In case you are still wondering whether people actually fall for the old Nigerian 419 scam – or are wondering just who would fall for the old Nigerian 419 scam – wonder no more, and instead learn from the story of Thomas Katona, of Harrisville, Michigan. That would be Thomas Katona, the county treasurer for Alcona County, Michigan.
Because authorities in Alcona county in Michigan have reported that their Thomas Katona – their elected treasurer of thirteen years – a good old boy from a long-standing Alcona County family – has lost more than $1 million of treasury funds to a Nigerian scammer.
How could this happen?
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Well, apparently Katona started by using his own funds. But, as is always the case, the target (in this case Katona) gets in deeper and deeper as the scammer draws the victim in. And as the scam deepens, you need to send more and more money in order to “help get your money” (the promised payoff) out of the country.
I’m not sure which aspect of this situation is the most hurtful for Alcona County – the fact that the money he took from the county represents more than 25% of the entire county budget, or his betrayal of Alcona County voters’ trust.
Said a spokesman for the Michigan Attorney General’s office, “Every part of this makes you wonder, ‘What was he thinking?’ ”
Actually, it makes us wonder “What, was he thinking?”
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