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I received the following email recently:
Please forgive me for the unofficial way of reaching you via email Contacting you is the only option left to me due to the doctors report on my deteriorating health condition which raised a lot of worries regarding some amount of money i secured in Iraq.
For you to understand my plight better, let me start by introducing my self to you , My name is William Gustav Donald III from Glendale, Arizona USA, a member of the U.S. ARMY USARPAC Medical Team, which was deployed to Iraq in the beginning of the war in Iraq
Presently i am disabled due to the my bad experience and role which I played in the pursuit of my career serving under the U.S 1st Armored which was at the fore-front of the war in Iraq
Please find time to view the site below as it will be very useful for better understanding.
Having gone through the site, please feel free to contact me for details of what i want to entrust in your care.
Please contact me with my private email (email@example.com )
MAJOR WILLIAMS GUSTAV DONALD
If you follow the link in the email you will find a story of millions of dollars that were found in Iraq. That is the only part of the email that is true. The rest is all about trying to steal money. The sender is not Major Williams and he has no money. If Major Williams did have access to some of the found money then he would be a criminal and certainly wouldn’t be emailing someone he doesn’t know to help him.
So I emailed the scammer back and simultaneously asked Gmail and Hotmail to take down his email accounts. I got the following reply from his new Yahoo account.
Dear Randy Abrams
Thanks for your response to my message and for your time, i am Major Williams Donald From Glendale Arizona United States, i sent you a mail previously with my gmail account, but for the security of this transaction i shall be reaching you through this yahoo account, like i mentioned in my first email, i require your assistance in a financial transaction that requires you to stand and receive funds i made from Iraq and Afghanistan respectively as my family representative and investor abroad.
The funds as soon as is transferred will be split 50% for me, 40% for you and 10% for charity.
More details of this i shall let you know when we know each other better, the aim is for me to ensure that the funds is kept safe now that our duty here is ending due to Presidents Barrack Obama's policy which is aimed at putting an end to the problem in these Countries.
I have contacted a lawyer who will re-profile the claim documents in your name as the beneficiary so that you will not have any difficulty receiving and keeping this fund until i return to the States
My lawyer is prepared to give you a better explanation on how this can be done, Kindly reconfirm to me your full names, contact address in full and mobile telephone numbers more private discussing with my lawyer for the purpose of successfully completing this transaction .
I await the required information asap!
In God we trust
Major Williams Donald
I get bored easily with stupid scammers, so I have asked Yahoo to shutdown his account too. If I had followed through then eventually I would be asked to provide my bank account number to receive funds. At that point the scammer might ask me for a processing fee or simply transfer money into my account, ask me to send him some of it, and then the bank would learn the funds were stolen and I would have to give it all back.
It is pretty easy to see from the mistakes in the email messages that this is not a Major in the US Army, or even a native English speaking person.
It amazes me that anyone stupid enough to fall for this kind of scam could be literate enough to read the message in the first place.
There may well be a Major Donald Williams, but he certainly is not associated with this scam.
Director of Technical Education
Author ESET Research, ESET