Mrs. Owuso Promises "Free $3.7 million"
(July 28, 2005) — Somewhere in Ghana, a bank manager has an extra $3.7 million and she needs my help to keep it out of the hands of her superiors.
Ahh, summer, when I actually have time to read some of the e-mail offers I receive from the wonderful people out there who want to help me get rich.
This one is from Mrs. Atu Owuso, who promises a very generous payment in exchange for access to my bank account — which she says she will use to hide the loot.
"As the regional manageress of the International Commercial Bank I discovered that my branch in which I am the manageress made Three million seven hundred fifty thousand dollars (3,750,000.00) which my head office are not aware of and will never be aware of."
Hmm. I wonder how the branch made all that money without the central office finding out. Is that even legal? Is that even possible? Don't banks have central accounting? Oh, well, what do I know? Besides Mrs. Owuso wants to give me money — lots of money.
"As an officer of the bank I can not be directly connected to this money," says Mrs. Owuso's e-mail, "so this informed my contacting you for us to work so that you can assist receive this money into your bank account for us to SHARE. While you will have 30 percent of the total fund, Note there are practically no risk involved, it will be bank to bank transfer, all I need from you is to stand claim as the original depositor of this fund who made the deposit." (sic)
So I just have to lie and say I needed a foreign bank to hold my money and thought, why not Ghana? I guess I could say I made a fortune in a dot-com business before the crash. I doubt anyone will ever ask where the money came from anyway.
By the way, once the money is in my account, what stops me from keeping it all? What's to say I'll settle for 30 percent?
I think Mrs. Owuso, who says she's 34, married with three kids and a "woman of PEACE," may be a little naïve. But that's not my problem.
At least Mrs. Owuso is more personable than some of the e-solicitors out there. Just this week, I had an anonymous offer to "run your own online casino. No skills needed." Just call an 800 number. Sounds like work, though. I'd rather get rich without having to run anything.
I have the same problem with this anonymous greeting:
"If you have a phone and can return calls you can make $1,500 to $3,500 per day just for returning phone calls." Why would I want to spend all day on the phone when I have Mrs. Owuso offering me money for doing absolutely nothing?
Just a few days ago, I received an even more lucrative offer from a lawyer in London. He has a client with $17.8 million he needs to stash, and if I agree to take it, I can keep 25 percent of it. I was suspicious of lawyer Campbell Jones because his written English is really broken English.
Indeed, none of the offers seem as legit as Mrs. Owuso's. For once I think I might actually be of genuine service to a person who just wants to make sure her money gets a good home in America.
"I only hope we can assist each other," she wrote. "If you don't want this business offer kindly forget it as I will not contact you again." Oh no, no, Mrs. Owuso, please don't forget it.
I'm only too eager to help you hide that $3.7 million from your supervisors. They don't need the money. We need the money. I'd be happy to send you my bank account information — even a credit card number if that would help. What could possibly go wrong?