from the writes-itself dept

As the US government looks to take over a bigger chunk of Citibank, you might wonder what the bank has been doing with its money lately. Apparently, part of it was going to a slightly more ambitious than usual Nigerian 419 scam. The scammer and some colleagues tricked Citibank into believing they represented the National Bank of Ethiopia, that country’s central bank — and convinced Citibank to then transfer $27 million to accounts they controlled. It doesn’t sound like the scam actually worked in the end — as questions arose, and the receiving banks transferred the money back eventually. Also, the supposed mastermind behind the scam has now been arrested. But, apparently, 419 scammers have figured out that, given how well various banks have managed their money over the last few years, they’re just as good as targets, compared to clueless spam recipients.

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Companies: citibank

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R. Miles says:

There goes free checking.

You know, if people are really this stupid as to send money from a simple email request, I think it’s about time I change jobs.

So, readers, please help me. I’m stuck in a virtual location and have seemed to run out of funds to get out. Please send funds (USD only) to my Paypal account and I promise to pay you back, with 50% interest, for helping me out in my dire situation.

Thank you.

Achmed Dorimizhan says:

Help is on the way

Greetings R. Miles,

Allow me to introduce myself, I am a deposed Prince of the Former and now deposed Nigerian King, and I have a business proposition for you.

We can share the sum of 40 Million $US, if you follow my easy plan. This is of no risk to you my friend.

Please send me your name, address, phone number, a copy of your birth certificate and drivers licenses, and your bank account and routing numbers, to, and I will get back to you.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Ahem

Someone probably keyed in to Shohat being an American, or located in America. Thus, when Shohat said “LolAmericans”, it didn’t match reality.

Either way, it’s pretty funny:
Saying “Ahem” could be a way for Shohat to check their own situation if internally focused, OR more likely, if it carried an external connotation, an invite for Americans to look at how hilarious you really are.

Evan (profile) says:

Whenever I get a 419 E-mail...

I simply tell them I am a man of the cloth (not true), and as such, have taken a vow of poverty (not true), and then tell them they are in my thoughts and prayers (also not true), and that I wish them luck in their plight to save the riches they have amassed from the evil Nigerian banks (definitely not true).

Mike C. says:

Additionaly details from the article...

A couple direct quotes from the linked article:

“To carry out the elaborate scheme, prosecutors in New York said on Friday, the man, identified as Paul Gabriel Amos, 37, a Nigerian citizen who lived in Singapore, worked with others to create official-looking documents that instructed Citibank to wire the money in two dozen transactions to accounts that Mr. Amos and the others controlled around the world.”


“Prosecutors said the conspirators, contacted by Citibank to verify the transactions, posed as Ethiopian bank officials and approved the transfers.”

In other words, it was a team effort and they not only forged documents that appeared authentic, they had people posing as Ethiopian bank officials to confirm the transactions. Not your standard 419 scam and a fairly elaborate scheme to put things together. I really don’t think Citibank is as much to blame as you’d like to portray.

Lucretious (profile) says:

Gotta respect the sheer audicity of this guy.

This reminds me of that Nigerian who, with a cheap 5 year old PC managed to borrow millions and trade on the big board from the comfort of his apartment. He had made a massive amount of cash and was doing fine until someone looked up his credentials and found out he had schemed his way into to system and he got shut down. Brass balls.

Anonymous Coward says:

Is it too big to fail or too cheap to manually review?

Citibank is too big. If they have these problems, they need to be broken up to the point where they can run effectively and be able to have human review of accounts outside of day-to-day, business as-usual operations. I wonder how much TARP money we don’t know about was bled to these scams.

That is all.

Dan D. (user link) says:

Are we postponing the inevitable?

Are we doing a good thing for the economy by trying to stabilize companies that are headed out of business because of their entanglement with the market and the number of jobs of that stand to be lost?

Are we postponing the inevitable? What if these companies go out of business despite the fact that the government has given billions of dollars in an effort to keep the companies going out of business? Where will be then if the government loses billions and all the jobs the government were trying to save are gone any way?

JRegal says:


I love how the business news reports that Citibank’s money comes from the “government”. That money is coming out of “our” pockets. Congradulations you now are part owner of a bank that can’t pull it’s head out of it own collective @$$. The CEO Pandit was in charge of a 800mm dollar fund called Old Lane Partners it tanked. So they make him CEO!!! LOL.

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