My Boss; Mr. Tony Before His Departure. I've Been Checking My Email Daily Since The Day My Boss Gave Me The Instruction To Have The Mailing Address Where I Can Send The Cheque. Thanks for the information you sent to me, now You Are To re-confirm To Me, Your Complete Full Name and Address for Immediately sending of the cheque please. Yours Faithfully, Mrs. Sofia.”
After my response to this letter, immediately came the next mail wherein Mrs. Sofia wrote: “I got the info you sent to me. By now i could have giving you the mailing information to enable you receive your cheque but i was having problem with FEDEX.D.H.L refuse to Carrie cheque. It was accepted by FEDEX with condition. After i paid 73$USA given to me by my boss for the mailing of your cheque to your destination FEDEX now demand 275.3$usa because it has already been noticed by them that what i packaged is check (Cheque!). They charged such an amount for the security of the check till it reaches you but Unfortunately My Boss Made an over Sight, he did not know this before he left.
Now the cheque is with them waiting to receive their balance of 275.3$usa for the immediate mailing of your cheque... So if you can assist me with the said amount remaining i will be very glad as i do not know what to do again to wash my hand off from this...”
This last mail was from the ID of Sofia but written by one Mrs. Rama, the third character appeared in the mails. I stopped my attempt with this mail and thought, this is what these people do – basically cheating people by showing million dollar imaginations.
Basing upon the addresses produced in the mails, we can’t say which countries these criminal minds belong to. But it indicates the growing criminality in the global village just to make huge money in a manner that is absolutely against law that exists in any part of the globe. As evident from the above mentioned mails, it could be either a network of frauds involved in illegal transaction of huge sum or cheating people with million dollar dreams that can easily infect most minds of the world, more particularly people living in the poor and underdeveloped countries, because the amount explained in the mails are so lucrative that can draw many of India and other countries fall in the fraudulent net. As cyber crimes are increasing day by day, such a case must be taken seriously by the central investigating agencies and expose the network that is indulged in large-scale cheating and fraudulent financial transaction.