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. Although it may appear 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 may not even be from Nigeria, but the scam is the same. 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:
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.