JimWes Thinks

February 28, 2015

How to reply to a “Nigeria Scam” Message (Part 3 of 3)

Filed under: Uncategorized — jimwes @ 5:05 pm

Nigeria has become associated with a particular form of scam that’s very visible and known to everyone who receives “Dear Friend” emails originating from that country. Also known as “419 scams” or “advanced fee scams” they are among the most notorious scams in the world.  The victim is typically asked to pay in advance a sum in order to receive very attractive benefits. Reputed to be the most successful type scam in the world, estimated losses from such schemes totaled $12.7bn (£8.2bn) in 2013. And the number of scams is growing by 5% each year according to the BBC.

These schemes dubbed “Creative Diabolic Ways That Scammers Scam the Innocent”…“prey on people who are lonely, panicked, desperate, greedy, ignorant or look for rewards with little work input or who panic at situations without reading between the lines and double checking the email address before clicking to the phishing sites.”  Over the years they have evolved into quite well written and brilliantly conceived missives that subtly attract the potential victim. Some are now so eloquent that soon the Pulitzer folks may be compelled to add a new prize category.

The Dutch financial intelligence organization Ultrascan AGI categorizes victims in three groups according to losses experienced: small, medium and high loss.

Small loss victims are those who “have fallen for one of the many quick scams, examples are: lottery fraud, the job- study place -offer, inheritance scam or the relief fund scam. The total losses per victim vary between 200 and 30000 dollar over a period of a couple of months to half a year.”

Medium loss victimshave fallen for the request for help to move and/or invest millions…The total losses per victim vary from 15000 to 210000 dollar over a period of a year to one and a half year.

High loss victims are those that fall for a “fraudulent proposal based on a REAL business of multinational proportions (oil, gold, diamonds, medical equipment, vaccines, chemicals, investments, building and/or service contracts…The total losses per case, vary from 300 thousand to 12 million dollars over a period of one and a half to 8 years or longer…”

According to Ultrascan highest country losses are suffered in the US followed by UK, China and many others including  Japan, Spain, Korea, Germany, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, India, and most others countries. Educated folks like doctors, architects, engineers and other white collar professionals are apparently the easiest to successfully scam. Those who have suffered a recent bereavement are also more susceptible victims.

Here are some basic guidelines for answering a Nigeria Scam request:Upon receiving a “Nigeria Scam” e-mail or Skype message most reasonably intelligent persons will logically immediately delete it and block the sender from send more. But there is another interesting alternative: answer it with a competing request. Normally there is no concrete request for money in the first scam message. This comes inevitably in the second. Therefore one can get the jump on the scammer by asking him first for money before being asked. The trick is to use the scammer’s technique before he gets a chance to hit you up for money.

  1. Profusely thank the sender for their generosity and kindness in selecting you as a beneficiary of such a wonderful and remunerative opportunity.
  2. Emphasize your complete trust and reliance upon the sender as a person of honesty and integrity based upon the background information they have furnished and your admiration for such a well planned and presented opportunity.
  3. Give every indication that you will be absolutely receptive to the forthcoming proposal that will outline the next step toward the benefits intimated.
  4. Where possible cleverly and very cautiously include a veiled intimation that you may even have a source of riches even greater than that implied in the original message.
  5. Finally, conclude with a small request for funding that will permit you to be able to respond positively to the anticipated second message providing more details on the operation (and asking you for an advance payment of money).

Needless to say devising an appropriate reply may seem somewhat of a useless task for those who are very busy, but for those who have the time and the inclination, it can be great fun!

To illustrate here is copy (including typos and grammatical errors) of a real scam request received via Skype very recently together with my own (perhaps somewhat exaggerated) reply:

MESSAGE: [2/12/2015 1:30:22 PM] *** Aisha Gaddafi would like to add you on Skype

Dear Friend, I know you would be surprised to read from someone relatively unknown to you. My name is Aisha Muammar Al-Gaddafi the formal Libyan Goodwill Ambassador of the U.N. and the daughter of late Muammar Al-Gaddafi the former president of Libya. I am currently residing in Muscat the capital city of Oman, unfortunately as a Political refugee. At the meantime, my family is at risk and pains. 95% of our investments and bank accounts in several countries are freeze.

I am writing this mail with tears and sorrow from my heart asking for your help at this time, I got your contact via internet searching for a trustworthy person who will understand my present conditions and come to my rescue here in Oman .

I have passed through pains and sorrowful moment since the death of my father Muhammad Abu Minyar Gaddafi, Husband and brothers, all our Foreign and local accounts have been blocked by the western countries and we are not allowed to make transfer or receive money from any country or source. I have been commissioned to contact an interested foreign investor/partner who will be able to take absolute control of part of the vast cash available to private account for a possible investment in your country.

If this transaction interests you, you don’t have to disclose it to anybody because of what is going with my entire family, if the western nation happens to know this account, they will Freezing it as they freeze others so keep this transaction for yourself only until we finalize this transaction that will be when the fund is transferred into your account.

I want to transfer this money into your account immediately for onward investment in your country. I received an urgent email from the bank abroad that both their government and new Libya government are tracing hidden deposit and assets deposited by my family, I don’t want them to be aware of this particular fund deposited by Me. If you can be of any assistant to me kindly get back to me so that i can furnish you with the deposit details for verification and confirmation. I am willing to reward you bountiful 10% of the total sum. Therefore if you are capable of running an establishment and can maintain the high level of Secrecy required in this project, kindly respond with the following information for details of the project.
1. Your full names and address:
2. Your private telephone and fax numbers:
3. Your private email addresses:
4. Age and profession:
you can write me on AISHAMUAMMERALGADDAFII@YAHOO.COM note that, my discussion with you is strictly private no one else must know about this because if it get to the ear of the western nation the account will be freez immidiately as they have done to others, this is the only possible means i have to contact you because all calls here are been monitored my the Omanic government and the UN, Asylum banned was placed on me, which stop me from traveling and making of phone telecommunication for the now. ***

REPLY:  My very dearest Aisha (please excuse my familiarity, the reason for which will become immediately apparent):

I give thanks to Allah (May His Name Be Blessed) for the miracle that has brought your request to me. I who was your beloved departed father’s very closest friend and confidant salute you with sincere sympathy, love and compassion, placing myself fully and completely at your service. How anxious am I to dry those tears and loose the sorrow from your heart. How well I remember bouncing you on my knee when you were a mere child as I counseled with your father regarding his financial affairs. How well I remember your beauty as you grew from a child into a beautiful young girl in the tent of your father and how I missed you when you were sent away to school. How jealous I was when I learned that you had become married to your late and lamented husband. Please accept my profound condolences upon the loss of my dearly beloved friend, your father Muhammad, your husband and all of your close relatives. Ah! Had he only listened to me, he and all of you would have escaped on a timely basis with me to a new life beyond the reach of his enemies.

You would most certainly remember me more clearly if I could give you my name or you could see my photograph, but alas I have had cause to change not only my name and physical appearance but to isolate myself in a new country the name of which I cannot mention where through the power of wealth and the grace of Allah (May His Name Be Blessed) I am now Prime Minister and Supreme Governing Authority. I was able to leave Libya before it fell using a submarine to remove and transport 7,000 gold ingots representing the greater part of your father’s fortune. While we suffered great anguish getting the heavy gold laden submarine to resurface the fortune has been wisely protected and part of it invested to produce great profits. It is now clearly yours as the last living survivor of my dear friend and mentor, the great leader Muhammad Abu Minyar Gaddafi.

You may now safely disregard the pittance of your father’s fortune that you state is frozen since it is no longer needed and is indeed insignificant compared to the fortune that will now be yours that now through wise investment consists of 84.7 % of the world’s gold, similar amounts of other precious metals and the absolute control of the central banking systems of 68 of the world’s leading countries and all but six of the presently existing multinational enterprises. You may wonder how I have been able to accomplish this. It was very simple; I learned that in those so called “democracies” throughout the world politicians can easily be bought by contributing vast sums to the political campaigns of all parties and candidates. Thus, no matter who wins, the elected individual is profoundly indebted to me and my organization and thus under my control. Modestly speaking you will now become the wealthiest, most beautiful and most powerful woman in the world!

My beloved dove of summer, may I take this opportunity to request your hand in marriage as your family’s closest friend and confidant, notwithstanding the great difference in our ages. I am 80. However, through the genius of my personally endowed Body Transplant and Life Extension Institute in Italy, I am happy to advise you that praise be to Allah (May His Name Be Blessed),  I now have the body of a 19 year old athlete and (modestly speaking) the most handsome face on earth. If needed or desired these facilities will also be available to you upon the consummation of our matrimony. Although it will be a few more years before I can promise you eternal life, my brilliant Italian medical innovators assure me that even now we can be assured of at least a 2.000 year life span together.

I am anxious for you to join me as soon as possible but one small problem has arisen. Just as I was ordering my yacht (modestly speaking the largest in the world) to pick you up I learned that it has been captured by pirates in Somalia who are requesting a relatively modest amount of ransom not knowing to whom it belongs. Because my affairs are so massively involved in the intricate markets of the world, the amount requested of $100,000 is so infinitely minuscule and you are at present located in close proximity to Somalia, I am sure it would be a very simple matter for you to transfer by Western Union to Mr. S. U. Borno in Mogadishu that amount thus freeing my yacht to pick you up immediately and bring you into my waiting arms.

I must caution you that everything I have written and all our plans must be extremely confidential as our mutual enemies would take advantage of any information regarding us to thwart our plans. I know that I can count upon you for prompt action and we will soon be together for centuries to come.

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