Fee payment scam
Name: Joanne Forde
Associatión: Bank of China
My name is Mrs. Joanne Forde and I am a staff of Bank of China, here in Hong Kong attached to Private Banking Services, i am contacting you concerning a customer and an investment placed under our banks management; as a matter of fact it was roughly 5 years ago. I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail private and also to kindly respect the integrity of the information you come by as a result of this email. I contacted you independently and no one is informed of this communication; i would like to intimate you with certain facts that I believe would be of interest to you and benefit the both of us.
At the very beginning of 2013, the subject matter came to our bank to engage in business discussions with our Private Banking Services Department. He informed us that he had a financial portfolio of $20 Million United States Dollars, which he wished to have us turn over (invest) on his behalf. I was the officer assigned to his case; i made numerous suggestions in line with my duties as the de-facto chief operations officer of the Private Banking Services Department, especially given the volume of funds he wished to put into our bank.
We met on numerous occasions prior to any investments being placed, and however i encouraged him to consider various growth funds with prime ratings. The favoured route in my advice to customers is to start by assessing data on 600 traditional stocks, bond managers and 200 managers of alternative investments. Based on my advice, we spun the money around various opportunities and made attractive margins for our first months of operation, the accrued profit with interest included, stood at this point at over US$27, 712,068.00, this margin was not the full potential of the fund but he desired low risk guaranteed returns on investments and in trading market the lower the risk the lesser the profit.
Towards the end of 2014, he asked that the money be liquidated because he needed to make an urgent investment requiring cash payments in Europe. He directed that i liquidate the funds and have it transfer to a firm in Europe. I informed him that our bank would have to make special arrangements to have this done and in order not to circumvent due process, the bank would have to make an 8.9% deduction from the funds to cater for banking and statutory charges. He complained about the charges but later came around when I explained to him the complexities of the task he was asking of us. Cash movement across borders has become especially strict since the incidents of 9/11 but nevertheless i contacted the firm in Europe and had the funds transfer to mainland Europe, I undertook all the processes and made sure i followed his precise instructions.He told me he wanted the money there in anticipation of his arrival from Norway later that week. This was the last communication we had.
After about a week i got a call from the security firm informing us of the inactivity of that particular portfolio. This was an astounding position as far as i was concerned, given the fact that i managed the private banking sector, i was the only one who knew about the deposit, and i could not understand why he had not come forward to claim his deposit. I made futile efforts to locate him; I immediately passed the task of locating him to the internal investigations department of our bank. Four months later, information trickle in from British homeland security, that he was apparently dead, a person who suited his description was declared dead of a heart attack in Norway; we were soon able to gather more information and the cause of death was confirmed.With this information at hand i inform the security firm to return the transfer back to our bank in Hong Kong.
Then my bank immediately launched an investigation into possible surviving next of kin to alert about the situation and also to come forward to claim his estate. If you are familiar with private banking affairs, those who patronize our services usually prefer anonymity, but also some levels of detachment from conventional processes. In his bio-data form, he listed no next of kin. In the field of private banking, opening an account with us means no one will know of its existence, accounts are rarely held under a name; depositors use numbers and codes to make the accounts anonymous. This bank also gives the choice to depositors of having their mail sent to them or held at the bank itself, ensuring that there are no traces of the account and as i said, rarely do they nominate next of kin.Private banking clients apart from not nominating next of kin also usually in most cases leave wills in our care, in this case; he died Intestate.
In line with our internal processes for account holders who have passed away, we instituted our own investigations in good faith to determine who should have right to claim the estate, this investigation for several months were futile. We have scanned every continent and used our private investigation affiliate companies to get to the root of the problem. It is this investigation that resulted in my decision to obtain your contact details and contact you, being as a foreigner, as a potential benefactor of the estate even if you are in no way affiliated with this individual (the deceased).
My official capacity dictates that i am the only party to supervise the investigation and the only party to receive the results of the investigation. What this means, with you being a foreigner, i have considered the fact that our dear late fellow died with no identifiable family member. This leaves me as the only person with the full picture of what the prevailing situation is in relation to the deposit and the late beneficiary of the deposit. According to normal practice, after all investigation has been done and there is no one to come forward and make claimed, the portfolio will be left dormant and as a result of the protracted inactivity of the portfolio, and by the end of the current financial year a broadcast request is been made for statements of claims to our bank by the Chinese government,and failing to receive viable claims we will most probably revert the deposit back to the Chinese government. This will result in the money entering the Chinese government treasury. This will not happen if I have my way.
What I wish to relate to you might be a smack of unethical practice but i want you to understand something; it is only an outsider to the banking world who finds the internal politics of the banking world aberrational. The world of private banking especially is fraught with huge rewards for those who occupy certain offices and oversee certain portfolios; you should have begun by now to put together the general direction of what i propose. On this moment there is US$27, 712,068.00 deposited, i alone have the deposit details and my bank will release the deposit to no one unless i instruct them to do so. I alone know of the existence of this deposit for as far as the finance firm is concerned, the transaction with our deceased customer concluded when the funds was return back to sender (my bank),all outstanding interactions in relation to the file are just customer services and due process. This bank has spent great amounts of money trying to track the family of the deceased; they have investigated for months and have found no family but however the investigation has officially come to an end in 2013 and since then the portfolio have remain dormant and it is now on the edge of been turned to the Chinese government.
My proposal; i am prepared to place you in a position whereby an instruction is given to officially release the deposit to you as the closest surviving associate, and all etiquette shall be done in accordance with the rule of banking law, i certainly can guarantee you that, by the common law, the power of bequeathing is coeval with the first rudiments of the law, and this power has been extended to all. There is no ruling which prevents an inheritance from being so exhausted by legacies as to render it unworthy of the heir’s acceptance; basically all persons of sound mind are competent to bequeath and devise real and personal estate, excepting infants,with all this i would say we have the clear advantage to carry out a smooth and perfect operation whereby the paper work shall be coordinated in such a way that your status as a sole beneficiary is confirmed. Upon receipt of the deposit, i am prepared to share the money with you in half and no more; that is: i will simply nominate you as the next of kin and have them release the deposit to you; afterwards we share the proceeds in two equal parts.
I would have gone ahead to ask the funds be released to me, but that would have drawn a straight line to me and my involvement in claiming the deposit, but on the other hand, you as a foreigner would easily pass as the beneficiary with the rights to claim, i assure you that i could have the deposit released to you in a few days. i will simply inform our bank of the final closing of the file relating to the customer, and instruct them to release the deposit to you; with these two things: all is done.
We can fine-tune this based on our interactions, i am aware of the consequences of this proposal and i ask that if you find no interest in this project that you should discard this mail. i ask also, that you do not be vindictive or destructive, if my offer is of no appeal to you, delete this message and forget i ever contacted you; please do not destroy my career because you do not approve of my proposal. You may not know this but people like me who have made tidy sums out of comparable situations run a whole private banking sector, i am not a criminal and what i do, i do not find against good conscience, this may be hard for you to understand, but the dynamics of my industry dictates that i make this move. Such opportunities only come ones’ way once in a lifetime.
I cannot let this chance pass me by and i hope you understand, because for once i found myself in total control and face to face with my destiny. These chances won’t pass me by, i ask that you do not destroy my chance, if you will not work with me, please let me know, and hence move on with my life, but do not destroy me; i am a woman with family and this is an occasion to provide them with new opportunities. There is a reward for this project and it is a task well worth undertaking, i have evaluated the risks and the only risk i have here is from you refusing to work with me and alerting my bank; i am the only one who knows of this situation, good fortune will bless you and plant you into the center of relevance in my life, let’s share the blessing.
If you find yourself interested to work with me, please do respond to my email positively, then i will initiate this process towards a quick conclusion. It is necessary to inform you that under no condition should you contact me via official channels; i will simply deny knowing you and about this project. I repeat, i do not want you contacting me through our official lines neither do I want you contacting me through my official email account. Contact me only through this email address; i do not want any direct link between you and me. My official lines are not secure lines as they are periodically monitored to assess our level of customer care in line with our Total Quality Management policy, do observe this instruction religiously. Please note that i am a woman; happily married with two children.
I send you this mail not without a measure of fear as to what the consequences might be, but i know within me that nothing ventured is nothing gained and that success and riches never come easy or on a platter of gold, this is the one truth i have learned from my private banking clients; do not betray my confidence. If we can be of one accord i shall have the pleasure of meeting you, after this task has been completed.
I await your response with interest, to enable us proceed with the project.
Mrs Joanne Forde.