Many of us have received those terrible emails telling us we have an uncle that is a Nigerian prince that died and left us a large sum of money. We all know that these are scams and that they are just trying to get us to give them our bank information to steal our money (ironic). A friend of mine was telling me about her fiancé (Tim*) who works at a bank and a wonderful (haha) African prince.
Keep those emails of days long gone in mind as you read the following story:
A friend of mine (Tim) works at a large bank here in the city. The province we live in is a little behind the times when it comes to technology and banking. A man from Africa (Mali) had been going to multiple banks in the city telling them he needed to pull money out of the bank. It was an urgent need, as he was running late to catch a train. He would act rushed to make them feel rushed and get him the money. See, he is on a short list of people to not give money to. When in a rushed situation, the bank employees wouldn’t look at the short list and they were confused by his English with a thick Mali accent. He did this to several banks until he went to the bank my friend works at.
The man went in and went through the routine. Acting rushed and speaking English quickly to Chinese bank tellers, he would explain he was trying to catch a train and needed to get money from the bank. Tim was called down to speak with the man. The other bank tellers do not speak English. As Tim tried to understand the man, he took his identification and looked him up. He realized he was not allowed to give this man any money. The bank told him he had to provide documents from his bank in Mali, the bank would then release money to him. He kept telling Tim he was in a rush to catch a train.
The man returned to the bank Tim works at and did the exact same thing as a few days prior. The man left when he was told, again, he had to have the documents from his bank in Mali. After this second incident, Tim contacted the local authorities. It turns out this man from Mali had been working with a few others to hack and scam people living in Italy – let’s back track, shall we? An African man from Mali, living in a “small” province in China, hacking/scamming people in Italy. Everyone on track? Good. –
At this point, Tim began working with police officials in the city to track the guy down. The man from Mali bought a plane ticket, went to the airport, but never boarded the plane. The police did not catch this immediately. They began reviewing surveillance tapes from as many banks as they could and looking deeper into the airport records. He had displayed this odd behavior for a while: buying tickets, going through security, not boarding the flight.
Tim was asked to review the surveillance tapes with one of the police officers. He was able to identify the man in multiple tapes from multiple banks. The officer was sharing about the odd behavior and plane tickets with Tim. Tim told the officer he didn’t think the man ever left the city. The police began looking for him at the airport, banks, and other places he had been known to visit. They later caught him at the airport after faking leaving the city.
China leads the ranks of computer hacking. They are number one (followed by the USA, Turkey, Russia, Taiwan, Brazil, Romania, India, Italy, and Hungary – in that order). But hey, they did catch one of the African princes …
* This name has been changed