Scam of the day – December 13, 2015 – A new version of the Nigerian email scam

Today’s Scam of the day comes right from my email and I am sure that it has appeared in the email boxes of many of you, as well.  This is just another version of the Nigerian email scam although this one appears to have originated in Ghana.   Although it may seem that the Nigerian email scam began in the era of the Internet, the basis of the scam actually goes back to 1588 when it was known as the Spanish Prisoner Scam.  In those days, a letter was sent to the victim purportedly from someone on behalf of a wealthy aristocrat who was imprisoned in Spain under a false name.  The identity of the nobleman was not revealed for security reasons, but the victim was asked to provide money to obtain the release of the aristocrat, who, it was promised would reward the money-contributing  victim with great sums of money and, in some circumstances, the Spanish prisoner’s beautiful daughter in marriage.

Today’s scam of the day is yet another variation of what has come to be known as the Nigerian letter scam.  In the various versions of this scam circulating on the Internet today, you are promised great sums of money if you assist a Nigerian in his effort to transfer money out of his country.  Variations include the movement of embezzled funds by corrupt officials, a dying gentleman who wants to make charitable gifts or a minor bank official trying to move the money of deceased foreigners out of his bank without the government taking it.  The example below of the email I received involves a shady consignment deal.  Although generally, you are told initially that you do not need to contribute anything financially to the endeavor, you soon learn that it is necessary for you to contribute continuing large amounts of money for various reasons, such as various fees, bribes, insurance or taxes before you can get anything.  Of course, the victim ends up contributing money to the scammer, but never receives anything in return.

Here is a copy of the email, I recently received:

“I am B. Komeng, Director, Aviation Security (GHANA AIRPORT COMPANY) in Greater Accra field International Airport West Africa, During one of my investigation I discovered An abandoned shipment of two Metallic Trunk Boxes that was transferred from US International Airport (JFK) back to our Airport facility here in Accra Ghana and when scanned it revealed an undisclosed Funds and about 50Kilos of Gold in Metal Trunk Boxes weighing approximately 50 and 40kg each. These consignments was abandoned because the Content was not properly declared by the delivery shipping agent as above mentioned items rather it was declared as personal effect to avoid diversion and tax. On my assumption, the very box that contains Funds amounted US$5.Five Million United States of American Dollars and the consignments are still left in the Storage House till today. Friend, I want you and I to transact this deal together and share the profit together since the shipper has abandoned it and ran away due to improper declaration and improper documentation. I want front you as the beneficiary and Consignee to these boxes, As you can see, I am still an officer with airport company, I cannot be found to be associated with these consignment hence I cannot call for its delivery, if it is discovered that I have a particular interest in these consignments, it will be seized by Government indefinitely. I can arrange for the boxes to be moved out of this Airport to your address if you agreed to accept the delivery and we work together in procuring necessary legal paperwork to back you up as the legal beneficiary, once we are through I will deploy the services of a secured shipping Company geared to provide the security it needs to deliver these consignments to your address. I am willing to work with you on the understanding of a partnership basis, We shall share the profit 50% 50% upon the completion of this transaction, I can assure you of no trouble in this transaction and my guarantee to you is that we can actualize our goal within four working days if we can work in one accord also to be honest with you, we can only work in partnership to realize this goal, reasons being that as I have stated above to you that one of the very crucial reasons why they agent failed in having the consignments delivered was due to the improper documentation. Thanks. B. Komeng.”

TIPS

This is a simple scam to avoid.  It preys upon people whose greed overcomes their good sense.  The first thing you should ask yourself is why would you be singled out to be so lucky to be asked to participate in this arrangement.  Since there is no good answer to that question, you should merely hit delete and be happy that you avoided a scam.  As with many such scams, which are originating outside of the United States, the punctuation and grammar are often not good.

Many people wonder why cybercriminals and scammers send out such ridiculously obvious scam letters that anyone with an ounce of sense would recognize as a scam, but that may be intentional on the part of the scammer because if someone responds to such an obvious scam, they are more likely to fall prey to the scam.

 

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