We are all familiar with the variations of the Nigerian letter scam which has been with us for years and, in fact, owes its origin to a similar scam that was being done in the 1500s when it was called the Spanish Prisoner Scam.  Generally, the scam starts with an email informing the recipient that he or she will be receiving a huge amount of money for reasons ranging from an inheritance to a bank official needing help getting money out of the country.  Other reasons are given as well.  Then the fun starts.  While at first, the recipient of the email has to do nothing to qualify to receive the money, later it appears that complications arise which require money to pay for processing, fees, bribes of public officials or other reasons.  The victim of the scam gets caught up in the scam and starts sending funds for the various needs, but ends up never getting a penny.

Recently a Scamicide reader sent a new Nigerian letter that may be the most absurd one yet.  It is reproduced below:

 

“From: info@orange.pl
Subject: Delivery Of Fund To Your Location..
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2013 19:21:33 -0400

(American Citizens Services)

Embassy of the United States of America

Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive

Central District Area, Abuja.

Fax: (+234)-706-446-4861

E-mail: aterencep.mcculley@yahoo.com

Secretary Contact E-mail (aterencep.mcculley@yahoo.com )

Secretary Contact phone number +2347064464861

Dear Friend

THIS IS AMBASSADOR TERENCE P. MCCULLEY. UNITED STATE OF AMERICA AMBASSADOR TO NIGERIA. I SHALL BE COMING TO YOUR COUNTRY FOR AN OFFICIAL MEETING ON TUESDAY AND I WILL BE BRINGING YOUR FUNDS THROUGH AN ATM MASTER CARD OF $15M ALONG WITH ME BUT THIS TIME I WILL NOT GO THROUGH CUSTOMS BECAUSE AS AN AMBASSADOR TO NIGERIA, I AM A US GOVERNMENT AGENT AND I HAVE THE VETO POWER TO GO THROUGH CUSTOMS. AS SOON AS I AM THROUGH WITH THE MEETING I SHALL THEN PROCEED TO YOUR ADDRESS. (SEND YOUR CELL PHONE NUMBER AND THE ADDRESS WHERE YOU WANT ME TO BRING THE PACKAGE).

YOU HAVE REALLY PAID SO MUCH IN THIS DELIVERY THAT MAKES ME WONDER. YOU ARE A VERY LUCKY PERSON BECAUSE I SHALL BE BRINGING IT MYSELF AND THERE IS NOTHING ANYONE CAN DO ABOUT IT. CHECK HERE: http://nigeria.usembassy.gov/biography.html .PRIVATE E-MAIL: aterencep.mcculley@yahoo.com

THERE IS ABSOLUTELY GOING TO BE GREAT DOUBT AND DISTRUST IN YOUR HEART IN RESPECT TO THIS EMAIL COUPLED WITH THE FACT THAT SO MANY MISCREANTS AND IMPOSTERS(SCAMMERS) HAVE TAKEN POSSESSION OF THE INTERNET TO FACILITATE THEIR NEFARIOUS DEEDS, THEREBY MAKING IT EXTREMELY DIFFICULT FOR GENUINE AND LEGITMATE BUSINESS CLASS PERSONS TO GET ATTENTION AND RECONGNITION

YOUR PACKAGE($15M) MUST BE REGISTERED AS AN AMBASSADORIAL PACKAGE FOR ME TO DEFEAT ALL ODDS AND THE COST OF REGISTERING IT IS $170.THE FEE MUST BE PAID IN THE NEXT 50 HOURS VIA WESTERN UNION SO THAT ALL NECESSARY ARRANGEMENT CAN BE MADE BEFORE TIME WILL BE AGAINST US.

YOU SHOULD SEND THE FEE DIRECTLY TO THE CARGO REGISTRATION OFFICER

WITH THE INFO BELOW-

RECEIVER’S NAME: AGAWA PHILIP

ADDRESS: NIGERIA

TEXT QUESTION: GOD BLESSES?

ANSWER: AMERICA

AMOUNT $170

SENDERS NAME:

SENDERS ADDRESS:

AS SOON AS YOU SEND THE FEE MAKE SURE YOU SEND ME THE PAYMENT INFORMATION. MY FLIGHT IS TUESDAY AND I EXPECT YOU TO COMPLY BEFORE THEN SO THAT THE DELIVERY CAN BE COMPLETED. IF YOU DO NOT COMPLY, THEN IT WILL NOT BE MY FAULT IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE YOUR PACKAGE.

SIGN

HIS EXCELLENCY TERENCE P. MCCULLEY.

US AMBASSADOR TO NIGERIA

TELEPHONE NUMBER

TIPS

An unsympathetic person might look at that email and say that anyone who would fall for this deserves to lose their money, but no one deserves to be conned.  The email does bring up the message, however, that we should all be careful not to be blinded by our own greed.  Greed and a desire for easy money are two very common traits that enable scams to be successful.  Although it should be obvious, you should ask yourself whenever you get an email that promises money for nothing (not  to mention, chicks for free) why are you so lucky?  What is it about you that resulted in your being singled out to be eligible for this great investment opportunity, lottery or other windfall.  The answer is nothing and that is what you will end up with if you respond in any manner to the senders of emails such as this.

The old adage is still true.  A fool and his money are soon parted.  However, it is also true that many smart people are also scammed so it takes a great deal of vigilance to protect oneself from being scammed and that is the reason for Scamicide and the books that I write.  I urge you to consider buying “50 Ways to Protect Your Identity in a Digital Age” and “The Truth About Avoiding Scams” to help inform yourself of the dangers out there.  And make sure to read http://www.scamicide.com each day to keep up with the latest scams and identity theft schemes.

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