children left behind: agog edition
January 18, 2009 1 Comment
An emotional John Rempel, 22, of Leamington held his hands to his face as he described Tuesday how he lost $150,000 when he got caught up in a Nigerian Internet scam. Photograph by: Nick Brancaccio, The Windsor Star
So many people were involved in this, it is jaw-droppping…
A Leamington man has fallen prey to international scam artists who strung him along for more than a year with the promise of millions in cash, but ultimately bilked him and his family of $150,000.
… His troubles began in July 2007. He said he got an e-mail from someone claiming to be a lawyer with a client named David Rempel who died in a 2005 bomb attack in London, England, and left behind $12.8 million.
… The lawyer said his client had no family but wanted to leave the money to a Rempel. It was his lucky day.
of course! the guy had a will that directed an attorney to randomly send emails to people with the same last name, and reward the first responder with the money! those crazy rich people and the things they do…
one might think they’d have a provision for covering the costs associated with transferring the money, what with there being so much of it and all. but that would require thinking…
In London, Rempel met some people and handed over the $10,000.
They met Rempel the next day with a suitcase. They said it had $10.6 million in shrink-wrapped U.S. bills. Rempel wanted more proof. His new friends pulled out one bill and “cleansed” it with a liquid “formula,” which washed off some kind of stamp. Rempel was told that process made the money “legal tender.”
“I was like holy crap, is that mine?” he said. “They said ‘yes sir, it’s yours.’ It all sounded legit.”
yes sir, this ‘dirty’ money is all yours. how legit-sounding… although it is hard to not feel sorry for the guy, especially with the little details of the story that make it so endearing:
Rempel returned to his hotel room clutching the formula and waited for the others so they could cleanse all his money. They never showed, and later told him they got held up.
In the meantime, Rempel dropped the formula. The bottle broke. He called his contact who said he’d get more. Rempel returned to Leamington and waited.
A few weeks later Rempel got a call. They found more formula. It would cost $120,000.
“I thought, ‘let’s work on it, nothing is impossible,’” said Rempel.
nothing is impossible, indeed…
and the local authorities seem to have no idea what to do:
Leamington police Const. Kevin O’Neil said there’s not much investigators can do.
“There’s no doubt that they’re probably not even using proper names, so to try to track these people down would be almost impossible,” O’Neil told CBC News.
So now Rempel finds himself having to pay everyone back.
“Got them broke, got myself broke, got my family broke, and I can’t believe how those kind of people, how they can do that to people,” he said.
In spite of everything, Rempel said his faith in God is strong and he still believes anything is possible — even a way out of this debt.
which is nice, considering the scammers “convinced Rempel they shared a faith in God”
“He always said, ‘God bless you,’” Rempel said.
“Every Sunday he was in church. All that stuff made me believe it, right?”
… but why not be sure?