Sunday, February 24, 2013

BEWARE: "Ken Martins" & Other Nigerian Scams

"Ken Martins"(Kenneth/Keneth/Ken) takes on many forms: Different ages, occupations, races,  countries, after women and men. It's a scam that has been a problem for over five years in Europe (including Romania), Australia, Canada, and the US. When "he" wants to share a secret, it is to get you to send money (to Nigeria, Malaysia, etc.). My granddaughter works in a grocery store and tells me that unsuspecting folks are sending of their cash to these countries via Western Union, obviously thinking they are helping someone who loves them and expecting big money in return. My contact said he had gone to Nigeria for a few days and wanted me to text him on his cellphone, a  different number than the first one, a Nigerian number per internet search (+234). It's a typical Nigerian scam that I've seen go from mail to fax to the internet over the last 20+ years. It started out as royalty in distress because of a death in the family, then progressed to using dating services.

I was contacted with a friend request on Facebook, my public site. I never indicate my marital status or mark "interested in" anywhere. I've never used a dating service of any kind. Red flags went up. So my first thought was "why me?" I remembered seeing an African viewing in this blog's stats. Aha! The light came on: My bio, my link to Facebook...

I played with the "friend" to see if there was some way I could bust them. Unfortunately there isn't, so I decided to jerk them around. I waited to see when the request would come. Their story got so twisted. Pertinent questions were ignored until they thought I might walk away, and then the excuses/reasons were lame. It took less than two weeks! (Some say it has been up to three months. Others that the requests keep coming for more money.)

Google/search "Ken Martins scam" and see for yourself.

By the way, the pic was of a handsome, silver-haired, debonair gentleman, probably an  Italian model, so gorgeous that I kept a copy of it. No wonder it gets women's attention! I also found "him" on LinkedIn, along with other versions of Ken Martins, with a different picture of the same man working as an admin. asst. in Dallas. (In USA he's a widowed engineer, in UK a divorced doctor or a lawyer.) I knew not to text or call the cell phones. Those who did reported strange accents and high charges. There are 3 Facebook accounts for him, with the same picture:
   https://www.facebook.com/#!/kenneth.martins.75?fref=ts
   https://www.facebook.com/#!/keneth.martins?fref=ts
   https://www.facebook.com/#!/kenneth.martins.7923?fref=ts

What did I do? He said I was his one and only...and then asked if I could be trusted with his family secret, I FB-messaged them I already knew the secret: Nigerian scammers. Then I clicked Unfriend.

Advice from an attorney-friend when I was 20, "If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. Don't."

Don't fall for it. Tell your friends.

2 comments:

Dee said...

Unbelievable! After posting this, I searched Ken Martins to see if my post showed up. Not yet, but all the photos of the 60-yr old debonair Ken Martins are no longer showing on the internet! I'm glad I kept a copy.

Dee said...

My post shows up in searches now. The Facebook pages still exist but aren't flashing the pix like they used to when doing a name search.

They aren't using only that man's picture. They uses several personas for the different ethnic and age groups they are trolling. KM also uses pix of younger men,and/or black, latino, whatever works. Hang on to your money, folks. They've simply regrouped. If someone contacts to you, beware. Walk away, hangup, ignore them. (Similar to door-to-door salesmen and telemarketers.)

An elderly lady once told me, after someone stole from her, that 'they must have needed it more' than she did. Huh? Not!