Posted: 1:45 am EDT
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— OSAC (@OSACState) May 28, 2015
@Diplopundit: Sorry but our analysis is for constituent access only. You can get access with .gov or .mil addresses, or through any US org.
— OSAC (@OSACState) May 29, 2015
@OSACState Thanks, I understand. But fraudsters using ambassadors’ names are not targeting those emails but general public.
— Diplopundit (@Diplopundit) May 29, 2015
We understand that the Overseas Security Advisory Council functions as the liaison for cooperation and information sharing between @StateDept Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the U.S. private sector abroad. But in cases like online scams where there are no borders, why can’t Diplomatic Security and the Consular Bureau team up to release a public alert for these scams and not just an alert for American companies overseas? This is not confined to Africa, anymore. See previous posts:
- U.S. Embassy Malta: Ambassador Abercrombie-Winstanley Does Not Want Your Money (Fraud Alert
- U.S. Embassy Beirut: Ambassador Hale Does Not Want Your Money (Fraud Alert)
- US Mission Nigeria: Yo! The scammers are current with the news, now uses the name of new US Ambassador to Abuja, Terence P. McCulley for bait
Here’s one “ambassador spam” received by one of our readers:
“This is Mrs Gayleatha B.Brown the Former United States Ambassador to Republic of Benin, I came down here in Cotonou Benin Republic for an ECOWAS meeting and I was searching for some files that I left in this office before I left and found out that you have not received your fund, and I asked the present ambassador Mr James Knight what happened that you have not receive your fund and he said that you refused to pay the required fee for the delivery of your ATM CARD.
I’m contacting you this morning because the director of the ATM CARD center here in Benin Republic said that they will divert your ATM CARD to the Government Treasury just because that you cannot pay for the service fee of your ATM CARD which is $95.00 only according to them.
But I told them to wait until I hear from you today so that I will know the reason why you rejected such amount of money $2.5m which will change your life just because of $95.00.
I want your urgent response as soon as you receive this email and explain to me the reason why you have abandon your ATM CARD because of $95.00. But if you don’t need it then I can change your name to another person so that this Government will not claim this money but I know that you will love to have it.
Please my dear I want to help you to receive this fund because it was a big shock to me that you have not receive your ATM CARD and withdraw your money since 2 years now and I’m very sorry for that and you will receive your fund before the end of this meeting which will take us 4 days and I will be here to monitor it until you receive your fund.
This is where you should send the fee today and don’t fail to do that as I have said.
Receiver Name==== FRANKL IBGU
Country =======Benin Republic
City ============= Cotonou
Text Question ===== Urgent
Answer ============ Today
Amount ======== $95.00
Sender Name ====
I will wait to hear from you today with the mtcn number.”
James A. Knight is the current U.S. Ambassador to Chad. He previously served as ambassador to Benin from 2009 to 2012.
The State Department’s travel.state.gov has a page on international financial scams but the site does not include any alert on fraudsters using the American ambassadors names in their scams.