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4/12/05 Update. Subscriber Charles Arthur makes this good point: “I think though it’s not the Nigerian scam. It’s phishers looking for middle people. Money goes from bank account of person in US to person who signed up for this thing. They forward it to “company” in other country. They are phishing middlemen. Usually unwitting.”

We’re (hopefully) all familiar with the infamous “Nigerian” scams (also called 411 or 419 scams, after the section of the Nigerian penal code that deals with these type of fraud schemes).

However, this email was received today, and it carries a new twist. It looks legitimate–it’s not some Nigerian official who is trying to get his money out of Nigeria. Instead, it’s an email that looks like a reasonable commercial venture trying to get an agent in the US. There’s even a VCF card attached to the email (nothing in the VCF but a name).

Of course, these types of scams rely on someone “posting some money” or some such nonsense.

As always, caveat emptor.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I represent Grambest [a scam name–Grambest is not a real company] International Import and Export Company based in the UK. My company exports cocoa, rubber and timber for world trade.
We are searching for representatives who can help us establish a medium of getting to our customers in Europe and America as well as making payments through you as our payment officer. Most of our customer pay out in cheques and we do not have an account in your country that will clear this money. It is upon this note that we seek your assistance to stand in as our representative in your country.

Note that, as our representative, you will receive 10% of whatever amount you clear for the company and the balance will be paid to us.

If you are interested in this business transaction, forward to us the information below:

(1)Your full names
(2)Contact address
(3)Phone/fax numbers.

All further correspondences should be emailed to

Thank you for your time.

Very Respectfully,

Mr. William Mark
Grambest Import/Export co.
Goods for Import/Export
Freight Fwdg. Svcs.

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