Nigerian scam spreads online

Variations on the old Nigerian scam are coming thick and fast these days. It began with letters offering big rewards to anyone who would help a civil servant/deposed politician/retired general (the players varied but the scam didn’t) smuggle a big wad of cash out of the country.Now it has gone high tech, the e-mails flooding North American inboxes.

I’ve received several in recent weeks, and readers are reporting the same thing. The latest was forwarded to me last week by R.M. and tells an exciting story, if nothing else.

Tells dramatic tale
It begins with the following dramatic opening, which I have not edited for grammar:

“I am Master Frank Kadogo 26 year’s old the son of corporal Kadogo Rashidi the personal body guard to late President Laurent Desire Kabila of Democratic Republic of Congo, former Zaire Furthermore, My Father corporal Kadogo Rashidi was killed by the president guard for shooting to death President Kabila on th16/01/2001 in conference meeting at Kinshasa Zaire.”

Pretty heavy stuff! The e-mail then goes on to describe how his father was involved in a secret plot to spirit US$105 million out of Zaire as a pay-off to Hutu organizations who helped in the overthrow of former dictator Mobutu Sesse Seko.

Along the way, however, the soldiers escorting the trunks of money decided the cash would be better off in their hands than with the Hutus. So they divvied up the fortune and split.

Collect personal data
Corporal Rahidi, the purported father of the writer, ended up with US$45 million, which he stashed in Abidjan in a crate labelled African art works. He then took his secret to his death. (These guys are missing their calling, they should be writing novels.)

Anyway, you know the rest. Poor Frank can’t get the money out without your help and is willing to give you 25 per cent (over US$11 million) for your trouble.

If any greedy suckers bite, “Frank” and his cronies collect all their personal data, such as bank account numbers, etc., grab all their money, and disappear into the African night.

Authorities are powerless
I guess there must be some people who still fall for this junk, or why would they keep sending it? It appears the authorities are powerless to stop it.

So make sure that no one you know falls for this bull. If everyone hits the delete button, they’ll eventually go away.

Adapted from an article that originally appeared in the Internet Wealth Builder.