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The Nigerian scam - a practical example

I am looking for an office in Cologne (Germany), to start some activities. As I can not find anything suitable, I started looking also for very small apartments that could play that role. During my search I found the following:

  • Wonderful apartment in the centre of Cologne, close to Neumarkt, 92m2, 2 bedrooms and living room, air conditioning, garage, fully furnished (in the pics it looked awesome), terrace, etc. etc.Only 450€ a month including all additional costs.

I considered that this was not possible, but I asked to visit the apartment with the automatic service of the real state agency’s website. Maybe there was a problem with the price but in any case the apartment looked awesome. Some hours later I receive the following email:

Roger Carl Donaldson <roger.c.donaldson@gmail.com>

Hello,

Thank you reply to the advert placed and I`m sorry to write in English, but I do not speak German. I’m inform you that the place is still available for rent and you are the first person who contact me about it. I personally owner of the property located in: Richmodstraße 21, 50667 Köln, Deutschland. Apartment have 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom, 1-kitchen and 1-living room, 1 Balcony, 1 Garage and the apartment features a range of facilities including washing machine, air conditioning, internet and phone. The apartment was renovated in November 2012 and all the utilies are brand new. Also, I have no problem with pets. 

The apartment is furnished as seen in the photos. The monthly rent is 450 Euro including bills for hot water, cold water, gas, heat, electricity, cable TV, internet access. Security deposit (Kaution) is 900 euros, at the end of the lease contract, this money it will be refunded to you (you have to give me at least two months notice before leaving the apartment). You can rent the apartment for how much time do you need. 

I bought this apartment for me 4 years ago when my company sent me in Germany to work, and the problem is that my company offer me a 13 years contract in Aberdeen / Scotland and now I decide to rent the apartment. The only inconvenience is that my job does not let me go, even for a single day. Also, in case you have another apartment right now, and you can’t move out immediately, we can make the deal, and consider it only an inspection and reservation.

The money I want to receive it monthly on my bank account, so I hope it will be no problem for you to wire the money to my bank account. As I have not trusted anyone in Germany I want to do the transaction by a company because they ensures all, they are going to insure apartment and also ensures your money.

If you really want to rent the apartment me please contact me and I will send all the details close the deal quickly and safely.

Thank`s and have a good day.

Awesome, isn´t it? Of course I answered immediately that I was interested, that there was no problem transferring the money to his bank account every month and so, but… I wanted to see the apartment first.

Just when I answered, I received another email from the real state agency warning me of a possible scam with an offer I requested information. I check and the offer is no longer available in the website. As I requested to visit the apartment first (come on, I am Spanish, WE invented the scams…) I thought that he was not going to answer. But this morning I received the following email:

Hello again,

I want to inform you that the company that I hired to make the transaction with you, is called  PayPal Transport, they will hold the money until you will confirm to them that you like the apartment and keep the keys. If you don’t like it, you only have to return the keys to them after they will refund the money to you and they will deliver the keys back to me on my expense.I will need to inform you the steps about how this service works and how we can make it happen. You will only have to deposit to PayPal Transport Service the money for one month of rent + security deposit -1350€- so they can proceed with the shipping,and you can receive the keys and the contract. Like I said, I will pay for a express services 24hours delivery so you will receive the Keys and the contract signed by me right away.

I will explain to you step by step how this will work:

1 – To start this transaction i will need to send me the details where to send you the keys and the rental contract.

2 – I go to the PayPal Transport Office and leave the Keys and the rental contract in your name as the intended receiver.

3 – PayPal Transport will check the all the details to see if everything is good, and also the legal papers that will come along with the Keys.

4 – PayPal Transport will send you a delivery notification to let you know they have the Keys and the papers in their custody, in which you will be told that they have the Keys and that they checked it.

5 – After you received the invoice from rental company, you will have to go to an Western Union office and make a money transfer on the PayPal Transport agent name in Germany assigned with this transaction for the amount we agreed ( 1350 Euro ).

6 – After you make the deposit by Western Union, you will have to send the infos about the money transfer to PayPal Transport (Scanned paper from Western Union and the payment details, so they can know that you already made the deposit)

7 – PayPal Transport will verify the payment informations and if everything is in order ,they will deliver the keys and the rental contract to you .

8 – After you receive the package, you will go with an agent from rental company to check the apartment and in 3-5 days you must contact the rental company and tell them if you keep the apartment or not, if everything is in order you will instruct PayPal Transport to release the funds to me.

To check the apartment you have 5 days and in case that you don’t like the aptartment the agent that comes with you to check the apartment will give your money back, and you will send them the keys and the rental contract to them to return the package back to me on my expense. I will pay PayPal Transport Service for the shipping. Now i must know for sure if you agree because here are a lot of peoples interested to have this apartment rented and i want to know for sure what i must tell them. If you agree what i suggested i will tell them that my apartment is already rented and i will keep it for you.

If you agree then I must have all the shipping details so I will be able to make all the arrangements for the PayPal Transport delivery.

  • Full name:
  • Address:
  • City:
  • Postal Code:
  • Country:
  • Mobile phone number:
  • Indentity Card number or Passport number:
  • Date of Birth:
  • Date you want to move in the apartment:
  • Rental Time:

Thank`s for your interest and wait news from you

Wow, they are very good in doing their job. Everything planned up to the millimetre. For the time being I did not answer. I doubt about playing a little bit with them or just to forget it. 

My brother told me that this is a huge business in the UK, and that the “Nigerians" make a lot of money everyday. And it is not illegal because they just send emails, the money goes to somewhere in Africa.

However what wonders me is how is it possible that people fall in this kind of scam. Would you ever send money for an apartment you did not even see it? Even if it seems to be the deal of your life, would you do it?

Actually if you do it it is only because you think that you are cheating somebody else, so therefore you deserve to be cheated and to be a victim of a scam. No consideration for you sorry.

Scammed people (mostly) deserve it.

 

 

Jul 1

Tarifas de roaming: el “efecto mariposa” de las regulaciones por el “bien público”, o los riesgos de sólo (pre)ver un movimiento cuando se juega al ajedrez

Conversando con mi admirado James Lark (profesor de la Universidad de Virginia, miembro delLibertarian Party americano y una de las personas más brillantes que conozco) durante las pasadas conferencias de European Students for Liberty en Lovaina (Bélgica), nos puso el siguiente ejemplo sobre cómo la regulación que lanzan políticos oportunistas, juntaletras y cortos de miras en nombre del “beneficio público” o por el “bien social” podían acabar perjudicando mucho más a esa gente que se supone “protegen” o “benefician”, gente que en general aplaude dichas medidas porque tampoco ven mucho más allá que los políticos que ellos han elegido (al final, se cierra el círculo).

El ejemplo era el siguiente: “El medio de transporte más seguro del mundo es el avión, como se indica en todas las estadísticas. Sin embargo, todavía ocurren accidentes que por el elevado número de víctimas que suele acompañarlos, son portada de todos los medios del mundo. Imaginad que se inventa un nuevo sistema que si se implementara en los aviones sería capaz de reducir la mortalidad en el transporte aéreo a una décima parte de lo que es en la actualidad. ¿Obligaríais a las aerolíneas a implementarlo en todos sus aviones?”. Este ejemplo lo había propuesto él durante una clase en la Universidad de Virginia.

[Seguir leyendo en Liberal Spain]

Jul 9

This is the most libertarian generation that’s ever existed, and it’s because libertarianism is just correct… Ever since the original Bush bailouts and then Obama’s program and everything being done by both the Republicans and Democrats to grow government, it’s starting to open a lot of eyes. They’re looking for an alternative narrative for what’s going on in the world and realizing that libertarianism provides an explanation for what’s happening — and a solution to it.

- Alexander Mc Cobin, president of Students for Liberty (http://studentsforliberty.org/news/sfl-president-alexander-mccobin-blows-up-internetz/)

The social media landscape. Via @techberlin

The social media landscape. Via @techberlin

"SOPA and PIPA are Dead, but only in the way a zombie is dead. The gestation to the living dead will likely take 12 months. They or something like them will rise up again in 12 months".

-

This battle has been won, but the war for liberty will last forever. So don´t sleep. 

Read the complete article.


Notice: This image has been found in violation of H.R. 3261, S.O.P.A. and has been removed.

This will be our future. #stopSOPA

Notice: This image has been found in violation of H.R. 3261, S.O.P.A. and has been removed.

This will be our future. #stopSOPA

Nov 3

Libertarianism.org launched!!

The future of media?

Thanks to @joshlachkovic and @BigBigBen I discovered  last Friday that a new blogging platform called Dale & Co. has been launched in the UK. The idea is similar to the Huffington Post, well, with some differences. However we all know how the HuffPo has now converted into a reference media in the Net, with Dale&Co. maybe following the same fate. 

On the other hand last week I read also the economic difficulties that one of the main Spanish communication groups (Unedisa, owner of “El Mundo”) is passing through. And everybody knows in Spain the economic problems of the major communication group of the country (and part of South America) PRISA, owner of the newspaper “El País”.

You do not need to be very clever to see that the context is changing in the environment of communication media. Which will be the future? Well, If I had to make a bet, I would do it for the distributed communication networks, with a much more lighter infrastructure than the traditional media. And the later these traditional media realize of this, the worse for them. 

In Twitter, the director of El Mundo Pedro J. Ramírez disagreed with the model of the contents with Creative Commons licenses because “the journalists, the editors and all the people around need to be paid" (even if one thing has nothing to do with the other). He also recognized the drop of incomes from publicity and the problems that led to the closing of the TV Channel Veo7 (of the same group Unedisa). The same with PRISA merging Cuatro with Tele5. And Planeta merging Antena3 with La Sexta.

Well, maybe what they need to do is to change the model. The same as we have been years now claiming to the music and video corporations.

Just networking.

Pesimistic

One friend told me on Friday that the reasons why the world is so crazy is due to the effect of the moon. However I still did not arrive to that level with regards to superstitions.

Nevertheless I share her view that the world is a little bit crazy nowadays, a little bit more than usual, and that makes me to feel a little bit pessimistic about the future. Too many bad things are happening, or we are knowing, that let us little space for being optimistic. 

The planet is crazy. The earthquake and the tsunami last week in Japan are the last chapters of a whole series of disasters that seems to be accelerating with the time, and not all of them are related to the global warming-human effect (supposing that we believe on it). However there is little that we can do on this (unless we learn how to control earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes).

On Saturday a coalition leaded by US, UK and France started attacking Libya after the green light given by the UN Security Council. Whatever the reasons that led to it, in my opinion the coalition did not plan the way ahead of the operation, and they started to act moved by other interests that just the real willing to protect civilian people, without thinking “what is next”. Let´s see how it finish (if it does), but for the time being the Arab League has already withdrawn its support to the operation. 

There is also a global plan of governments of the “free world” to “disconnect” Internet. They have realized that the network has escaped to their own control, and with the excuse of security (remember Franklin) or the protection of whoever privileged rights they are introducing step by step, with the needed collaboration of the big telecom companies, more and more restrictions that will end with the freedom in Internet as we know it now: ACTA, AT&T data cap of 150GB and the application of the anti terrorist law to protect the copyright in Internet are three of the symptoms of what is coming. The today known news about AT&T acquisition of T-Mobile is only another needed step. If I am now wrong I consider that the US Government will allow with little impediments the operation. 

And last but not least, thanks to Anonymous, we discovered also this past week the secret plans of the US DoD about how to manipulate the Internet social conscience through advanced tools of identity emulation. However, that the plans are now known does not mean that they are being stooped (indeed they are not).

As a summary: natural disasters, war, less freedom, reduced civil liberties and stronger governmental control on our movements. And everything in just 10 days. Do you still think that we can be optimistic?

But not everything is lost. There is something on the way. Pay attention to your screens.