Psst Want to make a pile of money on stocks? This fellow seems to have a guaranteed scam, er "plan". Th...


Psst Want to make a pile of money on stocks? This fellow seems to have a guaranteed scam, er "plan". The appeal came from reputed Taiwanese stock broker Robert Morgan on behalf of a deceased client. This is the deal:

It seems this broker's client, Juan Kim, died leaving in his estate a 48-million-euro half-interest in an Italian company that is "quoted in Italy stock exchange". The deceased's family does not know of this particular investment, and the broker has not reported Kim's death to the "stock exchange".

Are any of our readers getting the drift of this scheme?

"I sincerely want to have you as a business partner to claim the capital stock of late Kim from the stock exchange," writes Morgan. "I will furnish you with all information about Mr. Kim, then you will contact the stock exchange that you are Mr. Kim and that you want them to sell the shares to any interested investor and pay the shares value to your nominated account overseas. I have detail of the financial statement and dividend checks regarding the stock."

The attempt to impersonate a dead man sounds to me like a substantial fraud by itself.

Morgan goes on to assure his would-be partner that when the stock exchange calls him to verify Kim's identity, he will vouch for you. His cut of the deal would be 55% of the proceeds plus a 5% commission. The stooge (you, if you are truly foolish) would get 40%. Forty percent of 48 million euros is, let's see, is 19.2 million euros. At recent exchange rates, that would be Cdn$29.75 million. On the other hand, 40% of nothing is still nothing.

And nothing is what every sensible person should do about Morgan's e-mail and similar appeals. There are also e-mails in circulation that say someone in Nigeria needs to put tens of millions of dollars in your bank account, and would you please send your account number. Don't fall for that one, either.

Whoever this "Robert Morgan" is, he must think Canadian investors are very gullible. Maybe some of them are, but not CMJ readers. I have forwarded his communication to Phonebusters, the arm of the Ontario Provincial Police that fights fraudulent telephone solicitations. Morgan's e-mail is now my round file, the wastebasket.

I thought this country's mineral industry was well beyond penny stock frauds. E-mails such as this remind me that while the means of delivery may be more sophisticated than the old boiler room phone calls, the nature of the scam has not changed. Don't fall for it. Save your money.


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