Beware of bait for Nigerian fraud

Another variation of the Nigerian scam landed in my e-mail box last week. This one is a little different in tone, tugging at your heartstrings and appealing to your sense of justice before getting to the meat of the matter. It begins:

“Dear Sir,
I pray this important message meets you in peace, may blessings of God be upon you and your family and grant you the wisdom to understand my situations and how much I really need your assistance.

“Before I start let me introduce myself my name is Mrs. Mariam Abacha the wife of the late and former head of state of Nigeria General Sanni Abacha. Since the (strange and unfortunate) death of my husband (may God’s Mercy be upon him), the government has turned against my family with strange accusation. At first I thought it was a little vendetta from my husband’s enemies but I was wrong. They arrested my only son old enough to take care of the family and then they froze all our bank accounts known to them, hoping that we will starve to death. Why can’t we all live in Peace?”

The bait
You get the gist of it. From here the sender drops the bait. She has US$42 million stashed away in a secret place thathe needs to get out of the country fast. If you help them out, they’ll generously give you 20 per cent of that (US$8.4 million) and invest a like amount in your company. Aren’t they nice?

Actually, what they really are looking for is access to your bank account numbers, pin numbers, and any other personal financial information they can persuade you to divulge. Guess what happens after that.

It’s amazing how this scheme keeps surfacing. For the Nigerians to be so persistent with it (it’s been going on for years), it must be doing amazingly well.

No curtailing
I forwarded a copy to the RCMP Economic Crime Branch for their information and also informed Yahoo, whose e-mail service was used for this particular fraud solicitation. What is amazing to me is that no one seems capable of curtailing this operation. It seems to flourish with impunity.

One has to wonder why Nigerian authorities haven’t cracked down on the perpetrators long before this. Since they can’t, or won’t, all we can do is make sure everyone knows about this scam.

Adapted from the June 25 edition of the Internet Wealth Builder.