Whatcha Ghana Do With Email Scam?

September 18, 2014

You know, I really get some dumb crap via spam emails, as I'm sure you all do.  Most of the time, it's some idiot trying to get me to buy Canadian pharmaceuticals promising to enlarge various parts of the human anatomy. Then there are the ever popular notices about lotteries that I never entered but won. From time to time, unfortunately, I get a call from someone who has either been defrauded by one of these Internet scams or is wondering whether I think that the opportunity set forth in an email is real.

The other day, I found the nugget below in my in-box:

URGENT ATTENTION !!!!

Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 12:41 PM FROM:Lieutenant General Peter A. Blay info@yahoo.com

I am Lieutenant General Peter A. Blay the Presidential Special Initiative. I am mailing you in respect, of the present development going on here in my country GHANA. I decided to contact you, after much investigation which was carried out by the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) and also with the Ghana Police Service, in order to make sure that our country is free from those fraudulent activities, which are going on here in Africa and for our country to also bear a good name.

The Airport Authority detected some trunk boxes after been scanned, the authorities detected that the boxes contains funds and Gold on your name and email that has been tempered on, they were been smuggled into the country by foreign Personnel who were on transit from Brazil. These men were trying to enter the country with the trunk boxes, when the airport authority detected that these boxes contains, some huge amount of United State Dollars. After much investigation we found out that these men were among the men, spoiling the good name of Africa. They opened up to us that, they actually work with a Lotto company before their dismissal and used the opportunity to perpetuate their crimes, they told us that the funds inside the boxes was won by you, but now they planned to turn back on you and decided to take the money all to themselves out of the country.We later found out on the investigation that was carried out, these men are truly members of a well established organization in Brazil.

As I write you this mail now, the three(3) men that were caught are now in
the custody of the Ghana Police Service over here in our country Ghana,while we are trying to track the others left, because they have proved  to us that they belong to one organization. That is why we have to reach you by your email address that was tagged in the boxes, so we can make arrangement on the delivery of the recovered boxes by a United Nation Diplomatic Personnel.

Your urgent response will be very much appreciated as soon as you have received this email. Thank you for your kind attention, for us to make sure our beloved country Ghana, bears a good name. Please you are to provide this below information.

A: FULL NAMES:......... 
B: ADDRESS:......... 
C: DIRECT CONTACT PHONE NUMBER:......... 
D: COUNTRY:......... 
E: SCAN COPY OF ANY PASSPORT OR ID CARD:.........

This information will be required, by the authorities in Ghana to draft the new change of ownership in your name as the rightful owner of the funds in our custody and also to verify the information given to us because the documentations covering the boxes have been tampered on.
Please to remind you, don't belongs to scammers or any act of fraudulent on internet. I will give more information to you as i await your response
immediately.

Please dont read this and ignore it,

Honest Regards, 

Lieutenant General Peter A. Blay Chief of Army Presidential Special Initiative,Republic Of Ghana. 

Reply to this email only: lieutenant_generalpeter009@aol.com

No . . . I am not going to reply to Lieutenant General Peter A. Blay, notwithstanding that this purportedly high ranking military officer has been relegated to a lowly AOL email address. And, yes, for those of you who are concerned, I didn't open the message and it has been permanently deleted from my in box.

That being said, please indulge me.

I would like to be courteous and reply to the Lt. General but my concern about the vagaries on the Internet prevent me from extending the courtesies that I was raised to do. My preliminary online research revealed that, in fact, there is a Lt. Gen. Peter A. Blay, as noted on the website for the Ghana Armed Forces. On the other hand, I sort of doubt -- or, perhaps I should say I hope -- that the Lt. General is not the actual sender of the email under discussion in this column. This esteemed military officer may be unaware that his reputation is being damaged by a series of fraudulent emails, and it is my hope that should he spend time surfing the Internet and come upon my BrokeAndBroker.com Blog, he will be alerted to take whatever action he can.

Below is how I would respond to the sender of the email -- but for the fact that I have no intention of hitting "REPLY" or "SEND" on the offending electronic communication:


Dear Lt. General Peter A. Blay (or whoever the hell you are):

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about your discovery of the boxes of money that were supposed to be sent to me.  I can tell that you must be a very busy Lt. General because you are attached to the Presidential Special Initiative of Ghana ("PSIG"). I am impressed that the world famous Ghana Bureau of National Investigation ("GBNI") carried out an investigation and not only a GBNI investigation but apparently one with the equally vaunted Ghana Police Service  ("GPS") and, perhaps, your own PSIG. According to you, the GBNI and GPS (I'm using acronyms here and hope that you can decipher the meanings) undertook an investigation in order to make sure that Ghana is free from fraudulent activities. I like the fact that the goal of the investigations is so that Ghana can "bear a good name." That's commendable.

I read with great interest how the Ghana Airport Authority ("GAA") detected some trunk boxes containing funds and gold intended for me. When you say that you also discovered that my email had been "tempered" with, I'm assuming you meant "tampered." I see that you spelled that word correctly later on in your email.

I was also distressed to learn that my fortune was part of a smuggling operation from Brazil. Trust me, General, I had no knowledge of the smuggling and have never been to Brazil, although, to be honest, I have eaten Brazil nuts and have watched some Zumba infomercials. I'm not sure if, in fact, Zumba is Colombian or Brazilian but, then again, those countries are both in South America and you're in Africa and, geez, that's close enough, right? Oh, I just remembered, I've also had some Brazilian coconut water. Can't say that I loved it but at least I gave it a try. Do you make coconut water in Ghana?  

By the way, did you know that one of my favorite songs from the 1970s was "Whatcha Ghana Do?" by Pablo Cruise? I've embedded the song below for your enjoyment.


Thankfully, the GBNI, the GPS, and the GAA found out that the bastards behind the Brazilian smuggling were trying to spoil the good name of Africa. You didn't specifically indicate that your PSIG was involved in unspoiling your continent's good name but I bet your organization was actively involved. I am also encouraged that these miscreants "opened up to us that, they actually work with a Lotto company before their dismissal and used the opportunity to perpetuate their crimes, they told us that the funds inside the boxes was won by you, but now they planned to turn back on you and decided to take the money all to themselves out of the country."

If you got all this information out of those bad guys through torture, I would prefer that you not provide me with the details. Regardless, I would like my Lotto winnings, which, as you assert, were won by me and, to be clear, I am not going to disagree with you because you strike me as a very honest guy.  Why the couriers of my Lotto winnings "planned to turn back" on me and keep my winnings all to themselves is shameful.  I think it best that you send me my proceeds without delay so as to quickly rid both Africa and Ghana of the shame.

If you are at liberty, please let me know the name of the "well established organization in Brazil" for which these criminals worked.  I recently watched the Brazilian national team in the World Cup. Frankly, from what I saw, that wasn't such a well established organization. Maybe that biting guy from the Uruguay team had a bad influence on the Brazilian lotto thieves and prompted their involvement of Ghana? Come to think of it, wasn't Ghana in Group G during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil?  From what I recall, you guys sort of stunk up the place and even the United States beat you but I think you tied the ultimate Cup winner Germany. Maybe these guys who tried to steal my winnings sabotaged your World Cup team? Have the GBNI, GPS, and GAA look into that but, if you don't mind, keep my name out of it. Oh, and if you think it best to get PSIG involved, go for it.

You have asked that I send to you my full name, address, direct telephone number, country, and a copy of any passport or ID. Frankly, you have my full name: Bill Singer and I am from the USA. I prefer not to be contacted directly by telephone because it's such a nuisance. Consequently, just continue to email me at the address you already have. As to my passport or ID, sure . . . no problem. Tell you what, after my bank confirms that the stolen Lotto funds are in my account and the transfer has cleared, I will be happy to send you ID.  As you can see, General, I took your admonition to heart and did not ignore  your email and have fully read it.

Sincerely,

Bill Singer