Live from Brussels

Musings from a bored analyst/project-manager.
Mail me...

Friday, October 11, 2002
 
Nigerian e-mail scam

Got another one of those scam mails, where they try to get you to help in retrieving a 'lost fortune', and all you have to do is accept it in someone's name and get to keep a large percentage. Of course, along the way there happen to be a lot of 'expenses' involved, which the victim must cough up, and maybe his identity gets stolen too. The money never materializes in the end, or did you already guess that?
What made this one different was the Dutch telephone number in it. This seems to indicate these scammers are operating from the Netherlands. Well, not for long anymore I hope: I just forwarded their mail to the Dutch police along with a nice note.

Here is the mail in question (yes, their caps-lock key seems to be stuck):

STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL

FROM: MRS. JUSTINA KABILA
TEL: +31-613-865-048
E-MAIL: justina49@netscape.net

ATTN:

AN APPEAL FOR YOUR PERSONAL ASSISTANCE TO INVEST IN YOUR COUNTRY

I AM FORTY-NINE YEARS OLD WIDOW (THE THIRD WIFE) OF THE LATE PRESIDENT
LAURENT KABILA OF THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. MY HUSBAND
WAS ASSASINATED BY ONE OF HIS BODYGUARD ON THE 16th OF JANUARY 2001.

AT THE MID OF THE REBELLION WHICH IS STILL ON IN MY COUNTRY,MY SON
AND I WENT OUT OF CONGO ACCORDING TO MY HUSBAND INSTRUCTION BEFORE
HIS DEATH BECAUSE THE FAITH OF OUR COUNTRY WAS YET TO BE DECIDED.
WE CAME TO AMSTERDAM WITH THREE SEALED BAGGAGE CONTAINING THE SUM
OF TWENTY-TWO MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS (US$22,000,000.00).

ON ARRIVAL IN AMSTERDAM THE NETHERLANDS, WE SOUGHT FOR POLITICAL
ASYLUM. WE WERE NOT ALLOWED TO OPERATE A BANK ACCOUNT AND DECIDED
TO DEPOSIT THE SEALED BAGGAGES CONTAINING THE FUNDS WITH A PRIVATE
SECURITY COMPANY.(UCL DIPLOMATIC SERVICES) FOR SECURITY REASONS,
I DECLARED THE CONTENT AS PHOTOGRAHPIC MATERIALS of high security
value BELONGING TO MY FOREIGN AFFILIATED BUSINESS PARTNER. SINCE
THEN WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR A RELIABLE AND TRUSTWORTHY PERSON
TO HELP ME FOR SAFE KEEPING OF THE MONEY PRIOR TO INVESTING IN ANY CONDUCIVE COUNTRY IN OVERSEA.

I GOT IN CONTACT WITH SOMEBODY IN AUSTRALIA,HE BECAME GREEDY CONSIDERING
HIS SHARE IN THE TRANSACTION, HE ASKED FOR 40%. LUCKILY, I RAN
INTO YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION AND DETAILS, AND DECIDE TO CONTACT
YOU AND SEE IF YOU COULD BE OF ANY HELP TO ME AND THE TERMS OF
THE TRANSACTION IS AS FOLLOWS:

1) 25% OF THE TOTAL SUM TO YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE IN PROVIDING
ACCOUNT AND SAFE KEEPING OF THE FUNDS.

2) 5% OF THE TOTAL SUM WILL BE SET ASIDE FOR ANY EXPENSES THAT MAY
BE INCURRED IN THE PROCESS OF THIS TRANSACTION.

3) 70% OF THE TOTAL SUM WILL BE FOR ME AND MY FAMILY INVESTMENT
IN YOUR COUNTRY OF WHICH YOU WILL BE A GUIDE TO US.

PLEASE SHOULD THIS MEET YOUR ULTMOST CONSIDERATION,CONTACT MY SON
(PETER KABILA) THROUGH TELEPHONE:(+31-613-865-048)


PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK (PETER) ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY
CONSIDER NECESSARY, HE IS FRONTING FOR ME ;AS I LOOK FOWARD TO HEAR FROM YOU.

YOURS TRULY,

MRS. JUSTINA KABILA.


 
Diplomacy

I've been reading another nice book in the Baen free library, namely Retief!, by Keith Laumer.
The author used to be a diplomat himself once, so he knows what he talks about. Pompous ambassadors, shifty dealings, stupid bureaucracy, shrewd planning and confusing contacts with strange cultures and habbits, it's all there. Oh, yeah, and aliens too...

Thursday, October 10, 2002
 
Lousy

That's how I feel right now. For the past two days, I've had a sore throat and a bit of a feverish feeling, combined with a nasty cough and a runny nose. A lot of that seems to be going around these days here. Hope I'll sleep it off tonight... Blogging will then resume at a more normal rate.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002
 
U.N. inspectors

The Sluggy Freelance comic for today has a great joke about the effectiveness of U.N. inspectors. Worth keeping in mind when the Iraqi inspections start...
P.S.: The 'Bert' guy they talk about is living in the house of the other characters, but claiming not to (and not paying rent). Hence the U.N. inspection to verify if he lives in the house or not.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002
 
The internet is great...

There are many interesting resources you can find on it, and nearly unlimited amounts of knowledge. It contains hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of useful sites.
HoldTheButton.com is not one of them.
My guess is that the site is part of an an evil conspiracy, designed to kill productivity. But so is this one, so I better keep quiet... (do I hear knocking on the door?)

 
Now it's personal

The tanker which had an explosion off the coast of Yemen is called the 'Limburg', which happens to be the Belgian/Flemish province I now live in, and where my girlfriend is from. The owner of the ship is CMB, a shipping company based in Antwerp, which is the capital of my old home province.
The fact that the ship sailed under French flag changes nothing to this. Belgium has very little ships sailing under it's own flag, probably for tax reasons.

Monday, October 07, 2002
 
Help wanted to beat up 9.000 Germans

I was in Germany this weekend, on a short vacation with some German friends of mine. One of them told me he was looking to beat up 9.000 of his fellow countrymen. When I asked him why, he said that country-wide, that was the difference in number of votes between Schröder and Stoiber. So if anyone wants to help him, that would make the odds a bit better...

 
Those crazy Americans...

What will they think of next? Just picked this up on blogdex: november 19th is National Ammo Day. The idea is that if everybody in the US who legally owns a gun goes out and buys 100 rounds of ammo that day, it will really show those anti-gun people...
It looks like something from The Onion, but this seems real to me. Oh, well, as long as nobody gets hurt, this seems like a fun idea.