Togo, or not Togo?

One day in early July, I was bored and had a look through my junk e-mail folder, just to see if something important had gone there by mistake. Among the penis enlargement subscription emails that had been wrongly marked as spam, I saw something that really made me feel nostalgic. For I had received an email from a Togolese lawyer, who was informing me of a great opportunity to share a vast fortune, due to the fact that I was the long lost relative of a very rich man who had done very well out in farthest Togo. It filled me with nostalgia, as I remembered the first time I had received one of these emails, way back in 2003. I thought it was quite cute the way some people were still running the scam. For those that have never encountered the scam, it is generally referred to as The Nigerian Scam, as the ruse was originally regularly based around Nigeria. Simply put, a seemingly professional gentleman suggests to share a fortune with you. Once agreed, the scammer will attempt to extract some kind of bureaucratic fee from you, in order to release the funds from some sort of abstract frozen vortex of red tape. This fee will be extremely low compared to the eventual funds you will receive, so why not? Of course, you send the money through Western Union or some other insecure, anonymous medium, and you will never hear from the gentleman again. I have written about email scams here before, and have a genuine interest in how they play out, so I decided, for nostalgias sake, to play along. I hereby transcribe the three-week long relationship that I had with one Barrister Benson James Esq., in reference to the fortune of Stephen.M.Mulligan, a deceased client of the esteemed barrister.


 

barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com> Tue, Jul 1, 2014 at 12:36 PM
Bcc: cimullig@facebook.com
Dear  Mulligan.

I am quite sure this mail will come to you in an odd manner as you do
not know me,I contacted you in this matter knowing that you bear the
same last surname with my late client.I am Barr. Benson Jame,from
Lome-Togo West Africa and I want you to know that its destiny that
brought us together in this pending transaction,My late client
en-gr.Stephen.M.Mulligan,died with his wife and their only daughter in
auto mobile accident on 13 th of August that was the incidence happen
without no one to claim his fund deposited of ($9.5.Million
U.S.Dollar)deposited in the bank. I have a mandate to present the bank
my late client next of kin to the relative,since You bear the same
last name (Mulligan)all i need is your consent, so that this
Consignment could be released to you as wished.and also i will provide
all the necessary document for immediate transfer, If you are
interested kindly contact me through via e-mail for more details and
explanation;Thank and God Bless.

Please kindly reply me with honesty as soon as you receive this email .
Yours
Barrister Benson James Esq.
Principal Attorney of
Dominion Associates
Chambers Barristers & Solicitors
BTD/SORT-CD-00247901

Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com> Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 9:08 PM
To: barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com>
Hi Benson,

Yes, sounds good. What do we do next?

Cian

 


 

As you can see from my reply, I did not express any incredulity at all about the claim, asked no questions at all, and gave a resounding YES to the proposition. Benson of course is more formal than that, and he replied as follows:


 

barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com> Fri, Jul 4, 2014 at 11:41 AM
To: Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com>
Dear one

Thanks for your good respond, Firstly i will like to introduce myself
to you.I am Barrister Benson James, a lawyer and Senior Advocate here
in Lome Togo.I have been in law chambers for more than 25 years now. i
am 52 years old with three kids,I got your mail and I appreciate your
urgent response. Now Listen I want you to know that this is a real
transaction,I contacted you because you have the same last surname of
my late client engr Stephen M.Mulligan, I will present your name to the
bank as the only living next of kin to the relative. because anybody i
present to the bank is the person they will transfer this said fund to
right.I will follow up all the documentation or if you have any lawyer here
in our country ( TOGO) you can let me know. You are free from any risk
because all the documentation related to this fund will be destroyed
as soon as the bank transfer the fund into your account as will wish.
Besides, I am trying to see whether there is any way the money can be
moved out of the Finance Company through diplomatic cash payment, all
i need is your consent that you will work with me and you won’t
disappoint me .All I need is a trustee person which can not betray this trust or
double-cross me when the fund is finally transferred into your bank
account.Honesty is another issue that I wish to emphasize on this
transaction because I do not know you to well,though since i have
contacted you,you explained yourself to me. And I do not have any
option than to believe that I am choosing you  in this transaction.before will proceed i need to have your INFORMATION which i have to
summits to the bank before bank will contacted you and start
processing the inheritance

1. Your Full Names …
2. Telephone Number…..
3. Age ……………
4. Sex…………….
5. Occupation,………..
6. Marital Status………
7. Nationality……………….

I look forward to received your following information which I will
present it to the Bank management for transferring the fund to your
bank account .

Furthermore, we will agreed with each other,as soon as bank transfer
this fund into your account you we not disappoint me which will be
like a contract between us regarding this transaction .besides I will
swear an affidavit of oath in the court of law/claiming that you are
the true heir next of kin to the relative and my late client
inheritance, I will also make a documentation that will cover you and
send it direct to the bank ,

Here is my personal number,feel free to call me on my direct mobile
number (+228-9315-85-33)
Thanks and Have a pleasant day

Hope to hear from you soonest.

Barrister Benson James Micheal
Principal Attorney of
Dominion Associates
Chambers Barristers & Solicitors
Public Notary Lome-TOGO West Africa
BTD/SORT-CD-00247901
+22893-1585-33


 

So yes, the usual spiel about establishing himself as a trustworthy person by ranting about how much of a professional he is and how formal the process is. My response was thus:


 

Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com> Fri, Jul 11, 2014 at 3:21 PM
To: barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com>
Sorry for the late reply Benson,anyway, here’s the info you wanted
1. Your Full Names … Cian Adolf Mustafa Benayoun Mulligan
2. Telephone Number….. 0879544674
3. Age ……………31
4. Sex……………. Yes Please
5. Occupation,……….. International Investor
6. Marital Status……… No Thank You
7. Nationality………………. International

Ok, send it off to the bank and lets proceed

 

Let’s do this!

 

Looking foward to your reply,

 

Cian


 

I was worried here about giving him some actual information about myself, and settled on just giving him the things he already knew: my first and last names. I don’t believe Old Benson would be smart enough to engage in identity theft, but it is quite easy to do these things with just a few bits of personal information. However, I don’t think Barrister Ben saw my reply, because next came a completely out-of-the-blue rant about the nature of good and evil, and how scared he is about getting double crossed in the transaction.

barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com> Sat, Jul 12, 2014 at 10:58 AM
To: Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com>
Dear one

I thank you very much for your understanding and for accepting to work
with me, I am assuring you that this transaction will be concluded
successfully as long as you will follow my instructions and directives
accordingly. As I earlier informed you, I am the attorney of the
deceased and with my aide, the inheritance fund will be approved and
transferred into your bank account for our mutual benefit.Before we proceed with this transaction I want you to know that I do
not need any disappointment from you in this transaction.1. You have to assure me that you will not betray this trust or
double-cross me when the fund is finally transferred into your bank
account.2. You have to assure me that this transaction is between me and you
alone without involving any third party considering the nature of this
deal. You have to keep this transaction highly confidential and top
secret. You will keep it away even from your closest person to enable
the whole plan to be profitable. You never can trust any body because
the amount involved in this transaction is a huge amount of money that
can change any life. You can not possibly know who to trust when it
comes to money because money is the root of all evil.3. You have to assure me that you will participate in this transaction
without bias, with respect and compliance to the bank constituted
internal regulations which will guarantee the successful transfer of
the fund into your nominated bank account. so that we will put our
heads together as partners to get this transaction consummated
successfully.

4. You have to assure me that I will get my own share of the fund
whenever I visit you in your country and that you will not ask for
more share than what is negotiated or try to sit on the fund or
indulge in any form of blackmail once the fund is transferred into
your bank account.

Upon receipt of your next mail indicating your readiness and
willingness to work with me, I will send  your information direct to
the bank. The application letter will serve to introduce you
officially to the bank as the Next of Kin to the deceased, requesting
for the release and transfer of the fund into your designated bank
account.Or I shall do that by sending your data to them and have you
officially registered with them as soon as possible. for more
information as soon as you received bank later kindly update me avoid
any mistake.

Thanks and God Bless

Here is my number +228 93 15 85 33 feel free to called me

I look forward to your positive response to commence this process.

Barrister Benson James


 

After having digested that information, I gave Barrister Ben a few days to realise that I had already sent him everything he needs to go ahead with the deal, and checking through my spam folder, I see that I have received an email from a bank in Togo.


 

UTB UNION TOGOLAISE DE BANGUE <utb-remmitance@outlook.com> Sat, Jul 12, 2014 at 2:27 PM
To: “cian.mulligan@gmail.com” <cian.mulligan@gmail.com>
                                                                                                                                                                     12/07/2014

UNION TOGOLAISE BANK OF TOGO
(UTB) Banque Headquarters,
Boulevard du 13 janvier,B.P 359-Lome.
Tel/Fax:+228 22 23 43 00  +228 22 20 47 66

Attention: Mr/Mrs Cian Adolf Mustafa Benayoun Mulligan

Sir / Madam

This is UTBanque,Union Togolaise banque will receipt  your application tendered to this banque dated 12/07/2014, This is to come to your notice that this bank has received your person information to our office from Barrister Benson James Nominating you as the next of kin to our late deceased customer, Engr Stephen Mark Mulligan , putting claims on his balance with this bank valued at (Nine million Five hundred thousand United States Dollars only)It has been submitted to the board of directors of this bank for thorough scrutiny and approval,We will get back to you As soon as the approval is obtainable, you will be communicated on the procedures involved in having your inherited fund released and transferred to any bank account you shall nominate to us without any further delay as you have directed.

our customer service  will contact you for further procedures.

Accept our sympathy for the death of your late deceased  Mr,Stephen M.Mulligan .

Thank And Best regards
Director Accounting Department
Mr Jonathan Thomas.
Director Foreign Remittance Department.(UTB)


 

Within a  few hours, Benson is back on the case wondering how I am.


 

barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com> Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 4:53 PM
To: Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com>
Dear Benayoun Mulligan

Has bank contacted you Hence i have summited and register your name to them.If that you have received you the bank mail kindly update me as soon as possibleThanks and Best Regards
Barr Benson James

Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com> Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 7:58 PM
To: barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com>
yep, I received it Ben. Please proceed.

 

The bank now has all the permission it needs to make a ruling on my claim to the fortune of the late Stephen M. Mulligan. Myself and Barrister Benson await their decision. Thankfully, things move fast in Sub-Saharan African corporate banking.


 

UTB UNION TOGOLAISE DE BANGUE <utb-remmitance@outlook.com> Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 1:00 PM
To: “cian.mulligan@gmail.com” <cian.mulligan@gmail.com>
                                                                                                                                                                                          15/07/2014UNION TOGOLAISE BANK OF TOGO
(UTB) Banque Headquarters,
Boulevard du 13 janvier,B.P 359-Lome.
Tel/Fax:+228 22 23 43 00  +228 22 20 47 66

Attention: Mr/Mrs Cian Adolf Mustafa Benayoun Mulligan
Sir/Madam
Open the attach later, your fund has been approved today 15/07/2014/

We Union Banques De Togolise in accordance to our banque and allied mater of 1987 as amended in 1999,such claims in this bank are determinable with category ‘A’ with this category F official questionnaire you are there advice in your own interest to fill in the under listed information as it is written in the deceased category A file jacket summit ed in our banque before his death.Cian Adolf Mustafa Benayoun Mulligan to our Authentication procedure,You are required to come down to our office in person for the singing of the necessary release paper and also for the procurement of legal back-up documents which is to legalize you as the bonafide next of kin to our deceased customer and thereby making you the legitimate beneficiary of the same fund.Open the attachment later and get back to us

Accept our sympathy for the death of your late deceased  Mr,Stephen M.Mulligan.

Thanks and God Bless
Executive Managing Director
Mr Segun Agbaje.
Director Foreign Remittance Department.(UTB)

 


 

The legal document they refer to was included, as a jpeg:

UNION TOGOLAISE BANK LOME TOGO APPROVAL LETTER TO MULLIGAN1

 

Now, I wasn’t very happy, with this, as some very important details were wrong on this binding legal document, as well as some glaring spelling and grammar issues. What was most important to me however was getting my name, and the name of my deceased relative right. Benson was along soon enough, so I voiced my concerns to him.


 

barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com> Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 2:12 PM
To: Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com>
My Dear

Thank for letting know me since bank has contacted you,As soon as bank
contacted you back again kindly update me and also try to  followup
their in structure so that you will not have any delay of transferring
the fund to your account without any further delay ok.Thanks and have a pleasant day.

Wait for your urgent respond quickly.

Barr Benson James

Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com> Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 7:05 PM
To: barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com>
Benson, how are you?I am good. Listen, so I received a follow up from the bank. They approved everything, but there were lots of mistakes on the legal form they sent me. They got my name wrong, they got the name of the person who I am next of kin to wrong, and also they seem to imply that I am that person, and am next of kin to some other stranger. I think you need to send them my information again. Let me know when you have this sorted out ok!

Best,

Cian


 

Now at this stage of Barrister Bens plan, all he cares about is getting me to fork out €857 for the ‘account reactivation fee’ that is the only real piece of information on that jpeg above. He disregards my claims, but I am firm with him.


 

barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com> Wed, Jul 16, 2014 at 11:49 AM
To: Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com>
My Dear

Thank for updating me since bank has approved your fund,Your
information is already in the bank ,Now what you have to do is to
inform the bank back so that then will correct the mistake as soon as
possible before transferring the fund to your account and also forward
the approval later you recieved from bank to me so that i can be-able
to go through on it as soon as possible ok thanks wait for your urgent
respond quickly.

Barrister Benson James

Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com> Wed, Jul 16, 2014 at 12:15 PM
To: barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com>
Hi Benson

I have to disagree, the information is too wrong in the document they sent me, it needs to be redone. I attach the legal document they sent me as a jpeg, so you can see the errors for yourself. Please fulfill your duties as my representative and inform the bank that they (or you) have made a mistake. Once I receive the corrected documents, then we can proceed.

Best,

Cian


 

Benson realises that he now has to go back and open up MS Paint again, or he is never going to get €857.


 

barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com> Wed, Jul 16, 2014 at 2:17 PM
To: Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com>
My Dear

Thank for forwarding the approval later to me,I have gone through with
the approval later bank sent to you,Yes is bank that made the mistake
there ok ,I have to go back to the bank right now, so that they can
be-able to correct the mistake as soon as possible.Thanks for letting
me know.As soon as bank contacted you back kindly update me ok

Thanks

Barrister Benson James


 

You hardly thought it was professional, god-fearing Bensons fault, did you?


 

UTB UNION TOGOLAISE DE BANGUE <utb-remmitance@outlook.com> Wed, Jul 16, 2014 at 3:01 PM
To: “cian.mulligan@gmail.com” <cian.mulligan@gmail.com>
                                                                                                                                                                                             16/07/2014UNION TOGOLAISE BANK OF TOGO
(UTB) Banque Headquarters,
Boulevard du 13 janvier,B.P 359-Lome.
Tel/Fax:+228 22 23 43 00  +228 22 20 47 66

APOLOGIZE LATER

Attention: Mr/Mrs Cian Adolf Mustafa  Benayoun MulliganSir/Madam

I Mr Segun Agbaje Executive Managing Director UTBanque Tololaise De Banque,We are sincerely apologize the mistake error we made in the attachment form will sent to you,Will we correct it as soon as our board directors meeting concluded.Will We get back to you  as soon as possible.

Thank and Best Regard
Executive Managing Director
Mr Segun Agbaje.
Director Foreign Remittance Department.(UTB)

UTB UNION TOGOLAISE DE BANGUE <utb-remmitance@outlook.com> Wed, Jul 16, 2014 at 4:17 PM
To: “cian.mulligan@gmail.com” <cian.mulligan@gmail.com>
.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               16/07/2014UNION TOGOLAISE BANK OF TOGO(UTB)
Banque Headquarters,Boulevard du 13 janvier,B.P 359-Lome.
Tel/Fax:tel:+228 22 23 43 00

Atten:Cian Adolf Mustafa Benayoun Mulligan

Open the attach later, your fund has been re- approved today 16/07/2014/

We Union Banques De Togolise in accordance to our banque and allied mater of 1987 as amended in 1999,such claims in this bank are determinable with category ‘A’ with this category F official questionnaire you are there advice in your own interest to fill in the under listed information as it is written in the deceased category.

 

Dear Cian Adolf Mustafa Benayoun Mulligan to our Authentication procedure, You are required to come down to our office in person for the singing of the necessary release paper and also for the procurement of legal back-up documents which is to legalize you as the bonafide next of kin to our deceased customer and thereby making you the legitimate beneficiary of the same fund.

 

But if you can’t make it to come down in person in our country they you can inform our banque you can’t come and also You are hereby advice you to inform your lawyer Barrister Benson James to sign up the necessary documentation on-behave of you before will release your late relative fund to you to any account you might presented to us.

 

We are looking forward to receiving the original depositor certificate of this fund with any of your identification, international passport or any of your driving licenses.

Thanks

Mr Charles Otmba

Chairman B.0.D UTB Bank

Director Foreign Remittance Department.(UTB) .

 

UNION TOGOLAISE BANK LOME TOGO APPROVAL LETTER TO CIAN ADOLF MUSTAFA BENAYOUN MULLIGAN1

 


 

Now, that new one does state that I am the heir to the fortune of one Mr. Charles Otmba, who if you look at the bottom of the ‘document’, is also the chairman of the Union Togolese Bank. But still, this could go on forever, and I wanted to move towards the endgame of myself and Barrister Bensons plan.


 

 

barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com> Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 10:44 AM
To: Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com>
My Dear cian

How are you today,Hope all is well?Has bank contacted you and corrected the error mistake back?

If that bank has done so kindly update me as soon as possible ok

Thanks and God Bless
Wait for your good respond quickly.
Barrister Benson James

Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com> Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 12:02 PM
To: barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com>
Yep, it’s all good. Well done on making the corrections. What now?
Best,

Cian


 

The next phase of course is for Benson to get me to pay him the €857, and then I will never hear from him again, unless he wants to try and get more money by pretending I owe more fees later on.


 

 

 

barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com> Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 2:19 PM
To: Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com>
Thank for your good respond,Am so much happy to hear bank has
corrected the error ,Now what you have to do is to scan a copy of your
passport or any of your driving license direct to the E-mail bank and
also inform the bank the time you will make the payment they have
instructed you to paid to enable them  Re-activation account before
the fund will move into your account.

Note! inform the bank Director Mr Charles Otmba that you can not make
it to come down here in our country, I will be the one to represent
you and sign the necessary release documentation papers on behalf of
you before the fund will get into your account.Here is the Depositor document bank required from you before the transaction will take place as soon as possible.As soon as you contacted the bank kindly update me so that avoid any mistake again ok

Thanks and Remain Bless

Barr Benson James.(Esq)


He included this jpeg legal document:DEPOSITOR CERT61

 

I thought long and hard about how to proceed from here, and eventually I decided that I would deal with the bank directly, saving Benson the paperwork.


 

Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com> Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 5:10 PM
To: barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com>
Hey Benson my man,

Thanks for the mail. I emailed the bank a copy of my passport, and it looks like things are going to plan. They advised me to send them the reactivation money over PayPal, so it looks like I don’t need to give you the money after all. I will send them the money, then we can talk about how to proceed. I will send them the money tomorrow.

Best,

Cian

 


 

I had not emailed the bank, and they had not emailed me, and since the bank was Benson himself, this was problematic for him.


 

barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com> Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 6:32 PM
To: Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com>
My Dear Cian

Thank for your good respond, Now what you will do is to inform the bank
that you will make the payment tomorrow for the Re-activation of the
account and also you will send your passport to them.To come to your notice after the successful transfer of the fund into your designated account in your country, 45% of the total fund will be for you,While 45% will be for me and my family while the remaining 10%
will be used to establish the charitable foundation in your country in the name of my late client.

Cian take note as soon as you make the payment direct to the bank
kindly forward the attach payment slip to me and also the MTCN to me
so that i will take every record of my perusal avoid any mistake.

Note! You have to assure me that you will not betray this trust or
double-cross me when the fund is finally transferred into your bank
account?.You have to assure me that I will get my own share of the fund
whenever I visit you in your country and that you will not ask for
more share than what is negotiated or try to sit on the fund or
indulge in any form of blackmail once the fund is transferred into
your bank account.Please my Dear all i need is your trust the amount involved in this
transaction is a huge amount of money that can change any life,I
believe that you are a sincere man! please

Thanks and Remain Bless

Barr Benson James(Esq)

Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com> Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 7:58 PM
To: barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com>
Hi Benson,

That all sounds great. I will be doing the transaction over PayPal, so there won’t be a payment slip: it is more secure this way. The bank said they were fine with this. They will then give me the money. Once it is in my bank account, I will transfer you the money. Please forward me your Bank Account details.

Best,

Cian


 

Benson didn’t respond to this, but I kept on going with my endgame.


 

To: barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com>
Hi benson!

So this morning I transferred the reactivation fee to the bank, and they confirmed they received it and it was processed correctly. I just checked my bank account, and the UTB work fast: the entire inherited amount is there already!Good work Benson, your plan worked. Anyway, in order to transfer you your share, I need your bank details. Can you please send me the information, and also a photocopy of your passport?

Thanks!

Cian

[Quoted text hidden]


 

I didn’t hear from Benson for a few days, the longest time we have been out of contact for weeks. Then this morning I sent him a follow-up email, and he bit back.


 

Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com> Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 12:13 PM
To: barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com>
Hi Benson,

Still waiting for your bank account details and passport photocopy.

May God Be With you

Cian

barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com> Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 12:41 PM
To: Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com>
Dear cian

With dues respect to you am a lawyer and a respected lawyer, If that
you are not interested in this transaction kindly forget it ok . E-mail to the bank to verify if that you have made the pay pal to them and also to know if that bank has finally transfer the fund to your account. If that you are not capable and willing in this transaction kindly let me know ok

thanks and Best Regards

Barr Benson James(Esq)

Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com> Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 12:46 PM
To: barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com>
Hi benson,

I replied in my last mail that I have sent them the money, and that the bank has transferred the full amount to me, which I am enjoying right now! All that remains to be completed is for you to send me your bank details so I can transfer your share of the 9 million dollars! I will also need a photocopy of your passport to process the transaction.

Best

Cian

 

barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com> Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 12:55 PM
To: Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com>
I understood you right, now Email me the bank email you send the money!

 

You will notice that this is the first time in our communication that the good barrister has broken character, and is nothing like his normal self.


 

Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com> Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 1:04 PM
To: barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com>
Benson,

The email you request is personal communication between myself and the Union Togo Bank, I do not feel safe sending it to you, and do not see why you need it.

As I said, all that needs to be completed is for you to send me your information.

Cian

barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com> Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 1:12 PM
To: Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com>
Cian

Like i said before , I received a call from bank this morning and the
bank Director Union Togolaise De Banque, The Manager said they have
not received any of your mail since they have approved your fund.So
that means you are laying to me , am just seeing you as a big joker
thanks and God Bless.I will look for someone who is capable in this transaction thanks.

Barr Benson James


 

So yes, it finally came to this: being called a liar and a joker by a fake Togolese barrister trying to scam money from me. And all over each of us claiming to have had a fictional conversation with a fictional bank.


 

Cian Mulligan <cian.mulligan@gmail.com> Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 1:48 PM
To: barrister ben <barristerben934@gmail.com>
Benson,

I have no idea who you called this morning, but currently in my bank account is $9 million dollars, so I think this is enough proof that I am genuine. I have quit my job and am currently looking at a boat catalogue, as I will buy a boat within the hour.If you do not want your share, this is fine, however I do feel strongly about the establishment of the charitable institute in memory of my relative Stephen Mulligan. I would like to go ahead with this, and require your services as my representative in Stephens beloved Togo. I wish to transfer you this money. I require your bank details and a passport photocopy. As well as this, in order to process the transfer, an Emotional Release fee is required to process the payment. In my country this comes to €857, and must be paid by the receiver of the funds. I will add this amount to the transferred amount, so you will be repaid immediately.

Please advise,

Cian


 

 

This was the last communication I had with poor old Barrister Ben, who I had developed quite the connection with over the course of the month. He always replied, he was always cordial, and he always brought good news. I will miss his emails, and constant requests for a copy of my passport. On a more serious note, I regret that I will no longer be wasting his time by making him go back and forth between his Gmail and Outlook email accounts, that he will not have to change his fake documents on MS Paint for me, and I will not be annoying him anymore in the future. This is because unfortunately, this is the only way you can actually fight back against email scammers, by wasting their time and fooling them into believing that they have someone hooked in. I say this because if enough people do this, it will lessen the chances of these scammers actually succeeding in ripping off the vulnerable: and it does happen. A Google search of the UTB Bank brings up not only a fake website (I hope it is fake anyway!) created for the purposes of legitimising the scam, but also a story from 2013 (!?!?!!) of someone actually falling for the charms of Barrister Ben, and handing him over $16,500  in order to gain access to her dead relatives riches. In my other blog about scamming, I came to the conclusion that a scammer who can get people to hand over such amounts of money probably deserves the reward, but in retrospect, there are some vulnerable people out there and perhaps the internet is not such a safe place for those who do not communicate solely through irony and are not utterly pessimistic about human nature. In any case, if you are bored, get in contact with your nearest e-mail scam artist, it could end up doing something incrementally good. Either way, it’s always nice to have a pen-pal.

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10 thoughts on “Togo, or not Togo?

  1. So, I got the same mail from our dearest man.
    He send me a jpeg with those cliparts. And I’m laughing so hard right now, it’s simply absurd

  2. Dear,
    I am Barr. Benson Ganza, the personal attorney to Mr. James W.
    Labare,
    a national of your country, who worked with Shell Petroleum
    Company
    Togo. On the 7th June 2011, my client, his wife and their
    only
    daughter were involved in a car accident and all lost their lives.
    Since
    then I have made several inquiries to your embassy here to
    locate any of my
    clients extended relatives this proved unsuccessful.
    I decided to track his
    last name over the Internet, to locate any
    member of his family hence I
    contacted you. I have contacted you to
    assist in repatriating the fund valued
    at US$10.5million left behind
    by my client before it gets confiscated by the
    Bank where this huge
    amount were deposited. The said Bank has issued me a
    notice to provide
    the next of kin or have his account confiscated within the
    next 21
    official working days. Since I have been unsuccessful in locating
    the
    relatives for over 2years now, I seek the consent to present you as
    the
    next of kin to the deceased, so that the proceeds of this account
    can be paid
    to you. All I require from you is your honest cooperation
    to enable us see this
    transaction through.
    Regards,
    Barr. Benson Ganza Esq.
    Reply To:
    bensonga56@hotmail.com

    • Dear Napish,
      I am Barr. Benson Ganza, the personal attorney to Mr. James W. Napish,
      a national of your country, who worked with Shell Petroleum Company
      Togo. On the 7th June 2011, my client, his wife and their only
      daughter were involved in a car accident and all lost their lives.
      Since then I have made several inquiries to your embassy here to
      locate any of my clients extended relatives this proved unsuccessful.
      I decided to track his last name over the Internet, to locate any
      member of his family hence I contacted you. I have contacted you to
      assist in repatriating the fund valued at US$10.5million left behind
      by my client before it gets confiscated by the Bank where this huge
      amount were deposited. The said Bank has issued me a notice to provide
      the next of kin or have his account confiscated within the next 21
      official working days. Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the
      relatives for over 2years now, I seek the consent to present you as
      the next of kin to the deceased, so that the proceeds of this account
      can be paid to you. All I require from you is your honest cooperation
      to enable us see this transaction through.
      Regards,
      Barr. Benson Ganza Esq.
      Reply To: bensonga56@hotmail.com

  3. Good morning, I lived in Indonesia get a funds transfer from a bank togo, whether the evidence is derived from bank transfer togo because after one week of the funds have not entered ..
    And then they said the money is blocking with service control..

    Thank yoi

  4. A MI TAMBIEN ME QUISO ENGAÑAR, Y CASI CAIGO PERO GRACIAS A DIOS QUE SE ME OCURRIO BUSCAR EN INTERNET Y LEI TU BLOG, ESTO SON FRAGMENTOS PEQUEÑOS DE TODOS LOS MAILS QUE ME MANDABA
    Dear Klepatzky‏,

    Greetings to you and I hope this message meet you in good faith. My
    name is Mr Eliot Reidhead,a solicitor at law and personal attorney to
    late Engineer Klepatzky‏, a national of your country, who died in a
    motor accident in the year 2010, with his wife and their only
    daughter.

    I have contacted you as the beneficiary/next of kin to his estate fund
    valued at (US$11.5 Million) which he left behind in my country by the
    Finance Firm, However he deposited the fund before his death. The said
    Finance company where he deposited the funds has for some time now
    issued me a notice to provide the next of kin to my client or his
    account shall be declared dormant and possibly confiscated.

    Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relative for over 3
    years now, I am now seeking your consent to present you as the
    deceased next of kin since you have the same surname with the
    deceased, please contact me now to this email address
    (eliotreidhead12@hotmail.com) Call me 0022890340275.

    This transaction is real and 100% risk free believe me and I promise you the sky shall be our limit. Once again you have my guarantee that what ever information you supplied are in safe hands and will never be exposed to any transaction that will be of detriment to your hard earned reputation / image. It is my Bond

    REGARDS.
    Barrister Eliot Reidhead.
    Principal Attorney of
    Dominion Associates
    Chambers Barristers & Solicitors
    Public Notary Lome-TOGO West Africa
    BTD/SORT-CD-00247901.

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