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Introduction

The Scambusts

The General Practitioner

The Aristocrat II

The Massage Parlour Proprietor

The Football Club Manager

The Vicar V

The Astrologer

The Worm Sanctuary Owner

The Signwriter

The Brewer

The Member of Parliament II

The Door Furniture Specialist

The Inventor IV

The Retired Wing Commander IV

The Baker

The Farmer

The Hotelier

The Veterinary Surgeon

The Vicar IV

The Psychosexual Therapist

The Orphanage Director II

The Cess Pit Cleaner

The Dating Agency Proprietor

The Adult Video Director

The Retired Wing Commander III

The Inventor III

The Poultry Magnate III

The Poultry Magnate II

The Vicar III

The Miller

The Member of Parliament

The Lottery Winner

The Inventor II

The Circus Ringmaster

The Undertaker

The Retired Wing Commander II

The Butcher

The Vicar II

The Vicar

The Doctor of Economics

The Rubber Duck Manufacturer

The Orphanage Director

The Aristocrat

The Poet

The Poultry Magnate

The Retired Wing Commander

The Professor of Economics

The Inventor

Mapping Gilbert’s activities

Map of Gypping in the Marsh

The Global Scamming Community

Internet Fraud Information

Classified Advertisement Scams

Investment Scams

Job Vacancies in the Scamming Business

Internet Resources

Scambusting Advice

Scambusting Tips

Gilbert’s Guide to Sending Money to Scammers

Blank Western Union and MoneyGram Receipts

Reactions and Feedback

The Scammers’ Reactions

Feedback from Fans

Contact Details

Copyright Notice


The Vicar


In which Gilbert, vicar of Saint Bodkin’s Church, responds to a business proposal from the Abacha family in an attempt to raise money to lavish upon his unusually large organ. Gilbert has the largest organ in Lincolnshire, you know...

Cast of characters

  • Gilbert Murray – vicar of Saint Bodkin’s Church, Gypping in the Marsh.
  • Mariam Abacha – allegedly the widow of General Sani Abacha, the former Head of State of Nigeria.
  • Mohammed Abacha – allegedly the son of Mariam Abacha.


From: Mariam Abacha

To: Gilbert Murray

Subject: Reply please

Sent: Fri, 19 Mar 2004 11:36:14 -0800 (PST)

From: Mariam Abacha, Lagos-Nigeria.

Dear Sir,

Following the sudden death of my husband, General Sani Abacha, the late former head of state of Nigeria in June 1998, I have been thrown into a state of utter confusion, frustration and hopelessness by the present civilian administration. I have been subjected to physical and psychological torture by the security agents in the country. My son was just released from detention a few months ago by the Nigerian government for an offence he did not commit. As a widow that is so traumatised, I have lost confidence with anybody within the country.

You must have heard over the media reports and the internet of the recovery of various huge sums of money deposited by my husband in different security firms abroad. Some companies willingly give up their secrets and disclosed our money confidentially lodged there, or many outright blackmail. In fact the total sum discovered by the government so far is in the tune of $700,000,000. And they are not relenting to make me poor for life.

I got your contacts through my personal research, and out of desperation decided to reach you through this medium. I will give you more information as to this regard as soon as you reply. I repose great confidence in you, hence my approach to you. Due to the security network placed on my day to day affairs, I cannot afford to visit the embassy, so that is why I decided to contact you and I hope you will not betray my confidence in you.

I have deposited the sum of $30,000,000 with a security firm abroad whose name is withheld for now until we open communication. I shall be grateful if you could receive this fund into your account for safekeeping. This arrangement is known to you and my son Ahmed alone, so my son will deal directly with you. I am seriously considering to settle down abroad in a friendly atmosphere like yours as soon as this fund gets into your account, so that I can start all over again if only you wish, but if it is impossible, just help me in diverting this fund into your account which will accrue you 30% of this fund.

Please, honesty is the watch word in this transaction. I will require your telephone and fax numbers so that we can commence communication immediately and I will give you a more detailed picture of things. In case you don’t accept, please do not let me out to the security as I am giving you this information in total trust and confidence. I will greatly appreciate it if you accept my proposal in good faith.

Sincerely yours,

Hajia Mariam Abacha


From: Gilbert Murray

To: Mariam Abacha

Subject: In response to your email

Sent: Sat, 20 Mar 2004 13:23:34

Dear Mrs Abacha,

I have just read the email you sent to me. I am terribly sorry to hear of your plight, and I would like to do all I can to help you out of the situation in which you find yourself.

As it happens, your email has come at an ideal moment. I am vicar of Saint Bodkin’s Church in the Parish of Gypping in the Marsh, and I am currently raising funds for the restoration of the church’s magnificent organ. Although my parishioners have been more than generous, our organ restoration fund is still well short of the sum required. Your proposal would provide Saint Bodkin’s with enough money to restore its organ completely.

Kindly send me more details, my dear lady. I look forward to hearing from you.

May God be with you.

Amen,

Reverend Gilbert Murray


From: Mohammed Abacha

To: Gilbert Murray

Subject: Details

Sent: Mon, 22 Mar 2004 18:23:16 +0000

Dear friend,

I am Mr Ahmed Abacha, son to Mrs Mariam Abacha. I acknowledge your email and I want to thank you for your kind response. I have briefed my mother about your response and we agreed to carry out this transaction with you. My mother got your contact via the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce. The money is deposited in a security and finance company overseas as photographic materials. For now I cannot disclose the name of the company due to security reasons. I will disclose the name of the company to you as we get along.

I hope by now you would have known the status of the consignment in the security and finance company. However, arrangement is on ground on how you will go to move this consignment containing the whole funds and you will be requested to come forth and claim the consignment.

Please let us know your capability of assisting us to proceed to clear the consignment? While you are there, one of our associates who works in the security and finance company will assist you to finalise the transaction.

In the location of collection, a non-residential account will be opened on your name for lodgement of the funds through the non-residential account to your original account and this has to be done bit by bit to avoid your government raising an eyebrow on the funds.

We are to draft an international binding agreement that will guarantee you that the funds are meant for investment in your country. And this agreement will clearly entail the 65% for us which we want to invest under your care and the 30% promised to you for assistance which is irrevocable and the remaining 5% for all expenses that you will incur.

Immediately this is done, it will be faxed across to you to endorse your signature and fax back to us.

Therefore, to enable me prepare this, I would like to have the following from you, which you will email (scanned) to me:

  • Your full mailing address.
  • Your telephone and fax number.
  • The first and second pages of your international passport or your driver’s licence.

I am going to use this information to apply to the security and finance company overseas for recognition of identity by the time you arrive overseas to lay claim to the consignment.

Sir, due to security reasons I cannot disclose the name of the company right now but as soon as you forward the requested information above, I will give you the name and address of the security and finance company where we deposited the funds in the form of photographic materials.

I await your urgent response.

Regards,

Mohammed

234-80-33279605


From: Gilbert Murray

To: Mohammed Abacha

Subject: Thank the Lord we can help each other

Sent: Mon, 22 Mar 2004 20:39:12

Dear Mr Abacha,

Thank you for your email. I must say, this is an awful lot for a simple country vicar to take in! Nevertheless, your mother’s plight touched me deeply, and I am determined to do all I can to help her.

I am assuming that your mother has also told you about my other reason for responding to her email: my wish to restore the organ in my church, Saint Bodkin’s. My organ is of great historical significance: it is the largest parish church organ in Lincolnshire, and the second-largest in the country.

When I say “my organ”, I of course mean “Saint Bodkin’s organ”. I feel such a strong attachment to it that I cannot help referring to it as if it was my own. God forgive me.

Although we have managed to raise approximately £15,000 already (thanks to the kind donations from our generous parishioners), our organ restoration fund is approximately £100,000 short of its target. The proposal put forward by your mother will provide the church with more than enough money to completely restore the magnificent organ, and the excess will enable us to carry out a number of other urgent works on the fabric of the church. For example, the vestry could do with a new coat of paint.

I have to admit that I found the content of your email rather confusing: as a simple country parson, I am unused to dealing in the world of international finance. However, I am sure that God will help me in this business. After all, we will be helping each other out, and as Saint Paul said in his letter to the Mancunians, “one good turn deserves another”.

You asked for my personal details. Here they are:

Full Name: Reverend Gilbert Arnold Murray

Address: Hemlock Cottage, Cold Harbour Lane, Gypping in the Marsh, Lincolnshire, UK

Telephone: 01927 58367

Unfortunately, I do not have access to a fax machine. We are rather behind the times here, I am afraid!

Nor do I have a passport or a driving licence. I have never been abroad in my life, and have never needed a car; my parish is small enough to get around by bicycle.

I trust that my lack of a passport will not prove to be a problem. Would it be possible for the security company to transfer the consignment to a location in this country, where I could pick it up? Please let me know.

You said that the fund is deposited as “photographic materials”. As a keen amateur photographer, I am rather intrigued. What is actually inside the box? Very expensive cameras and lenses? They would have to be very expensive indeed to total $30,000,000. Either that, or it would have to be a very big box.

I look forward to hearing from you soon, my dear fellow, with information on how we can proceed.

May the Good Lord keep the Devil from your door.

Amen,

Reverend Gilbert Murray

PS. I trust that you are a good Christian fellow. Tell me, what denomination are you? Also, in your email you refer to yourself as both “Ahmed” and “Mohammed”. Which name would you prefer me to use when addressing you?


From: Mohammed Abacha

To: Gilbert Murray

Subject: Please find the agreement paper as a scanned attachment with this message

Sent: Wed, 24 Mar 2004 14:12:50 +0000

Dear friend,

How are you today? I got your mail and its content is well understood. Be aware that I will call you via your phone number so we can discuss extensively concerning the completion of this project. Better still, endeavour to call me via my phone number below so we can discuss too.

Sir, I must let you know that the consignment can be shipped/delivered to you at your doorstep, but you must bear in mind that it will cost you some amount of money to the tune of about $4,000 (four thousand dollars), which is about three thousand pounds in your currency. To commence this transaction, please find the agreement paper as a scanned attachment with this message. Endeavour to read it carefully, fill in your name at the blank spaces provided, sign underneath and send it back to me via a scanned email attachment too.

Upon me receiving the signed agreement paper back from you, then I can forward to you the contact details of the security company so you can reach them and make every possible arrangement with them as to how best you can receive/collect the consignment on my behalf. Please treat with utmost urgency, confidentiality and seriousness at all times. I await your call immediately you get this message, kindly act/respond ASAP.

Best regards,

Mohammed

234-80-33279605

The agreement paper
(Click to enlarge)


From: Gilbert Murray

To: Mohammed Abacha

Subject: Thank you for sending the document

Sent: Wed, 24 Mar 2004 17:58:16

Dear Mr Abacha,

Thank you for your email, and for sending me the agreement form. I will ask the Verger to help me print it out later, then I shall give it my full and undivided attention.

I was somewhat surprised to hear that the cost of transferring your late father's consignment to my home address would be in the region of £3,000. This seems rather excessive. How can such a large sum of money possibly be justified? As the Lord Jesus said when he cast the asses out of the fishmarket: “Ware ye of the trader who chargeth overmuch for his asparagus, for surely he is the enemy of mine father”.

My dear fellow, you still have not explained to me precisely the consignment contains: does it actually contain “photographic materials”, and if so, how can they possibly be worth such a phenomenal amount? Are the cameras made of gold?

I apologise for my lack of comprehension, but as I mentioned in my last email, I am a simple country vicar, and matters such as these are alien to me. I am trusting in the Lord to guide me, but I will need your help too, my good friend! You can start by explaining matters more fully to me.

You also failed to answer my question regarding your name: you refer to yourself as both “Achmed” and “Mohammed”. Your mother called you “Achmed” in her email, but you sign yourself as “Mohammed”. This is extremely confusing. What should I call you?

Do you think it would be worth passing the agreement form by my lawyer before I sign it? Welsby, my lawyer, is a splendid chap, and I feel that his help could be invaluable in this business. Do let me know.

May God smile broadly upon your handsome offspring.

Amen,

Reverend Gilbert Murray

PS. You forgot to tell me whether you are a Christian fellow or not. Let me know by return, there’s a good chap.


From: Gilbert Murray

To: Mohammed Abacha

Subject: I am keen to move forward with speed

Sent: Thu, 25 Mar 2004 15:43:02

Dear Mr Abacha,

I am somewhat concerned that you have not responded to the email I sent you yesterday, in which I asked you a number of questions. I am keen for this business to move forward with all good speed: I cannot wait to see Saint Bodkin’s organ restored back to its original condition.

I can appreciate that you are probably a busy man. Being the son of a dead former head of state must take up a lot of your time. However, I feel that it is important for us both to concentrate our minds on this business, in order to complete it as soon as possible. Do you think that the Lord Jesus made blind men walk and lame men see by sitting on his backside and twiddling his thumbs? No, he did not. He got off his backside and got on with the job at hand. Just as we should do, Mr Abacha. Take inspiration from the Son of God, and answer my queries, my good sir.

I look forward to receiving answers to my questions by return.

May the Good Lord banish all indolent thoughts from your head.

Amen,

Reverend Gilbert Murray


From: Mohammed Abacha

To: Gilbert Murray

Subject: Please respond

Sent: Thu, 25 Mar 2004 16:28:49 +0000

Dear sir,

I got your mail and its content was understood. Please be aware that the amount I told you of, I am not 100% sure, however by the time you open negotiations with the security company, you will get to know of the exact amount which might not be exactly what I told you of.

Please note that the consignment contains the funds (the cash), but we declared it before the security company as photographic materials, hence we are to pay out of pocket to clear the consignment. This was done deliberately by my mother for fear of the government tracking down the funds when our breadwinner died and I was in detention. This is known only to you and us only, so please keep it confidential. You may have heard of all the troubles that we have been going through in the hands of the present government, that has vowed to make us poor for life.

As regards my name, it is Mohammed Abacha. However, Ahmed is for short. So do not get confused at all. I have tried several times to call you via your number but I keep getting a message that the number is incomplete.

Kindly call me via my phone number below immediately you get this message so we can discuss extensively concerning this matter. I await your quick response/call soon.

Best regards,

Mohammed

234-80-33279605


From: Gilbert Murray

To: Mohammed Abacha

Subject: I apologise for the trouble you have had trying to telephone me

Sent: Thu, 25 Mar 2004 17:16:41

Dear Mr Abacha,

Thank you for getting back to me so promptly. I must apologise for the problems you have experienced while trying to get in touch with me. We have had some very severe winter storms here over the past two days, and the gales have been extremely strong: a large number of trees have been blown over, and some telegraph poles have been uprooted around the district too. As this is rather a remote rural area, the telephone company does not see us as a priority, so we are still waiting for the telephone service to be reinstated. Apparently we can hope to regain a normal telephone service sometime next week. I pray that this will be the case.

Fortunately, my satellite internet connection has not been affected by the winds, otherwise I would not be able to communicate with you at all. I must thank God that my satellite dish was so firmly fixed to the wall of the vicarage.

We nearly experienced a dreadful accident at the church today as a result of the strong winds. We had ordered a new weathercock for the top of the church spire, as the old one had fallen off and broken some months ago. Mr Moloch, the craftsman who had made the new weathercock for the church, arrived today with his wife to affix the weathercock onto the spire. As he had travelled such a long way to install the new cock, he was determined to get it up on top of the spire, despite the adverse weather conditions. The Verger and I tried to dissuade him from climbing the spire in such a strong wind, but he would have none of it.

Mr Moloch and his wife scaled the spire, and the two of them battled against the wind, struggling to attach the cock to the top. The Verger and I stood with our hearts in our mouths, praying for their safety as we watched Mr Moloch and his wife struggle to get his cock erect. At one point, I thought Mr Moloch was going to get blown off right before our eyes. Thankfully, they managed to complete the procedure and climb back down to safety without any mishap. Thank the Lord.

Back to business. Thank you for explaining some more about the consignment, and for clearing up the confusion over your name. I understand completely now.

Now then, I am having some troubles with my computer equipment (I am not the most technical of people), but the Verger has promised to help me print out and scan in your document tomorrow. I shall send it to you as soon as I have completed it.

Incidentally, do you think it is worthwhile me showing the document to my lawyer before we proceed? Welsby is an excellent lawyer – his advice was invaluable in that unfortunate case involving the Verger and the choirboy last year, and he managed to get all charges dropped – so should I pass the document by him before I go any further, just to make sure there are no mistakes that could hold up our business? Please advise.

I look forward to hearing from you my dear fellow.

May God send angels to sing to your dead father in Heaven.

Amen,

Reverend Gilbert Murray

PS. You still have not told me whether or not you are a Christian. Please let me know, there’s a good chap.


From: Gilbert Murray

To: Mohammed Abacha

Subject: A query regarding the document you sent me

Sent: Fri, 26 Mar 2004 11:04:39

Dear Mr Abacha,

You will be pleased to hear that, with the Verger’s help, I have managed to print out the document you sent me. I have a small query that I hope you can help me out with.

I assume that I should enter my own name in the blank spaces in sections 2 and 3. But what should I enter in the blank space in section 5? My name, or some other information?

I should be able to complete the document as soon as I hear from you.

May the Lord Jesus speed your fingers on the keyboard.

Amen,

Reverend Gilbert Murray


From: Mohammed Abacha

To: Gilbert Murray

Subject: I await your quick response

Sent: Fri, 26 Mar 2004 14:46:49 +0000

Dear friend,

Just fill in your name at the section 5 and sign. I await your quick response.

Best regards,

Mohammed

234-80-33279605


From: Gilbert Murray

To: Mohammed Abacha

Subject: Thank you for your help

Sent: Fri, 26 Mar 2004 15:43:21

Dear Mr Abacha,

Thank you for your prompt response to my query. If the Good Lord had such lightning-quick responses as you, I have no doubt that he would have been able to create the world in a mere five days, and spend two days resting instead of just one.

Unfortunately, Bishop Briggs has paid me a surprised visit today, so I am unable to attend to your form as soon as I would otherwise like. However, rest assured that as soon as he departs, I shall attempt to complete the form, scan it back in (with the help of the Verger) and return it to you.

However, as I am sure you can appreciate, weekends are my busiest period, so I may not be able to attend to this matter until Monday morning. I trust this will not present a problem. I sometimes find myself wishing that the Good Lord in His wisdom had placed the Sabbath in the middle of the week: having it on Sunday does make it hard for one in my profession to keep one’s weekends free.

I would like to wish you a pleasant weekend, my dear fellow.

May the Lord Jesus bless the flower of your weekend with the fertiliser of peace.

Amen,

Reverend Gilbert Murray


From: Gilbert Murray

To: Mohammed Abacha

Subject: I have attached the agreement document

Sent: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 15:52:02

Dear Mr Abacha,

I am pleased to be able to tell you that the Verger and I have managed to snatch enough time to scan in your document.

With the Verger’s help (I am a bit of a duffer when it comes to technology), I have attached your scanned document to this email. I hope that it reaches you safely: we did have to do it in a bit of a rush, as we are due to attend a special service given by the Bishop in honour of his visit.

Tell me, my dear fellow, what is our next step?

I look forward to hearing from you.

May Jesus want you for a sunbeam.

Amen,

Reverend Gilbert Murray

Picture of Jesus
(Click to enlarge)


From: Gilbert Murray

To: Mohammed Abacha

Subject: Please respond

Sent: Sun, 28 Mar 2004 18:11:57

Dear Mr Abacha,

I am slightly disappointed not to have had a response to my last email, to which I attached the document you sent me. Perhaps you are a particularly committed Christian, who feels that sending emails on the Lord’s day is wrong? I am sure that God would forgive you, my friend.

Please confirm that you have received the document, and let me know what our next step is.

May the Lord speed your internet connection and bless your keyboard.

Amen,

Reverend Gilbert Murray


From: Gilbert Murray

To: Mohammed Abacha

Subject: I am keen to move forward

Sent: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 06:49:32

Dear Mr Abacha,

I am now extremely concerned that you have not replied to my recent emails. We have a business transaction to carry out here, my friend. I am trying to help out your mother, and she in turn is trying to help me to restore my magnificent organ. And yet I have not heard from you since Friday.

I urge you to treat this business with some sense of urgency, my dear fellow. I am sure that your mother would not be pleased if she thought that you were delaying things.

Now, I have sent you the signed document that you requested. What is our next step?

May God bless you and your family.

Amen,

Reverend Gilbert Murray


From: Gilbert Murray

To: Mariam Abacha

Subject: I am having trouble trying to contact your son

Sent: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 16:13:21

Dear Mrs Abacha,

As you will no doubt recall, I have been corresponding with your son, Mohammed, in an attempt to get a consignment of yours transferred from a security company to my home address.

Unfortunately, after a promising start, I have heard nothing at all from your son since Friday. I have sent him a number of emails since then, but he has not responded, and they are now being returned to me as undeliverable.

Is your son having problems with his email address? If so, does he have another email address I can reach him at? I do hope there is nothing wrong with the dear fellow. I shall pray for his wellbeing.

I am extremely keen to move forward with this business as soon as possible: the prospect of having my magnificent organ buffed and polished is making me swell with anticipation.

Please respond immediately, and let me know how we can best continue.

May God love you.

Amen,

Reverend Gilbert Murray


Gilbert’s last emails were returned as undeliverable. It’s possible that the scammer’s email accounts were closed down as a result of his scamming. Sadly, that brought what was developing into a promising scambait to a premature close.


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