Today’s Scam of the day is another version of the Nigerian email scam that continues to plague the online community. 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 transfer for charitable purposes. In all the variations of this scam, 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:

Good Day Dear,
How are you doing today? I am Mrs.Joyce Samuel from United Kingdom ,I married to Mr.Samuel Denis from Toronto Ontario who worked with Canadian Embassy here in Cote d’Ivoire for nine years before he died in the year 2015. We were married for twenty five years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days.
Before his death we were both born again Christian. Since his death I decided not to remarry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against.
When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $4.5 Million in a bank here in Cote d’Ivoire ,so Recently my DOCTOR told me that I would not last for more time due to cancer problem. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a Orphanage or good Christian that will utilize the fund in the good way person that will use this fund for orphanages, widows, propagating the word of God and to endeavor that the house of God is maintained.
l took this decision because I don’t have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians not even good at all because they are the one that killed my husband in other to have all my late husband properties and I don’t want my husband’s efforts to be used by unbelievers. I don’t want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly way.
This is why I am taking this decision. I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord. Exodus 14 VS 14 says that the lord will fight my case and I shall hold my peace”.
With God all things are possible.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall instruct my lawyer to contact you. I will also issue you an authority letter that will prove you the present beneficiary of this fund. I want you to always pray for me because the lord is my shepherd.
My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian. Whoever that Wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and Truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated here in
Hope to receive your response immediately.
Thanks and Remain blessed in the Lord.

Mrs. Joyce Samuel”

Even a cursory reading of this email discloses errors of grammar. As for Joyce Samuel, I don’t know who she is, but this name has been used in similar scams for more than three years.

TIPS

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 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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