Scam of the day – November 7, 2017 – Another email scam

Reproduced below is another email scam similar to the infamous Nigerian email scam.  This email which is presently being circulated preys on the vulnerability and greed of its victims by promising money for nothing or in this case, a small fee.

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 just another variation of the Nigerian letter scam.   Although generally you are told initially that you need to contribute little if 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 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:

ATTENTION, I ‘M CONTACTING YOU NOW BASE ON ISSUE IN MY OFFICE THIS MORNING BECAUSE YOUR PAYMENT FILE WHICH CONTAIN YOUR $4.5M WAS BROUGHT TO ME BY THE BANK OF AFRICA HERE IN BENIN REPUBLIC WHO ORDERED ME TO SIGN THE CANCELLATION OF YOUR ALWAYS INSULT HIM BECAUSE THEY TOLD YOU TO PAY $69 TO RECEIVE YOUR FUND. SO I DECIDED TO WRITE YOU BECAUSE I FOLLOWED THE LAW AND I WILL NOT BE AGAINST ANYBODY IN THIS WORLD AND I THINK THAT MAYBE HE HAS A LITTLE PROBLEM WITH YOU. I HAVE NOT TOUCH YOUR PAYMENT FILE UNTIL I HEAR FROM YOU THIS MORNING BECAUSE I HAVE A HUMAN SYMPATHY. SO MY DEAR I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED AND IF YOU STILL NEED TO RECEIVE YOUR FUND THEN I WILL TELL YOU WHERE YOU WILL SEND THE $69 AND HAVE THIS FUND SEND TO YOU THROUGH MY POWER. YOUR URGENT REPLY IS NEEDED. THANK,S CHIEF JUSTICE frank williams

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 often originate outside of the United States, the punctuation and grammar are 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 they don’t want to waste their time with people they would have to work hard to convince.  Those who respond to such obvious scam letters are more likely to quickly fall prey to the scam.