Today’s Scam of the day was sent to Scamicide by one of its readers and is another version of the Nigerian email scam that continues to plague the Internet. 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 scam victim with a vast reward that included, 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 or someone elsewhere 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 questionable power of attorney.  Although 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 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 presently being circulated as sent to Scamicide by one of our readers. His email address has been blocked out for his privacy.
“Attached Message
To xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date 22 Jul 2018 04:35:24 +0200
A power of attorney was forwarded to our office this morning by
two gentle men, one of them is an American national and he is MR
DAVID DEANE by name while the other person is MR… JACK MORGAN
by name a CANADIAN national.
This gentlemen claimed to be your representative, and this power
of attorney stated that you are dead, they brought an account to
replace your information in other to claim your fund of $12.5
Million Usd which is now lying DORMANT and UNCLAIMED, below is
the new account they have submitted:
Vancouver, CANADA
ACCOUNT NO. 2984-0008-66
Be further informed that this power of attorney also stated that
you suffered and died of throat cancer. You are therefore given
24hrs to confirm the truth in this information, If you are still
alive, You are to contact us back immediately, Because we work 24
hrs just to ensure that we monitor all the activities going on in
regards to the transfer of beneficiaries inheritance and contract
You are to reply to this office immediately for clarifications on
this matter as we shall be available 24 hrs to attend to you and
give you the necessary guidelines on how to ensure that your
payment is wired to you immediately.
Just also be informed that any further delay from your side could
be dangerous, as we would not be held responsible of wrong
Mr Hill Hataway
Finance Department Director
International Monetary Funds Agents”
This is a simple scam to avoid.  It preys upon people whose greed overcomes their good sense.  If you receive such an email, the first thing you should ask yourself is how does this possibly relate to you and, in other variations of the scam, 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 either question, you should merely hit delete and be happy that you avoided a scam.  As with many such scams, which originate outside of the United States, the punctuation and grammar are often not good. Often the emails are sent from an email address that has no relation to the purported sender which is an indication that the email is being sent through a botnet of hacked computers. In addition, it is important to note that nowhere in the email is your name mentioned. The scam email is obviously being sent out as a mass mailing.
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 without much effort by the scammers.
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