It’s not every day you receive a big money offer from someone claiming to sit in political asylum, but here we are. The following missive landed in our spam traps at the weekend.

The mail claims to be from the daughter of no less than the late Colonel Gaddafi. Ayesha Gaddafi promises you untold riches if you help her find a home for $27.5 million.

The bogus mail, titled “Re: Please i need your help”, reads as follows:

Re: Please i need your help

I am sending my greetings to you from the Sultanate of Oman, In the capital city of Muscat.

May i use this medium to open a mutual communication with you, and seeking your acceptance towards investing in your country under your management as my partner, My name is Aisha Gaddafi and presently living in Oman, i am a Widow and single Mother with three Children, the only biological Daughter of late Libyan President (Late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi) and presently i am under political asylum protection by the Omani Government.

I have funds worth “Twenty Seven Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars” -$27.500.000.00 US Dollars which i want to entrust on you for investment project in your country.If you are willing to handle this project on my behalf, kindly reply urgent to enable me provide you more details to start the transfer process.

I shall appreciate your urgent response through my email address below: aishaggaddafi36[removed]

Thanks

Yours Truly Aisha

The background to this tall tale

Ayesha fled Libya shortly after the Battle of Tripoli back in 2011. She eventually moved from Algeria to Oman, where she claims political asylum to this day. Note that the mail claims she’s a “single mother with three children”. The scammers can’t even get this right; Aisha has had four children, but two of them were killed during the fighting in 2011.

This is likely something they’re hoping most recipients of the mail will bother digging into too deeply. The prize, after all, is a remarkably large one.

What’s the impact of the scam here?

Should you respond, there’s a very good chance one or all of the below will take place.

  • You’ll lose an incredible amount of money. They just want your bank details. You’ll either find yourself sending them sums of cash for [inexplicable reason goes here], or you’ll be sent some money.
  • Being sent some money means you’re now a money mule. This is illegal, and you’re helping criminals to move around ill-gotten gains. You know how in cartoons, a character is left holding the bag in front of the police while the criminal is free to slink away? This will be you.
  • Personal details stolen. Many of these scams involve you sending scanned copies of passports or other forms of ID. This now leaves you open to identity theft, and other related shenanigans.

The following will not happen:

  • At no point will you be conversing with the real Ayesha Gaddafi
  • You will not get rich

Should this wind up in your mailbox: Report, delete, and block the sender. There’s no scenario here which plays out any other way than you losing your time, identity, and money to a fraudster.

For “Ayesha”, the search for an overseas investment opportunity continues.