Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Friday, December 4, 1998 Published at 18:38 GMT


World: Middle East

Internet scam offers millions

Free money offer - fall for it now, pay later

By Frank Gardner in Dubai

"On behalf of the Mobutu family, I wish to give you $30m," reads one extract from an electronic mail now being sent to businessmen in the United Arab Emirates over the Internet.

The sender is calling himself Phillip Kullar, and claims to be the Mobutu family's legal adviser.

A copy of the e-mail has been obtained by the local Dubai-based newspaper, Gulf News, which says that the money offered allegedly belonged to the late Congolese President, Mobutu Sese Seko.

The e-mail tells Gulf businessmen that Mr Kullar found their personal data in a private apartment of President Mobutu in his home town of Lisala.

Then it goes on to say that the sender has already transferred $139m out of the Democratic Republic of Congo to Abidjan in the Ivory Coast.

The letter then invites the businessman to come to Abidjan to receive the $30m from Mr Mobutu's first son.

It also asks him to open a bank account in Abidjan and to send his curriculum vitae and personal contact details.

Although in this case the recipient is not actually asked to remit money, the usual practice in these cases is that once contact has been established, the sender then asks for an advance of thousands of dollars to pay off officials and taxes.

The promised money then rarely materialises.

Over the last 10 years, Nigeria has been the principal base for such scam offers with more than 50,000 scam letters received in Britain by the beginning of this year.

Recently a number of similar frauds have been reported to be coming from South Africa, and now, it seems, two more countries have had their names added to the list.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia



Relevant Stories

30 Aug 98 | Sci/Tech
Net use makes you sad

22 Jul 98 | Sci/Tech
Fears about Internet crime





Internet Links


United Arab Emirates

Gulf News


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Safety chief deplores crash speculation

Iraq oil-for-food aid extended

Israel demands soccer sex scandal inquiry

Israeli PM's plane in accident

Jordan police stop trades unionists prayers

New Israeli raid in southern Lebanon

New demand over PLO terror list

Earthquake hits Iran

New UN decision on Iraq approved

Algerian president pledges reform