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Don’t Trust This Man With Your Money

Anyone with an email account  is probably aware of the Nigerian scams, those pesky emails purportedly written by some wealthy foreigner who needs your help moving millions of dollars from his/her homeland to yours, and will reward you with a hefty percentage of this fortune if you agree to assist him/her. If not, you can find everything you needed to know about them here.

 

The point is that by now, you would think people would realize that they are scams, and not some opportunity-of-a lifetime provided by some stranger who has decided to trust you with his/her wealth.

 

But apparently, there are still people gullible enough to believe the scam. For example, the scam recently fooled an Australian man. What is worse is that this man was a financial adviser!

“Dear Inmate, I am the brother of the prisoner in the cell opposite you – a holy man wrongly jailed and now forced to sell his only hope of freedom, a magic carpet, to pay for surgery to save our mother’s life. For just six cartons of cigarettes …”

 

Dangle a spare invisible key in the deal and Robert Andrew Street may be interested.

 

Such is the staggering stupidity that led this Melbourne financial manager to fleece his clients of more than $1 million so he could toss it into the black hole of a Nigerian letter scam.

 

Street, who last year acknowledged his gross gullibility by accepting a life ban from working anywhere within the financial services industry, now admits his greed was criminal and faces jail.

 

Street saw only dollar signs when he opened a mysterious missive from the Reverend Sam Kukah three years ago.

 

Like so many of his countrymen, the chairman of Nigeria’s Presidential Payment Debt Reconciliation Committee urgently needed to transfer a huge sum of money abroad.

 

Mr Kukah would drop $US65 million into Street’s Tira Pty Ltd business account if Street could just smooth things over with a little up-front cash.

 

Street, the operator of a suburban financial planning business, Making Dollars & Sense, swiftly harnessed his clients through offers to invest in get-rich-quick projects, including an electronic system of tracking stolen cars.

 

Having collected $1,039,910, Street spent $10,000 on mobile telephones urgently needed in Nigeria and sent these, along with most of the balance of the money, overseas.

 

Mr Kukah did not keep his end of the deal. Street’s clients complained that their money had disappeared and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission moved in.

 

So ridiculous seemed the proposition that Street, then an authorised representative of the licensed dealer Grosvenor Securities, had fallen for the infamous Nigerian scam that ASIC initially considered whether he might have been in on it.

 

Gradually, ASIC wound up Tira Pty Ltd, secured a Federal Court undertaking that Street be barred for life from the financial services industry and charged him with five counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception between September 2001 and August 2002.

Update: Meet Flooble, the automatic scam response generator.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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