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 most common version of this scam, 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 recently received by a Scamicide reader involves funds from a non-existent United Nations program to provide financial assistance during the Coronavirus pandemic. 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. This particular version of the scam email contains numerous indications that it is a scam. It is not addressed to you by name and it refers to a non-existent United Nations program. Unfortunately, some people allow their greed to overcome their good sense and become victims of this scam.
Here is a copy of the latest scam letter:
|Date:||Fri, 19 Mar 2021 17:00:51 +0100|
|From:||United Nations Covid 19 Coordinator <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
Hope you are safe from this pandemic troubling the world. My name is Mrs. Priscilla Braver, United Nation Covid 19 Cash Aid payment Coordinator, I work with the United Nations.I am directed by the United Nations as COVID 19 payment Coordinator to compile names of ten  persons badly affected by Covid 19 to be compensated with [US$1M] One Million United State Dollars.
I have decided to fix your detail as one of the beneficiaries of the Covid 19 Cash Aid program to be paid the sum of [US$1M] One Million United State Dollars.We shall share the money 50/50%. [ie] 50% percent for you and 50% me. All I need is your trust that you will keep my share of the money safe.
I contacted you because we are not related and you are not my known friend, no one will suspect me you are included as a beneficiary, because we are not related. If you are interested,please mail me back for more detailed information.
Please I hope I can trust you to keep my share of the money safe.
Mrs. Priscilla Braver,
United Nation Covid 19 Cash Aid payment Coordinator
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. Often, as in this case, 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.
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 email, they are more likely to fall prey to the scam without much effort by the scammers.
For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.” Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
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