As if all those Nigerian scam letters weren't enough, now there are also the Russian ones, inviting you to partake of some of Mikhail Khodorkovsky's riches. Today's Gazeta.ru has a story (in Russian) on one of the scammers: "Ms. KIMAEVA LIOUDMILA , a personal secretary to Mikhail Khodorkovsky the richest man in Russia." Since I've never read a single Nigerian letter to the end and know nothing about the Nigerian politics, it was interesting to learn from this story that the Nigerian scheme often involves references to oppositional leaders victimized by brutal dictators - and that the Russian scammers are employing the same technique: Khodorkovsky, according to them, is in jail for sponsoring Russia's opposition to Putin.
In addition to "Ms. KIMAEVA LIOUDMILA," there have also been a "Mr john paul," "representing mr. mikhail khodorkovsky (m.k.);" "Mr. Ivan Ruskov, a personal treasurer to Mikhail Khodorkovsky the richest man in Russia;" "Mr. Ronny Barakat, a Confidential Financial consultant to Mikhail Khodorkovsky the richest man in Russia;" and "Mrs. Danijela Djuric a Yugoslavian and personal secretary to Mikhail Khodorkovsky (M.K) the richest man in Russia."
I found this last one at such an unlikely place - TerrificPets.com - and before I realized where I was, I was pretty confused about the little warning type of thing that precedes the text of the actual scam letter:
The below is from a Scammer! Some of the emails may not look like scams, but they all lead to the same thing. The scammer will pay by check (cashier's check/money order) for more then the pet is worth, then they will ask you to send them back the difference in money. A couple weeks later you find out the check was fake and the bank will take it out of your account. This scam can be set up several ways.
Some key points for pointing out a scammer:
1. Doesn't care much about the pet, just the transaction.
2. Says they will use their own shipper.
3. 95% of the scammers are from overseas (Nigeria, Israel, South Africa)
4. Pays you more then the pet is worth, then asks for the difference in money back.
My favorite fake associate of Khodorkovsky is this one, though: "Yogi Khodorkovsky, first cousin to Mikhail Khodorkovsky."
What kind of name is Yogi?