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July 15, 2024

Benefactors R Us

By Dan H. Woods

Life presents us with some pretty tough choices.

For example, should you buy a spa treatment for your hamster or should you pay to have a star named after yourself? Tough choices indeed -- for all you little people. As for me, I'm going to say "yes" to both because soon I'm going to be a rich, Rich, RICH!

Just last month I received a letter from Mr. Lawal, from the Bank of Africa. Apparently, one of their account holders died leaving $11.5 million dollars behind. Mr. Lawal proposed that he vouch for me as the client's next of kin and that we split the money.

Compliment of the day,

I am Mr. Abdullahi Lawal of the BOA (Bank Of Africa), although you might be apprehensive about my email as we have not met before. I am in the auditing department with BOA, Burkina Faso. and during my recent auditing I discovered some amount of money valued $11.5 Million Dollars. belong to a late client. I am writing to seek your assistance in working with me, so that I can present you to my bank, as the rightful beneficiary/next of kin to our late customer.

Once the funds have been transferred to your bank account we shall then share in the ratio of 50% for me, 50% for you. I want to give you 100% assurance that this transaction is legal and also risk free, all I need from you is your maximum support and cooperation for a smooth and hitch free transfer of funds into your account.

Normally, I'd be a bit skeptical about engaging in what seems like bank fraud with a complete stranger, but I have Mr. Lawal's assurance that this little scheme is both legal AND risk free. (And not just 90% or 95%, either. No sir, I've got his 100% assurance.) Besides, he did start his email with "Compliment of the day" which is a sure sign of trustworthiness.

Before I could respond to Mr. Lawal's kind offer, I received a second email from the Bank of Africa:

Dear sirs,

I know that this letter may come to you as a surprise, I got your contact address from the computerized search. My name is Mr Tofil Bama, I am the Bill and Exchange (assistant) Manager of Bank of Africa Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. In my department I discovered an abandoned sum of eighteen million three hundred thousand United State of American dollars (18.3MILLION USA DOLLARS) in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customer Mr Kurt Kuhle from Alexandra Egypt who died along with his family in Siber airline that crashed into sea at Isreal on 4th October 2001.

Am contacting you because our deceased customer is a foreigner and a Burkinabe can not stand as a next of kin to foreign customer. The banking guidelines stipulate that the fund should be transferred into the bank treasury after 9 years if nobody is coming for the claim. I have agreed that 33% of this money will be for you as foreign partner in respect to the provision of your account for the transfer, 2% will be set aside for expenses that might occurred during the business and 65% would be for me, after which I shall visit your country for disbursement according to the percentage as indicated.

Please I would like you to keep this transaction confidential and as a top secret as you may wish to know that I am a bank official.

Yours sincerely,
Mr Tofil Bama.

Mr. Bama's offer almost seems too good to be true, but he DID find my name with a computerized search so I guess it's got to be legitimate. Plus, there are a lot of details in his letter, like the location of the plane crashed and bank treasury rules about unclaimed funds, so you know he can't be just be making this up.

About a week after Mr. Bama's letter, I opened my email to find a letter from Dr. Muosa:

Dear friend,

I crave your indulgence for the unsolicited nature of this letter, but it was borne out of desperation and current development. Please bear with me. My name is DR HAGHY MUOSA auditor of BOA Bank (B.O.A).

I discovered existing dormant account for 5years. I seek your consent to present yourself as the next of kin of the deceased. As an auditor in the bank I will use my position in the bank to help you stand as the next of kin to the deceased, so that the proceeds of this account valued at $15million dollars can be transferred to you.

this is the story in a nutshell. Now I want an account over seas where the bank will transfer this fund. Now my questions are:- 1. Can you handle this project?....... 2. Can I give you this trust?.......

After reading this third email, I began to get suspicious...

Why are all these people with accounts at the Bank of Africa dying? Once I get my share of all that money, you can be sure that I'm going to deposit it somewhere else. That bank is dangerous!

Just as I was about to write to Dr. Muosa and assure him that I am indeed able to handle his project (after all, I'm practically an old hand at bank fraud!) and to give him Mr. Bama and Mr. Lawals's names as references, I received a fourth email offering me even more riches.

Am I incredibly lucky, or what?!

Attn: Sir/Madam

My name is Mrs. Elena Tann. I am a dying woman who had decided to donate what I
have to you. I am 59 years old and was diagnosed for cancer about 2 years ago. I have been touched to donate from what I have inherited from my late husband to
you for the good work of Humanity, rather than allowing my relatives to use my
Husband's hard earned funds recklessly.

I will be going in for an operation, and I pray that I survive. I have decided
to Will/donate the sum of $10,500,000.00.(Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand
Dollars) to you for the good work of Humanity, and to help the motherless, Less
Privileged and also for the assistance of the widows. I wish you all the best and may you be blessed Abundantly and please use the funds well and always extend the good work to Others.

Thank you and remain Blessed.
Elena Tann.

I nearly started weeping. Your heart has to go out to poor Mrs. Tann who is not only widowed AND dying, but whose relatives are so reckless that she'd rather give her husband's hard earned $10.5 million to someone that she doesn't even know if they are a Sir and/or Madam.

Well, of course, I'm going to help her out. It's just the kind of guy that I am: willing to take other people's money in the name of "good work to Others". And once Mrs. Tann's check clears and I get my share of all the funds from the Bank of Africa, you can be sure that I'll use some of the money to name a star for her -- and maybe one or two other less privileged and/or motherless widows.

Article © Dan H. Woods. All rights reserved.
Published on 2010-05-31
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