From her exile in Algeria, the widow of the departed Libyan leader needs your help!
Or does she?
According to an email making the rounds and purporting to be from Safia Farkash Qaddafi, it appears her late husband, Muammar Qaddafi, stashed $65 million away in a secret Malaysian account (plausible) and if you just provide a little assistance as a trusted partner, she, the rightful heir to his great fortune, will share the profits with you (unlikely).
“I am desperately looking for a foreign partner whom I can trust to handle some investment,” she writes. She even includes links to various newspaper accounts verifying the immense wealth Qaddafi hid around the world as he left much of his country in poverty.
At this point one must be reminded of an old saying, you can have a bad deal with good people but you can never have a good deal with bad people. And with a name like Qaddafi, it must be bad.
Savvy emailers have seen such emails hundreds of times over the past few years, although more advanced spam filters have helped lately. They are nicknamed “419” scams after the criminal code in Nigeria dealing with fraud that the scammers were originally prosecuted under. As has played out on undercover TV shows and the innumerous stories of those defrauded, “Mrs. Qaddafi” would begin a long email communication to con thousands out of her trusted friend or worse.
In many cases, those who respond to the emails are lured to another country (in this case Malaysia) where the money is said to be hidden. The con artists' victims risk being kidnapped and held for ransom, or in the case of Greek millionaire George Makronalli killed. With that outcome, Qaddafi’s widow's tactics would seem to have some similarities to the tactics of her late husband.
In this case, the scammer is only offering a paltry $65 million. Perhaps the Colonel also hid a lot from his wife or she is being less than honest with her new “partner.” According to the U.K.'s Daily Mail, the U.S. seized some $30 billion of his family’s investments. On the smaller end, recently the new Libyan government requested help from United Kingdom recovering a $15 million London playhouse used by son Saif Qaddafi when in town.
The email brings to light the very serious issue of what to do with the vast fortune that Qaddafi and his family plundered from Libya. Many say it could be years before investigators track down the vast amounts Qaddafi and his children spent, squandered or stole from the Libyan people, if it ever is all recovered.
In response to a query for more information from "Mrs. Qaddafi," she did offer one juicy tidbit: “Once you have assist in securing these funds in your account I will then move with my children to your country for my share of the money and to invest.”
Perhaps the scammers are now preying not only on the gullible but lonely as well. However, with only $65 million in payout, it would be hard to imagine anyone being able to keep the real Mrs. Qaddafi happy for long. She was accustomed to a much more lavish lifestyle at the expense of her own people.
The fake Mrs. Qaddafi is now seeking riches for those willing to try and have a good deal with bad people. It can never work in finance or love.
Leland Vittert currently serves as a FOX News Channel (FNC) correspondent based in Washington, D.C. and co-hosts America's News Headquarters DC on Saturday and Sunday. He joined the network in 2010.