1052 Calling Dr. Brent
You may feel neglected because no exiled prince from Nairobi or Lagos has written to you lately telling you how to collect the millions he wants to give you in return for your banking information.
No worries. There’s been a brief hiatus in this scam while all the exiled princes have moved from Nairobi and Lagos to Hong Kong, earned medical degrees and died leaving you their heirs.
An e-mail pops into the inbox the other day from a guy identifying himself as a representative of a Hong Kong bank. He informs the reader that he has an important and confidential matter to discuss. The recipient returns the e-mail with a single character reply. The character is “?”
Then comes e-mail #2 in which the gentleman from “Hong Kong” apologizes for being unclear the first time and then tells this story:
It seems that a doctor, Mark Brent, died while on a mission of some kind in Africa. (Can’t lose that African connection.) His bank, he says, is about to declare the account dormant because an heir can’t be found. If it does, the funds, US $2.5 million, will have to be turned over to the government of (shudder) China.
So would the e-mail recipient be kind enough to open a secret numbered account into which the money can be deposited. He goes on:
This brings us to the big question; WHY YOU? why would i (sic) choose a total stranger? well i have planned this operation for a while now and the only way to go about it is to use a total stranger to avoid troubles from my bank because they monitor all our activities and the Chinese government has very strict laws against corruption. You may also wonder where i got your email from. I got it from an online directory.
Just give me your name, address, phone number, occupation, date of birth, and a photocopy of your valid photo i.d.
Ever polite, Mr. Hong Kong banker signs off with
If you feel you can't continue, please notify me so i (sic) can find someone else. I will completely understand.
It’s nice to be understood.
--Another Megabus accident, this one with at least one death. Anyone can blow a tire, hit a bridge abutment and crumple one of those high speed tin cans. But bad things seem to follow this outfit.
--On its face, the inmate “Success Bonds” program that rewards reduced recidivism sounds good and seems to be working well in England. But it’s hard to believe that Goldman Sachs would put its own money into something like that without finding a way to profit regardless of the outcome. Still, with the incarceration rate in this country, something has to be done and maybe this is the something.
--A lot of news types have panned “The Newsroom,” HBO’s series set at a TV network. It has elements of extreme fiction, for sure -- but also elements of extreme authenticity. And anything with Sam Waterston in it is worth watching, even though he plays a drunk unconvincingly.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them.
Please address comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
© WJR 2012