When it comes to email scams, this one is the governor

“You may be surprised to get this email as we do not know each other, but my name is Mark Carney and I work for the Bank of England.”

Well, that’s an attention-grabbing way to start an email. “Mr Carney” proceeded to tell me that he had $22.5 million burning a hole in his pocket and I had been chosen to share it with him. Lucky me, eh?

All I had to do was respond to the email — from an address in Germany — and Mr Carney would send me instructions on how to monetise my windfall.


I responded cautiously: “Please send me more details of how we can work together. I am worried about security. Is it safe? You say you work with the Bank of England so that’s a good sign.”

Of course, my worries were put to rest by return email: “First and foremost, I wish to assure you that the entire process involved in this transaction is completely safe and legal. I will do everything legally required to ensure it pass [sic] through all Laws of International Banking, and you have my word.”

And, to completely reassure me, Mr Carney sent me a copy of his Bank of England ID badge (reproduced here). Well, that certainly looks like the real Mr Carney, governor of the Bank of England. Even if I had never met him in the flesh — which I did at a soirée in Davos last year, as I recall — you would recognise those Clooney-esque features anywhere.

Now that I knew who I was doing business with, the rest of the process seemed a piece of cake. All I had to do, the online Mr Carney explained, was to open a foreign bank account in both our names with a small cash deposit, provide copies of my passport, national ID and proof of address, as well as personal details such as employment and age, and we were at the races.

All quite sensitive information, dangerous in the wrong hands, but I’m sure a man like Mr Carney wouldn’t ask unless he had a good reason.

Mr Carney asked me to keep the matter confidential “because I have a very good reputation and I do not intend to ruin all that”. Entirely understandable.

He also advised me that, once the $22.5m was deposited in “our” account, he would come to visit me in the UAE to carve up the loot — 40 per cent for me, 60 per cent for him.

Only fair, really, as Mr Carney had done all the hard work.

Just to be 100 per cent certain it was all above board, I contacted the Bank of England. Imagine my disappointment to receive the following email from the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street: “Unfortunately there are people and groups that will try all sorts of methods, some sophisticated and others not so, to gain individual details or financial commitments. The Bank of England would never send out something like this, and requests you ignore and delete these kinds of emails.”

Does that mean I don’t get my millions? Probably. But anyway thanks for thinking of me, “Mr Carney”.

fkane@thenational.ae

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