Letters from Nigeria getting more frequent
By Allen Lottinger -
Feb 16, 2006
The first came a few years ago. Then another showed up a few weeks later.
The frequency increased gradually and this past month I must have received at least 15. I didn’t answer any of them but was tempted to several times.
The e-mails offered Ye Publisher several million dollars if he stored several million more in a bank account for some time. The reason usually given was that the money was unclaimed by heirs of a deceased person in Nigeria. And if the money was not taken out of the country quickly, the government would seize it and not return it.
Curiosity increased as the number of e-mails increased.
Said one of the recent letters: “I am Dr. James Okumagba, director of accounts department of Eco International Bank. During the course of our auditing, I discovered a floating fund in an account opened with our bank in 2000 and since 2002 nobody has operated on this account again. After going through some old files in the records, I discovered that the owner of the account died without an heir, hence the money is floating and if I do not remit this money out urgently, it will be forfeited for nothing.
“The owner of this account is a national of your country who died since 2002. This money can only be aproved to a foreigner with a foreign account because the money is in U. S. dollars and the former owner is a foreigner.”
Ye Publisher wondered just what was behind this upsurge in letters seeking storage of millions of dollars in the U. S. Undoubtedly, the writer would want some sort of access to my bank account where the money was stored. And on the surface, it seemed illegal.
I’ve talked to other people who received similar letters but none of them responded either. If any readers know what is behind this flow of “benevelence” that came my way, please let me know so I can advise readers of what the consequences may be.
What a difference a few weeks make
Several weeks ago, the New Orleans Saints didn’t have too many friends in the area. Owner Tom Benson indicated he wanted to move the team to San Antonio forever and many angry comments began to flow from newspaper columnists. talk show hosts and just ordinary fans who resented his desire to flee a disaster area.
At that time, we figured Benson was just not very astute in public relations, taking advantage of such a calamity as Katrina to make such a move. If he really wanted to relocate, he should have done it more subtly.
Now he has changed his tune. He wants to honor his contract with the state and keep the Saints here through 2010 at least. Bravo.
We can’t imagine the Saints anywhere but in New Orleans. True, he will have to find a broader audience than just in the torn up city to support the team but that is very possible with the whole bayou country, state capital and Mississippi Gulf Coast at his side.
Hopefully, businesses and fans will come to his aid and help support the team until the city gets rolling again.