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 origin 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 most common 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. Other 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 involves a program to compensate fraud victims. In most 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 paying money to the scammer, but never receives anything in return. This particular version of the scam uses the name of a real person, General Laura J. Richardson who unfortunately has had her name used by scammers since at least 2013. One indication that this email is a scam is that it is not addressed to you by name, but plainly was sent as a mass mailing seeking to ensnare multiple victims.
Here is a copy of the email presently being circulated.
From: “Gen. Laura J. Richardson” <firstname.lastname@example.org>Subject: HELLODate: September 18, 2020 at 8:55:10 AM CDTTo: undisclosed-recipients:;Reply-To: Lt.Gen.email@example.com
I’m Laura Richardson, A staff General in the US Army presently serving in Syria as a combat instructor, I sincerely apologize for intruding into your privacy, this might come as a surprise to you, but nothing is more distressing to me at this time as i find myself forced by events beyond my control, i have summoned courage to contact you. Am 45 years old lady, am a widow and I had a son who is now 16 years of age.
Some money in various currencies where discovered in barrels at a farm house in the middle East during a rescue operation in Iraq War, and it was agreed by Staff Sergeant Kenneth Buff and myself that some part of these money be shared between both of us, I was given a total of ($5 Million US Dollars) as my own share , I kept this money in a consignment for a long while with a security Company which i declared
and deposit as my personal effects and it has been secured and protected for years now with the diplomatic Delivery Service.
Now, the WAR in Iraq is over, and all possible problems that could have emanated from the shared money has been totally cleaned up and all file closed, all what was discovered in the Middle East is no more discussed, am now ready to retire from active services by the end of this year, but, i need a trustworthy person that can help me take possession of this funds and keep it safe while i work on my relief
letters to join you so that we could discuss possible business partnership together with the money.
But I tell you what! No compensation can make up for the risk we are taken with our lives. You can confirm the genuineness of the findings by clicking on this web site.
I’m seeking your kind assistance to move the sum of US$5 Million Dollars to you as far as I can be assured that the money will be safe in your care until I complete my service here in (SYRIA) before the
end of the year.
The most important thing is; “Can I Trust you”?,As an officers on ACTIVE DUTY am not allowed access to money, therefore, i have declared the content of the consignment as personal effect that i would like to be delivered to a friend. You will be rewarded with 30% of this funds for your help, all that i required is your trust between us till the
money get to you.consent to me I am looking forward to hear from you.
Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson
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 this particular version of the scam email is your name mentioned. The scam email is obviously being sent out as a mass mailing. The entire email is merely a hoax intended to sound official and legitimate.