Saturday, June 27, 2015


I'm always amazed at how many people die without leaving a next of kin regarding their money. Thank goodness there are auditors looking out for potential suckers:

Date: Sunday, June 7, 2015
Subject: Claim of My Partner Investment Company Fund / Deposit Number Ref: A526J25

Claim of My Partner Investment Company Fund / Deposit Number Ref: A526J25

I am the chief auditor and head of computing department of a financial institution.

There is an account opened in this branch in 2005 and after our third quarter audit exercise at my branch on 9th  January  2014, I investigated deeply by contacting the assigned next of kin. I also found that the next of kin to this account was an Indonesian who lived in London for over 63 yrs and nobody has transacted on this account again after 2006.

I took the courage to look for a reliable and honest person who will be capable of this important transaction. In order to transfer out (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars). After going through some old files, I discovered that if I do not Remit this money out soon, it will be forfeited for nothing and the Bank management might divert the funds to their repository account as blocked fund.

Please respond immediately as I will use my position and influence to effect the legal approval and onward transfer of this fund into your account with appropriate clearance from foreign payment department. You will stand to get 30% while 70% will be for me and other colleagues involved. A word is enough for the wise, i await your soonest reply.

Sincerely yours,
Eugene Collete

 Even with splitting over $10-million, 70/30 doesn't seem fair -- unless you're Chester Hooten:
Dear Mr. Collete,

Count me in! I'm sick of banks grabbing other people's money, so I think it's about time I did some grabbing of my own. As you wish, I'm honest and reliable, having never told a lie in my entire life (except for the time when I told someone I liked their chocolate pudding when it actually tasted like cow patties.)

I tried to do 30% of ten million 500 thousand, but couldn't figure it out (I'm not good at math -- see, I'm honest about it!) but it sounds like enough to keep me stocked with beef jerky and Miller Lite for a while. Let me know what I have to do help you. I like helping people, especially when it means a payout for me.

Honestly and reliably yours,
Chester Hooten 

 After not receiving a supply with a week, I forgot about my fortune. But then on the eighth day, a miracle occurred -- but with a different return address.

From: Shannon Emres

Hello Chester,
i appreciate your concern on the project. To clear all doubts, all expenses on our side will be taken care-of, the most important point of focus is to know how genuine you are to carry out payment instructions as soon as you are in possession of the fund. Please i will like to know what part of country your financial institution is located and where you live.
If possible kindly identify your self and i shall carry you along with the project without delay. i shall furnish you with proper detail as regards the project. 
Hope to here from you soon buddy!
 Shannon, Eugene -- what does it matter when a fortune is at stake? I replied quickly:
Same back at you, buddy!

Yes I am genuinely genuine to carry out your instructions. I like following instructions because I can't think for myself, so whatever you want to do, I'm your boy. Or should I say buddy boy!

My bank is where I live in Bunko, Montana. The name of the bank is Bunko Trust, Savings, and Maybe Some Loans. And I will identify myself: yes, I am Chester Hooten.

I hope I did well. Let's get going on this project, Eugene.C!

Yours to command,
Chester Hooten

This time, Eugene replied within a day. And, unlike most of the other scammers, he actually seemed to take the time to read my email. Of course, his grammar and syntax skills were still lacking:

Hi Chester,
how do you do today? you seem to be a very nice person with good sense of humor but seriously this a corporate financial business therefore you need to be the boss of you own and not someone else's boy okay so please i would love to do business with you but you need to be more serious because projects like this involves experience or knowledge in corporate governance. It is a life time opportunity to seriously archive you goals, though it is through a back door of which most of the rich people including government officials around the world do use. Please let me know if you are matured or ripe enough for this project. Its not a child's play. 

 How to proceed? Continue my idiot routine, or keep him hanging on? I chose the latter:
Hello Eugene,

You're right. I was pretending to be silly, just to see if yours was a real offer. I'm glad to see you're serious about this project. Please, let me know exactly what information you need from me.

I look forward to working with you.

Chester Hooten 

When I received a reply, I thought it was from Yoda:

Hi Chester,

A great decision you have finally taken, i am very sure you will be grateful to God you did. Straight to business; please i don't want you to think other wise if i request for certain information about you, reason is to know how capable and serious you are as well as to your economic financial status and true identity. If you were in my shoes i'm sure you will do the same especially when it involves crucial projects like this one. In order for me to give you details of the project, i will like to know a little about you after which i shall reveal my identity to you. 
First i will like to know what work you do for a living, what institutions you bank with, a little about you and send me a valid identification of your self. Then i will be more comfortable to work with you. Above all your loyalty, commitment and truthfulness is what matters the most. 
Hope to hear from you soon my friend .

These scammers never take the time to learn basics, like capitalizing "I" or not writing run-on sentences. But that didn't stop me from sending a serious-sounding reply:

Dear Eugene,

Glad to hear from you so quickly. I live in Omaha Nebraska, and manage the local Walmart. I have a checking and savings account at the First National Bank of Omaha.

I admit, however, that I'm a little uneasy about giving my ID (I have a passport and drivers license, along with a Social Security card) without knowing who you are. I'm not sure how things work in London, but in America, if someone wants to start a transaction with another person, they always properly identify themselves first.

I would be happy to provide proper ID if you do the same first. I'm sorry if this is a problem, and will understand if you want to end our deal here. 

Chester Hooten

Usually if I've strung them along this long, they'll do whatever I ask of them. Not Eugene, who used a different font for the occasion:

Hello Chester,
It is good to know about who you are dealing with, please you need to understand that due to my position in the bank and the nature of my job which is audit, it is imperative i conceal my identity for now but most definitely you shall get to meet me sooner or latter in person as soon as we get green light on the transfers. Please don't feel bad about this, it is just the same way you will play if you were in shoes however here is a little about me you should know. As you already know my names, i am a chief auditor in a leading financial institution and most times in my unit we come across many blocked funds, fix cash deposits, unclaimed inheritance funds, dormant account etc. we can only but carefully select some transactions to divert after proper investigations. I am a family man and my family is settled abroad schooling also, there are lots of bills to pay . That is why there is need some times for such fund diversion as long as it is carefully orchestrated. Chester, i can only assure you that upon genuine commitment to this project i shall reveal more details about me and the business in question as this will definitely be necessary, but a step at a time because this is a sensitive  project.
Less i forget, you have to send me a copy of your identification as this will also be needed for the processing 
Please do not hesitate to ask me any question regarding this project as i will be delighted to answer as long as you intentions are genuine.


Before I had a chance to reply, he sent another email:

Hello Chester,
How was your weekend? hope you had a good one? I was wondering if you got the last mail i sent to you, anyway, i had a second thought; I should trust you based on your words of sincerity. I believe that you are a genuine person and God fearing so therefore i shall reveal my identity to you but you must promise to keep it top secret. I am a senior internal auditor for the central bank of Benin in west Africa. I am a Swiss national and the best expert the bank can hire. My real names are Frostl Wolfgang Franz and i have attached my identification for your perusal. As i said earlier my family is based abroad so i travel frequently to visit them i also visit the states as well. Please always address me via this email as Eugene for security reasons only. Don't be doubtful or scared as i can't bring problems to you. Let get on with this project and we will have every cause to smile in the end. Send the details i request for and i shall tell you more about the project okay.I hope to speak on phone with you soon. God bless you.

Frostl the Scam-man was a jolly happy soul. I thought it best to repay him in kind:

Hello Eugene,

Thank you, I had a pretty good weekend. I caught someone trying to shoplift a radio and, in the ensuing struggle, beat him into a coma. Luckily, I won't get charged with any crime, since he was the criminal. My boss gives his workers a bonus for every shoplifter we beat senseless, so I'm looking forward to some more criminals to pop by.

Thank you for your license. You look very serious, so I know I can trust you. I've attached a photo of my passport. I look forward to us working together soon.

Chester "Happy Traveler" Hooten

PS: You should know that there's someone on Linkedin using your name, and he's definitely not you! You should call the police.

I figured that this would be the end of the line. But I discovered that Eugene was more idiot than scammer:

Hello Chester,
I was just wondering why someone would want to shoplift or steal a radio, its really funny you know i only see that in the movies so are you really serious about that or you are just been silly as usual??? lolz
Also instead of beating him to coma why didn't you just call the cops hun? i hope you don't get charged latter days especially if they have it on camera. 
Back to business, Please forgive me if i'm wrong but i would love to know the truth if your true names are Happy Traveler ? sound too good to be true. Please i need your cooperation on this project and like i said earlier please don't worry about paying any bill okay, everything has been taken care of all i need is your trust commitment and loyalty, as soon as you are in possession of the funds, i need you to yield to instructions on how to channel my share to proper investment in the states. Don't worry Chester God is on our side as it is our turn to shine and get wealthy.
Less i forget, i'm not the only person on earth bearing the name Wolfgang so it is possible someone else bares the name too after all its a free world you should know better so i don;t think its worth it call the police for that.
Hey, send me your phone number so i can call you up.

I was getting sick of this back & forth, so if the phony ID didn't work, I thought my phone number would.
Don't worry. I destroyed the video that was in the camera. We just told the cops that the guy fell down several times. Which he did -- on my fist!

Yes, Happy Traveler is my real name; Chester Hooten are my middle names. I use that most of the time because, frankly, Happy Traveler sounds like something someone would make up for a sample passport photo. 

Trust, commitment and loyalty are truly the greatest things a person can offer. And I know I can count on you to be contrapositive -- and I mean that in the best way possible. My phone number is (402) 493-8688. Call me anytime -- can't wait to hear from you!

Chester Hooten 

I figured that by calling that number -- the Omaha branch office of the FBI -- he'd immediately know I was on to him. I mean, I was getting sick of this conversation. But Eugene decided to wait before calling. His email was one large paragraph, which I've divided up for easier reading -- if you can call this insult to grammar and syntax easy to read:

 Hello Chester,
LOL ! You are such a funny yet interesting man anyway, i hope you didn't hurt your fist tho. Thanks for sending your number, it surely will make communication lot easier between us.

Okay without delay i should brief you on this project that we are about to embark upon, so as to begin the process as soon as possible. 
Like i stated in my previous mails, As an senior auditor in a financial institution heading the central audit unit, we usually come across series of accounts and investment funds been owned by "only God knows" some kind of wealthy, greedy and selfishly self-centered  government officials using all sorts of investment programs to stalk public funds away from their different countries offshore. If you are conversant with international news most especial africa and asia, i'm sure this bastardy acts won't be strange to you. 
We find financial records aging back 8 -12 years ago deposit without anyone coming for claims all because most of these officials use either relatives' or partners' identities to conceal these huge funds from the public and they spread across across different financial policy friendly countries via their big investment banks or central banks. In order not to bore you with banking and financial ordeals we encounter, i thought you should have an idea of where i'm coming from so you would know where we are heading to. 
Okay enough of that... now here is the deal; there is an account i came across few years back and since been monitoring as well as investigated the account. I found out that the owner was late and Indonesian woman who lived and died in England. The account was only operated for about 2 yrs and since then till now still remains dormant without anyone coming for claim. Well as a professional in my field this sounds like an opportunity to hit a jackpot. If i turn blind eyes.. well the funds within next few years will be forfeited into the bank repository afterwards, some day if not stolen by bank chiefs and their shareholders, then it might be declared as excess funds who knows???.
Anyway Chester we need to act now and fast for their is no harm trying. I shall draft out an application letter which you shall submit to the bank's email i shall provide for you. as soon as that is done, we are on the go ! and i know that with my influence and the corporation of 2 other colleagues in my unit, we shall succeed. This won't be the first after all. Smiles.
Please stay true  to the end and you will be glad you did. 
So do begin to draft the latter? 
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask me.
I shall be coming to the states in 2 weeks to see my daughter in school doing her masters program and see my doctor for medical checkup, sorry to say but i'm diabetic. I will definitely call you when i'm in the states.
Please keep this transaction very confidential, i'm counting on you.
I await you response.
Have a nice day.

I had to make it clear that our little scheme was kaput:
Bad news. You know that guy I knocked into a coma? There are witnesses now coming forward, and it doesn't look good for me. My lawyer is urging me to plead guilty and throw myself at the mercy of the court. I'm looking at no less than 10 years in prison.

I'm writing this from my lawyer's laptop. The police are searching for my hard drive for proof  of any other "crimes" I might have committed. If they get in touch with you, don't be afraid, you weren't doing anything wrong.

Sorry to have to back out of our plan. I hope you find someone else to work with. It sure sounded promising.


I haven't heard from him since. 


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