A Facebook account in the name of an Ivory Coast national promises big money, seeks details of passport, driving licence.
A scamster from an unknown destination is prying on Facebook users in India including a large numbers of accounts of Keralites. Similar to the Nigerian scam of sending e-mails to unsuspecting Internet users, this Facebook account in the fictitious name of Miss Sofia Williams (Ivory Coast) is flooding inboxes of ‘her friends’ seeking passport details, driving licence, residential address and telephone numbers.
Officials say that the modus operandi is to befriend Facebook users and send them a message in the form of a letter stating that she has inherited her late father’s deposit of $3,500,000 which he had deposited in a bank in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
Request goes thus
The letter says that her father was a highly reputable businessman, a cocoa merchant and a supplier of agro-allied materials in the capital of Ivory Coast.
The letter says he passed away mysteriously in France during one of his business trips in November 21, 2010 and that his sudden death was linked or rather suspected to have been masterminded by her uncle, who travelled with him at that time. Her mother died when she was just four years old.
“I am contacting you to assist in repatriating the money before it gets confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this huge deposit was lodged. I have in my possession the deposit document which the bank gave to my late father when he deposited the fund. I really don’t know what to do,”
The letter also asks the user to give suggestions and ideas to “honestly and willingly help me as your sister.”
“What percentage of the total amount in question will be good for you after the money is in your country? Please, consider this and get back to me as soon as possible with the information so that I can register you at the bank as my foreign partner, trustee and the beneficiary of the money,” the letter says.
Malayalam film buff?
Quite interestingly, the Facebook user posted her movie likes as Lalettan (Mohanlal) and Jawan of Vellimala (a Mamootty starrer) in the profile. She claims to be a student of Freetown-Lakesville Middle School and hometown is Port Loko, Sierra Leone. The music bands likes posted in the profile are Filipino-American singer Jessica Sanchez and American singer-songwriter Phillip LaDon Phillips and TV show, American Idol.
Officials say most e-mail scam crimes are associated with Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Benin, and South Africa. Indians have fallen prey to such fraudsters on many occasions.
A Nigerian and a woman from Mumbai were recently arrested by State Crime Branch on charges of an Internet fraud in July 2013. Two years ago, the Thiruvananthapuram city police arrested a Nigerian national on the charge of defrauding a local person of Rs.25,000 posing as a foreign real estate businessman.