Double Deceit: A True Story of a Nigerian Scam
by Dr. Agnes Chambers-Glenn
Trafford Publishing

"I listened with amazement that anyone as intelligent as he could get caught in such a deceitful scam."

We've all wondered how many people really fall for those Internet money scams, which begin something like this, "Dear Friend, I am in deep need of assistance…. If you can permit helping, you will receive in utmost confidentiality $5 million US." In actuality, thousands have been duped, according to research by Chambers-Glenn, and at least $2.1 billion in counterfeit checks have been seized in scams. Double Deceit gives a blow-by-blow account of one such scam, a $10.5 million deceit against an elderly man named Mashaal, an intelligent but naïve retired World Health Organization medical doctor and friend of Chambers-Glenn.

With the patience of Job, Chambers-Glenn follows a tangled trail 400 e-mails long, painstakingly deconstructing the specious logic of several swindlers in Nigeria, where most Internet scams originate, she says. We groan a thousand times while Mashaal consistently trusts the scammers, ignoring the warnings of his friend and his Swiss and German bankers. Narrative exclamations of disbelief enliven this account of mind-numbing folly, fueled by one man's hope, sympathy, and greed.

Finally, after losing tens of thousands of dollars and fearful for his life, Mashaal wises up and involves the Canadian authorities. Canadian officials set up a dangerous sting and catch one of the crooks, becoming only the second case of its kind ever prosecuted in Canada. If you have a love for detail and a thirst for justice, you will enjoy this slowly unfurling tale of a man's capacity for self-deception and his plan to get even, illustrated by dozens of e-mails and documents. The final chapters provide statistics and case studies on dangerous scams, as well as extremely useful information on how to spot and avoid a scam and web sites to access if you've been had.

Return to USR Home