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Sunday, December 11, 2011

THE NEVER ENDING NIGERIAN SCAM

I have been receiving messages from the Nigerian scam artists for over 25 years, first by snail mail, next by fax, then by e-mail naturally. Their con in the early days sought to capitalize on simple greed whereby they would promise their victim millions of dollars if they could deposit money in their bank account. To do so, the victim would have to reveal details regarding his/her bank account. Once exposed, the Nigerians would fleece the account of all of its money. I cannot imagine a single man, woman, or child who hasn't been approached by these scam artists over the years who, by the way, are considered national heroes in their home country. This has been going on for so long, I do not have any pity for the suckers swindled by them.

Regardless of how many times I block Nigerian users sending such messages, a new one gets through now and then. Normally I just delete them but recently I started to read them as I wanted to see what the latest wrinkle was in their ploy. Interestingly, they have added some new twists to the banking scheme. Instead of just appealing on a person's greed, they now try to play on people's emotions. Regardless, they are all rather entertaining to read when you understand their motive; here is a sampling of unretouched pleas (I particularly like the grammar and spelling):

"Dearest Beloved Friend,
I know that this letter may be a very big surprise to you, I came across your email contact from my personal search and I believe that you will be honest to fulfill my final wish before i will die. My name is Mr. Ehab Elbalawi, I am a dying man who has decided to donate what I have to charity through you.You may be wondering why I choose you.But someone has to be chosen i am a dying man with cancer, I have a charitable offer of $6.5million Dollars.please get back to me for full Details......
Your Dying Friend,
Mr. Ehab Elbalawi"

Dear Ehab, so drop dead already.

"My name is Mrs. Anna Moyes; I am a US citizen, 51 Years Old. My residential address 645 Leland Drive Deltona FL 32725 , United States, I am one of those people that took part in receiving Inheritance funds and Lottery funds from African banks and European banks even from many lottery organizers few years ago and they refused to pay me, I had paid different fees while in the USA trying to get my funds from those banks and lottery organizers but all to no avail.

So, I decided to travel to WASHINGTON D.C USA with all my compensation documents, and I was directed by the F.B.I Director to contact a man called Dr. Fred Owen, A British citizen and a member of the UNITED NATIONS & IMF COMPENSATION AWARD COMMITTEE currently staying in ACCRA - GHANA.

Contact Person: Dr. Fred Owen.
Address: Diplomatic Lodge, United Nation Accra Ghana.
Email:drfredowen@yahoo.cn
Telephone: +233549970284.

Contact him now and send him (1) Your full names, (2) Your contact Address, (3) Your mobile phone numbers and (3) Any of your photo ID bearing your picture etc, you really have to stop dealing with those people that are contacting you and telling you that your fund is with them because it is not in any way with them, they are only taking advantage of you and they will dry you up until you have nothing left with you.

Thank You and Be Blessed.
Mrs. Anna Moyes.
3648 W. Scenic Hwy 30-A,
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
United States of America."

Dear Mrs. Moyes, first I find it interesting that you have two conflicting residential addresses in the United States, one of which I plotted is in the middle of Tyndall AFB in Florida (the Santa Rosa Beach location). I trust you are sleeping well on the practice range as the Air Force makes their bombing runs. I agree we have to stop dealing with deadbeat people such as yourself who are trying to swindle people out of their money. Please give my kindest regards to Dr. Owen of the Akan Tribe. Someday you will have to have him tell you about the "Spider Story" which celebrates the deceit of people. Oh yea, please join Mr. Elbalwi and drop dead.

"ATTENTION; My Dear:

I have contacted my secretary to confirm if you have received the compensation draft cheque of (US$10.500.000) which I issued in your name, but he told me that he could not send it to you because of the courier charges. Now I have called my bank to cancel any payment regards to the draft cheque and then authorized them to transfer the payment into ATM CARD in your name which they did.

As of now be informed that all charges has been paid and the ATM CARD is going to be in your name, but to reactivate the ATM Card you have to forward your current informations as requested below to the bank and the only money you will pay to the bank is US$295 for the ATM Card Reactification fee, then they will send you the ATM CARD for your immediate use.

Here are the informations you have to forward to the bank:

1. YOUR FULL NAMES:______
2. Postal ADDRESS:_______
3. PHONE NUMBER:_________
4. CELL NUMBERS:_______
5. EMAIL ADDRESS:________
6. SEX:_____
7. AGE:_____
8. OCCUPATION:________
9. NATIONALITY:________

CONTACT PERSON: Mr. Ben Peter
Director, ATM Foreign Operation Dept.
INTERCONTINENTAL Bank Lagos, Nigeria
Email: (mr.ben_peter@yahoo.cn

Get back to me once you received the ATM CARD ok.


Thanks and God bless you.
Mrs. Ruth King L."

Dear Mrs. King L. - regarding your generous offer regarding a new ATM CARD. As tempting an offer as it may be, I'll have to say No. Besides, what am I going to do with another US$10.500.000.? Thanks and God bless me.

There are several other variations, but I think you get the idea. Obviously, if the deal seems too good to be true, it is. These people will sink to any level to scam you out of your money. If you have the slightest suspicion something on the Internet might be fraudulent, in all likelihood it is. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do as the scammers are seldom caught. Nevertheless, for some information on reporting Internet fraud, see:

USA.gov Internet Fraud
http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Internet_Fraud.shtml

ComsumerFraudReporting.org
http://www.consumerfraudreporting.org/

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:
http://www.phmainstreet.com/timbryce.htm

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