Thursday, March 2, 2006

Another One Caught in a Nigerian 419 Scam

The e-mails arrive with alarming regularity -- at least if your address is publicly available like mine -- imploring you to help the widow or orphans of a high level former government official from an African country whose untimely demise has left a large sum of money sitting in a bank waiting for you to help move it, for a cut of the profit of course.  They are almost laughable, with the misspellings and appeals to greed cloaked in altruism.  Except that, somehow, these missives continue to draw in people, some quite well-educated, who can lose large amounts of money chasing the pot of gold.  An LA Times story (here) discusses another victim, this time Dr. Louis A. Gottschalk , a prominent psychiatrist at the University of California at Irvine, who may have been taken for upwards of $3 million over ten years as part of the scam.  Dr. Gottschalk's son, Guy, has filed a lawsuit to remove the 89-year old as the administrator of a family partnership because he has allegedly destroyed records to hide the amount of the losses from the scheme.  Dr. Gottschalk has responded that his son is on a "vendetta."  If the son's claims about the scam are true, this may rank among the most successful Nigerian 419 frauds perpetrated, and it probably will encourage more e-mails seeking the next victim.  I can't wait to receive them. (ph)

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Tracked on Mar 4, 2006 8:05:30 PM


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