Those people persevering with wordy email scams from Nigeria, involving "confidential business transactions" worth vast amounts of money, civil unrest and promises of mighty rewards for the simple act of paying their expenses really ought to take a leaf out of the audacious book of the fake Contessa de Aliva, one crafty Elda Beguinua of Dulwich. This charming lady defrauded major financial institutions and persuaded an entire retinue to wait on her before conning them out of their life savings to fund a truly lavish lifestyle.
Not one to do things by half, the counterfeit countess was previously sprung in 1997 for claiming her wealth included 800,00 tonnes of gold. An impressive claim, when you consider that's 3 times the total mined worldwide for the last 150 years.
11 years later, she insisted she had two million tonnes of gold. Now that's inflation.
Sometimes known as Baroness Beguinua, she was jailed for 2 years in 1997 for fraud on a mammoth scale. Now 63, she's been banged up for 5 years. But, considering her victims still talk fondly of her as "a great lady" with a "terrific memory" we somehow think she'll survive being inside and doubtless a scammer of such talent and experience will have a wee something stashed away for that quiet retirement in sleepy Dulwich, come parole time.