Sunday, October 12, 2008

Lucky - Be a Billionair - The E-mail Proposes You

The 419 Scam

nigerian scam - 419 scamSorry to dash your hopes for a share of the ill-gotten booty, but the letter below (and many variations on the theme) is a well-known scam that pre-dates the Internet. But unfortunately, alarming numbers of people are taking the bait in what has been dubbed "The 419 Scam".


Dear friend, Having consulted with my colleagues and based on the information Gathered from the Nigerian Chambers Of Commerce And Industry, I have the privilege to request your assistance to transfer the sum of (45,500,000.00) FORTY-FIVE MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS, into your accounts.

The above sum resulted from an over-invoiced contract, executed, Commissioned and paid for about three years ago by a foreign contractor. This action was however intentional and since then the fund has been in a suspense account at The Central Bank Of Nigeria Apex Bank. We are now ready to transfer the fund overseas and that is where you come in.

The total sum will be shared as follows: 60% for us, 35% for you and 5% for local and international expenses incidental to the transfer. The transfer is risk free on both sides.

When a potential victim reponds to the scammer, they are asked for their bank account and other personal information. The fraudster then tries to establish credibility by providing documents bearing Nigerian government letterhead. But invariably a "problem" arises. The victim is then pressured or threatened to provide one or more large sums of money to save the venture. According to the U.S. Treasury, this scam grosses hundreds of millions of dollars annually, and in a few cases scam victims have been killed.

To learn more about the Nigerian 419 Scam, check out this link. I think you'll also enjoy the very funny Annual Nigerian EMail Conference parody.