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Scam warning issued

Latest wrinkle in the Nigerian scam detailed in Parksville
Alex Steinhausen shows off scam letter promising him 10.6 million Euros.

A Parksville man is raising the alarm about yet another mail scam making the rounds.

A variant of the so-called Nigerian scam, this one originates in Spain and contains a new twist, said Alex Steinhausen.

The letter, headlined Busatillo Abogados and purportedly from a Ramon Bustillo Perez, informed Steinhausen that Perez was attempting to secure funds left behind by his late client in order to prevent it being declared unserviceable by the bank.

The 10.6 million-Euro account was reportedly left by a man with the same last name as Steinhausen’s and he was thus being asked to purport to be the man’s next of kin in order to claim the money.

Although this scam is long familiar to many, Steinhausen is concerned about the possibility that elderly residents might be taken in, as the letter asks for nothing except a return correspondance. Most variations of the Nigerian scam ask for either cash or banking details.

“They don’t ask for money in this one,” he said. “That’s a new twist. I guess there was too much publicity from asking for money in the first place. They’re getting a little more sophisticated.”

Even if he hadn’t been familiar with the Nigerian scam, Steinhausen would have been tipped off by the first line in the official-looking letter.

“Firstly, I must solicit your confidence in this transaction,” the letter said. “This is by virtue of its nature as being utterly confidential and top secret.”

As with most scams, the call for secrecy should be a tipoff.

“Unfortunately, we have so many seniors out here who are so trusting,” Steinhausen said.