A reader in Iran recently contacted me to ask if I would be interested in the story of how he became a scam victim.  I said that I would and this is his reply:

“hi,thank you for your response,in fact i dont like other people anywhere in the world ever get scammed,so i think my story has some lessons that many people can use fighting with scams:ok,the story began like this:about 3 years ago i moved from tehran to kish island for occupying in kishwood company because im wood engineer and also wood worker,in that time i hadnt any email,one month before spring i opened an yahoo id,the first websites that i had subscribed was subzero wolf uk maintanance and beatles pilgrimage tour,after 4 or 5 days i recived the first notification:immediate merger is needed immidiately,in fact when i was searching in beatles pilgrimage tour i took pat in a small promotion,so when i recived that i didnt care so much about that,but i couldnt forget it too,after that i recived a lot of emails like that,when i came bacck to tehran for spring vacations,at last i go ahead and contact with them,so then you can see what happened after that.thanks a lot.sincerly”

Like many scam victims, this reader was new to using email when he received his first scam.  Reproduced below are all the emails he sent me from the scammer.  I hope they are in the correct order.

First Email

From: Engr. Abdullah Al-Mahdi <coolcap116@bellsouth.net>
Subject: REPRESENTATIVE/MERGER NEEDED IMMEDIATELY!!!
To: bondwebmaster@yahoo.com
Date: Saturday, March 3, 2007, 6:41 PM

PLATFORM OIL & GAS LTD
Grandview Complex
Block 52, Plot 1
Alibi Mustafa Street,
Riyadh Saudi Arabia
Email:
almahdi02@engineer.com
FROM: THE DESK OF THE ABDULLAH M. AL-MAHDI OFFICE
REF: UNL/26510460037/02
BATCH: 24/00319/IPD

Dear Sir/Madam,
Top of the day to you.
Let me crave your indulgence to introduce Myself to you I am ENGR. ABDULLAH M. AL-MAHDI President/founder of Platform Oil and Gas Ltd.

Platform is one of the growing oil and gas Companies in Saudi Arabia. Platform oil and Gas is located in Saudi Arabia, with Branches in Iran and Dubai and encouragement from the Government of Saudi Arabia/Iran deregulation of the downstream policy.
And the company export leaded and unleaded fuel, petrochemical, service oils and also provide services in enviromental control.

I will want to solicit for your assistance to help in the establishment of a representative branch in your country so as to aid our work and increase our network services and Supplies that we render.The company will provide some funds for the representative branch to be set up and also the representative will be entitle to some percentage of the money collected.

Please if the proposal is acceptable to you, contact me immediately through my lawyer for more information and legal terms at jeferysmithchambers01@lawyer.com
Thanks
ENGR.ABDULLAH M. AL-MAHDI
Platform Oil and Gas Ltd

My reader sent this reply:
:hello two weeks ago i recievied this email but i was busy and i thought that might be a joking.i accept the proposal.yours “my reader’s name”.

Second Email

Date: Wednesday, March 21, 2007, 4:40 PM

JEFERY SMITH & CO CHAMBERS
SOLICITORS AND ADVOCATES OF THE SUPREME
COURT OF ENGLAND AND LEGAL CONSULTANTS
NO.10 A, BIRMINGHAM ROAD, LONDON, ENGLAND
PREPARATION OF LEGAL DOCUMENTS FOR OPENING OF PLATFORM OIL AND GAS IN YOUR COUNTRY.
OUR REF; TAC/OTA/4699/05 DATE: 21-02-2007
YOUR REF…………………
TO: MR. Behzad m. Shabestari
Dear; MR.Behzad m. Shabestari,
I thank you for your encouraging mail to my office, I will clear it to you now OK, you are a representative of platform oil and gas in your country, which you are to be the one to do all the directing work to open up a branch in your country with the directives of engineers and experts in oil feed that will be sent to you, or that you will use over there, you are just to use the funds given to you and build up the branch in your company. But the company knows that you are not an oil experts but just for you to help in the opening and running of the sub- branch as member of the board of director’s which will be formed when you most have finished the site project coming up in due time.
What you are to do is just to help the company be the first representative as a director, who will help in building the site for platform oil and gas with the take of grant transfer-ed to your account after we most have gotten all the LEGAL DOCUMENTS that is under preparation now in your names, you are not to spend any of your funds in the building of the branch in your country as the platform oil and gas will contact you and send take off funds to your account in your country and also send oil experts and contractors to join you over or and you disburse the funds given to you to them the contractors and others to build the site. i hope all is clear to you now,  platform oil and gas is a company that produces car engine oil, petrochemicals leaded and unleaded fuel and other mechanical products in Saudi Arabia, i want you to count yourself very lucky to have been drawn through the net to help in the co- representative draw.  And after the branch is successfully completed you are entitle to 12% of the sale, business or money form the costumers.
I am the head attorney in this great chamber of SMITH & CO, and I have carefully gone through your email correspondence. I will be the one to proceed in your
case to get the legal documents for you to open up a sub- branch/representative of platform oil and gas in your country, I want to assure you that all is well as from now it will be me Mr. Williams Wilcox that will travel out and do all the necessary work to get the listed documents courier to your address in due time.
I will give you a brief of all the documents you will need, and most be with you before further sitting of the venue for the company, the list below is needed for you to open a branch subsidiary in YOUR COUNTRY.
1. Letter of authorisation.
2. Letter of agreement with Mr. ABDULLAH M. AL-MAHDI and  Behzad m. Shabestari
3. Memorandum of Understanding.
This chamber will prepare all legal documents which is not available, from the relevant offices in Saudi Arabia and in YOUR COUNTRY for you in your names to actualise the opening take-off of the branch in YOUR COUNTRY, with you as the director of that branch with benefits of 12% from ownership of the company  in YOUR COUNTRY, you are to take note that funds will be reimbursed to you by  PLATFORM OIL AND GASin Saudi Arabia to you after you have successfully received those listed documents that I will fight in your name, for you to legalise the opening of the branch in YOUR COUNTRY by your government. The funds will be for you to start preparations of the site venue and location.
That will be disclosed to you by the company in Saudi Arabia.
I will assure you that I will provide to you the legal services from today to get the documents in your name from the necessary office in Saudi Arabia and YOUR CONROY, the documents to the high court of justice for signing and logistic and duly stamped for approval by the high court for final release. Once they receive the documents from you which will be couriered to you in your country via THE DHL SERVICES to your address, and all documents will be sign at the high court here in YOUR COUNTRY AND SAUDI ARABIA, and this chamber will arrange all when it has been prepared and sent to you.
I have carefully read your mail and all the content in it
God will use you to bring good things to your family but I will
Want you to write to Mr. ABDULLAH M. AL-MAHDI (almahdi02@engineer.com) your progress with me, And as a legal adviser I will assure you that this will not
Go beyond us, because as a God fearing man I will not want to
Do any thing that will make  good intention  be delayed.
I will need to have some information from you
So that I can add it to your file for verification purpose
From the federal high court to prepare the necessary documents needed to start the take off of the branch in YOUR COUNTRY.
1. Full Name
2. Contact address
3. Occupation
4. Telephone/Fax
5. Age
6. Gender
7. Provide any form of identity passport photograph international passport, Or any University Qualification papers.
This chamber believes in good and constant affinity
Between the lawyer and the client. It is a policy
Here to pine for and win new laurels each day. This
Feat can only be well attained when the lawyer and
The client co-operates; hence you are urged to abide
By the tenets of the of this chamber’s policy.
I will anticipate your prompt response to this mail.
After this correspondence legal paper work will start
Immediately, I want you to give me a call immediately
My direct mobile is +44-704-570-8077.(Monday-Friday 8am-6pm)GMT
On behalf of JEFERY SMITH & CO CHAMBER, I restore
Confidence in you of excellent legal service.
Thank you. Hope to hear from you soon
Yours faithfully,
MR WILLIAM WILCOX (S.A.E.)
________________________________________________________________________________________________

PRINCIPAL PARTNER: TAFA ABALA ESQ. LLB (u.s.a) B.L; PARTNERS: A.D. PETERS LLB HONS) B.L (LONDON) PETER KELVIN (MISS) LLB (HONS) B.L, B.A. UCHE LLB (HONS) B.L, W.JOHN (MRS) LLB (HONS) B.L, BAYO TUNDAALIU LLB (CANADA) (HONS) B.L; ACCOUNTANT – (KUWAIT) HASSAN UMAR.

My reader sent this reply

hello,good day :i should appologize for my delay but i had many problems to cope with it,i filled out the form and send for you.by the way ,excuse me ,i know that it is not related to you but as amatter of fact i have wona uk lottery and my fund is released to woolwich plc bank in london but now i can not go there and for transfering the money ,tax and so on i must pay 1550 pound but as a matter of fact now i have not such as that money and second nowadays every one is fearing from hackers or something like that so could you please inquire forme about that?thanks alot yours faithfully .

My reader included copies of his passport and other personal documents.  He sent them to me, but I won’t reproduce them here as they contain personal details.

Third Email

JEFERY SMITH & CO CHAMBERS
SOLICITORS AND ADVOCATES OF THE SUPREME
COURT OF ENGLAND AND LEGAL CONSULTANTS
NO.
10 A, BIRMINGHAM ROAD, LONDON, ENGLAND
PREPARATION OF LEGAL DOCUMENTS FOR OPENING OF PLATFORM OIL AND GAS IN YOUR COUNTRY.
OUR REF; TAC/OTA/4699/05 DATE: 29-03-2007
YOUR REF…………………
TO: MR. “My reader’s name”
Dear; MR.”My reader’s name,
I thank you for your encouraging mail to my office, i will go ahead to give you the document to sign now, you are to print sign and send a copy of the signed documents to me. As for you Lottery Winnings, i can help you go about it, if you want me to do so! But you will have to pay for consultancy (#400 Great British Pounds) to this chambers for Registration/opening of case file. i promise you, you will not have anything to loss, and you funds will get to you account as you have instructed me. Please give me a call immediately if you are serious, and also the Lottery information for verification as regards to your winnings.

This chamber believes in good and constant affinity
Between the lawyer and the client. It is a policy
Here to pine for and win new laurels each day. This
Feat can only be well attained when the lawyer and
The client co-operates; hence you are urged to abide
By the tenets of the of this chamber¢s policy.
I will anticipate your prompt response to this mail. I want you to give me a call immediately My direct mobile is +44-704-570-8077.(Monday-Friday 8am-6pm)GMT
On behalf of JEFERY SMITH & CO CHAMBER, I restore
Confidence in you of excellent legal service.

Thank you. Hope to hear from you soon
Yours faithfully,
MR WILLIAM WILCOX (S.A.E.)
________________________________________________________________________________________________
PRINCIPAL PARTNER: TAFA ABALA ESQ. LLB (u.s.a) B.L; PARTNERS: A.D. PETERS LLB HONS) B.L (LONDON) PETER KELVIN (MISS) LLB (HONS) B.L, B.A. UCHE LLB (HONS) B.L, W.JOHN (MRS) LLB (HONS) B.L, BAYO TUNDAALIU LLB (CANADA) (HONS) B.L; ACCOUNTANT – (KUWAIT) HASSAN UMAR.
This email include some official looking attachments:

My reader replied

:hello,good day and thanks alot. let me tell you for the firt two weeks i didnt believe it at all,because some of my friends and family had such these notification.,but finaly that wasa not true,but this time inside me says that its relly true ,but know i have a critical situation,now im going tobe engaged with a girl,she knows my finantial situation and i must pay a lot to not lose her and i cant tell lie to her,on the other hand my mother is sick and i must pay for her hospital and medicine,last year i bought an apartment in tehran and i had to lend from many persons ,and know i must pay them gradually and icant sell that because now tenants are living in that,from the other side today i wone an american green card lottery so i really become confused,maybe in next three week i can but now i realy cant send that money,and around me i have no person to help me,because last year i entered to anet work(gold quest)but finally that was not good and now every body thinks that is something like that if i tell them,so could you give me a solution for me?i promise topay 50000 pound or even more to you and mr abdullah after releasing the fund.yours trully