How many will answer?

DATE: Nov 20

TITLE: How many will answer?

I found the following in the spam folder of one of my email accounts earlier tonight.

From: ING BANK OF TURKEY
Reply To: mrsel@ya

Dear Friend,

I got your e-mail address contact through your country’s Information exchange online while browsing and after that, I decided to contact you to ask for your assistance in this urgent matter that requires trust, confidentiality because you might receive this message in your inbox, Junk/Spam folder.

My name is Mr. Selim the senior Manager of ING Bank Turkey, Acibadem Branch of Istanbul Turkey (IBT) European Banking Corporation Limited Europe. I am a 55 years old man, married with three children. I have a very urgent, confidential, and profitable business for both of us Valued at (Twenty Five Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars). This fund is an excess of what my branch in which I am the senior manager made as profit last year. I have already submitted an approved End of the Year 2020 report to our Head Office, and they will never know of this Excess. I have since then placed this amount of (Twenty Five Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) on a SUSPENSE SECURITY without a beneficiary. As a Senior Manager of the bank, I cannot be directly connected to this money thus I am impelled to request your assistance to receive this money as the beneficiary of the funds.

If we could do this together, we shall share these funds 50/50 between us accordingly and this transaction is 100% risk-free, as no-risk involved during or after this transaction. All I need from you is to stand as the original depositor of this fund, also to keep this deal confidential between us. If you’re interested, kindly write back for more information, while I shall explain more in detail as soon as I receive a response from you.

Thanks for your kind understanding! Awaiting your response,

Mr.Selim

The Senior Manager of ING Bank Turkey,
Acibadem Branch of Istanbul Turkey (IBT)
Bulgurlu Mahallesi Acibadem Caddesi No: 156 34660 skdar / Istanbul

Okay now, let’s tear this apart. The first sign this is not real is that it wasn’t sent to me specifically. In fact, there is no addressee shown at all. Second, although it purports to be from ING Bank in Turkey, the actual email address was a gmail account. I highly doubt the ING Bank in Turkey, a subsidiary of the Dutch multinational ING, would use gmail as their default email. Next, the “reply to” address is “yandex”, which a quick Google search tells me is a Russian search engine among other things.

$25,500,000 is a lot of money in any currency and the proposed 50/50 “split” would mean I’d stand to receive $12,750,000 US,( $16,060,000 CAD at the present exchange rate) if this were in fact legitimate. That itself may entice people to respond.

If I were to respond – I’m crazy, but not stupid, so I won’t – I’d probably be asked to provide various bits of personal information, including my bank account numbers. The result of my gullibility would be to give them access to my account and my huge balance of about $3.84 cents. Of course they would assure me they only wanted the banking information so they could transfer the money to me, but in actuality, they’d just drain my money.

Then there are the legal problems. Most banks are required by law to report any deposit over $10,000 to the government. So, unless I could prove I won the money in a lottery, I’d be answering a lot of questions from federal investigators.

Oh yes, and the personal details “I am a 55 years old man, married with three children.” is a nice but unnecessary touch. I suppose it’s supposed to make me feel all warm and fuzzy and more willing to listen. Well, Selim, I’m a 77 year old grandmother with a healthy streak of cynicism.

If you should receive this email, or any email like this, just delete it. Not every scam artist is a Nigerian Prince, some are Turkish bankers.

Stay safe and remember to give an artist a virtual, socially distanced hug – we need love too.

Cat.

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