Wednesday, April 05, 2006

"Nigerian" scam evolves

Distant relatives perish in disasters. Unfortunate individuals want help spiriting assets from unpleasant circumstances. Seemingly honest and the admittedly not so upright tempt the respect of the law with greed.

Perhaps, you have carefully read a letter or two with foreign post marks and printed a couple of e-mails out of curiosity? You were not tempted to investigate further? Okay, but please help those you care about who are less shrewd to understand "Nigerian" and similar scams.

Bad things happen. In my small world I have crossed paths with two victims and another near victim. The third may have become a victim as he was certain that the $38 million was from a lost relative.

The first, used a credit card to wire nearly $5,000 to help "grease" local authorities and was only hours away from borrowing another $20,000 to "pay local taxes to release funds."

The second was an elderly lady who lived alone. A review of her records indicated that over a period of about a year, she wired, mailed and delivered over $100,000 to "help." Truly a sad story.

Please don't assume that those you love are as worldly wise as you.

The latest version of the "Nigerian" scams I have received:


Dear Winner,

We are pleased to inform you the result of the computer random selection for the VISA MASTER CREDIT CARD LOTTERY International program held on 3rd of January, 2006. Your personal or company email address, attached to ticket number 45-39-0075, with serial number 9954398765 drew the lucky numbers 90-56-83-46-23, and consequently won the lottery in the 2nd category.

(Several deleted paragraphs.)

Your allocated claims agent details are as follows.

Officer in Charge: Mr.Jerry Rowlings
E-mail: processingdept@financemail.
net E-mail:

Remember, all winnings must be claim not later than 30th of April 2006.

After this date all unclaimed funds will be return to the promotion

Yours sincerely,
Mrs.Betty Keijser
(Online Lottery Coordinator)

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