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Nigerian 419ers' less than perfect command of the English language has in the past allowed us to make merry at their expense. The following bog-standard advance fee fraud email contains all the classic elements - deceased African general, suitcases packed with readies, etc, etc. Not much to provoke a fit of the giggles there, you might think, But read on:

MR. WANG QIN
HANG SENG BANK LTD.
DES VOEUX RD. BRANCH,
CENTRAL HONG KONG,
HONG KONG.

Email:wang_qin07@yahoo.com.hk

Dear Sir/Madam,

Let me start by introducing myself. I am Mr. Wang Qin, credit officer of the Hang Seng Bank Ltd. I have a concealed business suggestion for you. Before the U.S and Iraqi war our client General. Ibrahim Moussa who was with the Iraqi forces and also a business man made a numbered fixed deposit for 18 calendar months, with a value of Twenty Six Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars (US$26,500.000.00) only in my branch. Upon maturity several notices were sent to him, even during the war early this year. Again after the war another notification was sent and still no response came from him. We later find out that the General and his family had been killed during the war in a bomb blast that hit their home.

After further investigation it was also discovered that Gen. Ibrahim Moussa did not declare any next of kin in his official papers including the paper work of his bank deposit. And he also confided in me the last time he was at my office that no one except me knew of his deposit in my bank. So, Twenty Six Million, Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars is still lying in my bank and no one will ever come forward to claim it. What bothers me most is that according to the laws of my country, at the expiration of three years the funds will revert to the ownership of the Hong Kong Government if nobody applies to claim the funds. Against this backdrop, my suggestion to you is that I will like you as a foreigner to stand as the next of kin to Gen. Ibrahim Moussa so that you will be able to receive his funds.

WHAT IS TO BE DONE:

I want you to know that I have had everything planned out so that we shall come out successful. I have contacted an attorney that will prepare the necessary documents that will back you up as the next of kin to Gen. Ibrahim Moussa, all that is required from you at this stage is for you to provide me with your Full Names and Address as you would like them to appear in the documentation. After you have been made the next of kin, the attorney will also file for claims on your behalf and secure the necessary approval and letter of probate in your favor for the movement of the funds. There is no risk involved at all in the matter as we are going to adopt a legalized method and the attorney will prepare all the necessary documents. Please endeavor to observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning this issue.

Once the funds have been transferred, we shall share in the ratio of 60% for me, 35% for you and 5% for any expenses incurred during the course of this operation. Should you be interested, please contact me via email the above email strictly as I am not fluent in English and I would like all communication to be via email. As soon as I get your response, I will provide you with more details of this operation. Your earliest response to this letter will be appreciated.

Kind Regards

Mr. Wang Qin

Marvellous. This absolute proof that the Lads from Lagos really are a complete bunch of tossers has caused delight throughout the 419-baiting community. One scambaiter (website on Geocities, so we won't bring it down by giving the url) has recently been involved in a correspondence with Wang Qin, and couldn't resist the following:

Dear Wang:

You don't have a sister in LA, USA do you as I went to school with a Foo Qin? Then again, Qin is a relatively popular name, isn't it? Also, when it gets to the West, it is often Anglocised into King. Anyway, Foo ended up marrying a fellow called Burnie Hill. But... Foo wanted to keep some of her historic past in her name and was proud of it so she hypenated her name to Foo Qin-Hill.

Sir, we salute you. ®

Bootnote

Ta very much to Andrew Williamson for alerting us to the delights of Wang Qin.

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