Today’s Scam of the day comes from the email of a Scamicide reader.   I am sure that the same email has been sent to many of you, as well.  This is just another version of the Nigerian email scam.  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.

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  received by a Scamicide reader whose name I have crossed out involves “donating” money to the recipient of the email for charitable purposes.   Although generally, you are told initially in these scams 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 gets anything in return.

Here is a copy of the email recently received by a Scamicide reader:

“Dear  XXXXXX,

I got your details after an extensive on-line search Via (Network Power Charitable Trust) for a reliable person, I’m Mrs.Rose Duggan, 61 years old dying woman who was diagnosed for cancer about 4 years ago,I have decided to donate ($10,500,000.00) to you for charitable goals.Contact me if you are interested in carrying out this task, so that i can arrange the release of the funds to you.

Thank you and God bless you.
Mrs.Rose Duggan”

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 if you receive such an email 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.

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 be gullible enough to fall prey to the scam.