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Back July 15th, 2015 Forward
Scam Alert - Dr David Cole, William A Carpenter

Apparently-From: Dr David Cole (
Addressed to: undisclosed-recipients:;

Scam body below )

Okay, so for a half share in 36.5 million US dollars, I'm expected to get into contact with Dr David Cole, and help him defraud his employer. If your scam alarm isn't going off loudly enough to deafen you on hearing something like that, you're probably precisely the sort of person this scammer is looking for!

Scam flags flying:

1) Contact out of the blue from someone I don't know who expects me to do something unlikely. I've never heard of Dr Cole before (so why should I trust him?), and more importantly, out of over seven billion people in the world, why on earth would he pick me, a suburban housewife in Western Australia, who he has never met before and knows nothing about, in order to help him with a criminal enterprise which requires him to trust me utterly?

2) Yes, this would be a criminal enterprise if it were real. You'd be planning to defraud a bank (Barclays Bank PLC), the government of the United Kingdom (where Barclays Bank is based), and the actual relatives of William A Carpenter. Nice people don't ask casual acquaintances to participate in major fraud as their first action.

3) The manner and place of your death does not determine whether or not you died intestate - what determines whether you died intestate is whether or not you have a known and valid will (as in "last will and testament") at the time of your death.

From this point, if their mark bites, the scam can go in any number of directions, depending on what the scammer is chasing. If they're after money, they'll start in on either advanced fee fraud by asking you to supply funds toward administrative costs, bribes and so on; or alternatively they can just go for straight blackmail - by responding, you're agreeing to participate in a fraud, after all (and this opens you up to the prospect of imprisonment), and presumably you'll pay money to stay out of prison. If they're after identity details, they'll ask for things like bank account numbers and other identifying information, so they can steal your identity (and probably all the cash from your bank account while they're at it).

As always, the trick to avoiding these is fairly straightforward: keep a sense of perspective, and don't be blinded by greed. If something seems too good to be true, it usually is. As a common-sense rule, someone planning a complicated fraud will tend to stick with people they know and can trust not to hand them over to the police (for whatever reason). They're not going to pick complete strangers at random, not knowing the first thing about their ethics.

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