Flaunting It On Instagram
When you’re a flash, professional scammer, flaunting your ill-gotten gains on Instagram is maybe not such a great idea and this is exactly how the police in Dubai caught up with more than a dozen Nigerian cyber-fraudsters.
Police in the emirate say they recovered $40m (£32m) in cash, 13 luxury cars worth $6.8m, 21 computers, 47 smartphones and the addresses of nearly two million alleged victims.
We’ve all laughed and joked about those inheritance emails, also known as Nigerian 419 scams, from far away African republics promising a share in millions of dollars, but the reality is somewhat less funny when you consider how many people have actually fallen for these tricks.
From: MUSTAPHA GAMBO <m_gambo\\onebox.com Sent: Monday, June 25, 2001 5:06 AM
Subject: GOLD CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS MESSAGE
FROM: PRINCE KUFOUR OTUMFUO FAX: 00233-21-401252
ATTN: Ebrahim Dear Sir, I am Prince Kufour Otumfuo the elder son of the late King Otumfuo Opoku ware II whose demise occur following a brief illness. Before the death of my father, King Otumfuo Opoku ware II, I was authorised and officially known as the next successor and beneficiary of my father’s property according to African Traditional rite.
Most of my father’s wealth includes Gold and Diamond worth the following qualities.
(1) 99kg alluvial gold dust Best quality GEM/Servce 100
(2) 22 karat Quantity 3000 S.A
(3) 9.0 purity Colour : Brown (unpolished) Size: 3/8 carats
etc, etc, etc…
To the unwary, emails such as this one can seem entirely authentic, yet millions have fallen victim and many have lost their entire life savings. In this latest case, Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, aka hushpuppi, has been enjoying 2.4 million Instagram followers (see what narcissism gets you?) with his messages of encouragement to the so-called downtrodden, that, you too could be driving a Rolls Royce and flying around in a private jet, etc, etc ad nuaseum.
Now extradited to the US, along with Olalekan Jacob Ponle, aka mrwoodberry and Mark Kain, who had posted a picture of himself on Instagram posing next to a yellow Lamborghini. That’s a bit dumb, don’t you think? However, it’s being revealed that Mr. Abbas and Mr. Ponle managed to scam a financial institution out of $14.7 million and were also involved in a scheme to screw $124 million out of an unnamed English premier division football (soccer) club.
Don’t Fall For These Tricks!
It’s pretty obvious to the warier among us that invitations to assist in the repatriation of funds with completely unknown persons of dubious origins are always going to end in tears, your tears, so please don’t get involved. If it seems to good to be true, it always is too good to be true.
In fact, and by sheer coincidence, I’m conversing with a potential scammer on Facebook messenger as I write this article, so I thought I would string her along with a few well-directed questions.
When I asked her if she would need direct access to my bank or PayPal accounts, alarm bells began to ring when she replied in the affirmative and I flagged her as a potential scammer. Any con-artist like this and the men mentioned above deserve every punishment meted out to them, so just remember that wealth doesn’t just fall from the trees like confetti.
But back to our Nigerian ‘princes’ who will probably find themselves incarcerated for many years to come in a six-by-six cell, perhaps they should have considered their actions before stealing so many millions from the unwary.
- 10 Golden Rules to Defeat Scammers
- How To Avoid Internet Scams
- How To Identify, Deal With Phishing Scams