Saturday, October 2, 2010


You’ve probably heard and received some disturbing email out of all places, from Nigeria, regarding some unclaimed amount of money left to the sender. The figures are ridiculously huge, and the sender is seeking help from you in retrieving it. These are called the 419 scam. It is taken from an article of the Nigerian Penal Code under which scammers will be prosecuted.

My old yahoo account, which I already left to oblivion since 2004 used to receive hundreds of its variation in a single day. From a winning lottery number, money left by a dead rich relative, money left in the bank without claims, and someone who seeks a partner/ husband/ wife scam. What’s common though is that it is from Nigeria, they are ridiculously sounding, and all of it is scam.

Recently, I received another of those inviting mails, that even from 1,000,000 miles away you know a scam. But have you ever wondered what actually would transpire if patulan (bite the bait) mo to? I decided to respond to the mail and see from there where it would take us. Below is the letter in full form to give you an idea on the absurdity of it all. It is quite long and you may skip reading it:

From the desk of Mallam Umar Yahaya.
Director in charge of auditing and accounting section
Fidelity Bank Plc
Lagos Nigeria.

                 I have choose to reach you thru this median and decided to contact you on a lucrative business transaction which will be benefical to both of us at the end of the deal,The proposal specialized on the followings:
                 I will like to confirm to you that am oblige to transact this business with you,I need your assistance to stand as a beneficiary to the sum of $15.5,millions united state dollars lying down unclaimed in our bank, what really happened is that during the course of our auditing last week, I discovered a floating fund in an account opened in the bank in the year 2004 and since 2006nobody has operated on this account again,after going through some old files in the records I discovered that the owner of the account died without a [Heir/WILL] hence the money is floating and if I do not remmit this money out urgently it will be forfeited for nothing.
                The owner of this account Mr. Rick Iwanski
an American and great industrialist ,who was a foreign contractor with the
Federal Government of Nigeria,Unfortunately lost his life in a car accident
including his wife and kid.
                Ever since his death the money has been lying unclaimed. Now i need your co operation to claim this money because only someone from foreign country can stand as the beneficiary.And the Banking law stipulates that any money lying unclaimed for six years will be transferred to federal government suspend account with central bank of Nigeria.
                 Pls let me know your ability in handling this such amount for me and i let you know the necessary things to do when i hear from you as i need who is capable enough for this deal. You can send me as follows to below e-mail

Your full name
Your telephone number
Your e-mail address.
                  For more information on this transaction you need to contact me via the below contact which is correct. You can also send your name, telephone number and e-mail address to:
Phone #: 234 8120 78 1222
                  Please i will like you to keep this proposal as a top secret and delete it if you are not interested. Upon receipt of your reply,i will send you the full information on how the deal will be executed and also note that 40% will be given to you at the conclusion of this deal.
                 I shall be looking forward for your urgent reply for more details as we have no time to waste in this point.
Mallam Umar Yahaya.

From the get go, I was really into it. This is a huge amount of money, and I am about so become a millionaire. Never mind the obvious that Fidelity Bank though a legitimate bank in Nigeria, yet it is being hosted by yahoo. You can’t be serious, right. So I responded, and gave him my particulars and even invited him to visit my site to boot. Screen caps below (click on the pics to clearly see): 
After few email exchanges, I sort of threatened not to proceed with the transactions unless he visit the site.; The poor fellow did just exactly what was told, see the caps below: 
 He then told me to contact the bank, which I did, and told me further that the bank will reply to me soon:
 Ok, now that he visited, and the bank contacted me already, of course I want some proofs of his legitimacy. That is, if he is indeed connected to the bank. Again, he obliged: 

 At this point, it is still not clear to me when would their money sucking moves will start and how much would they really be trying to get. That was up until I received an email from the “bank” which is below: 

 So it is clear to me at this point. Before I can get the money, I need to sign “original” documents from NIGERIA that they are going to send to me. I just need to pay them the freight cost. Simple lang naman pala eh. 
So I “went” to the nearest western union, about a foot away from me and sent them the “amount” that they needed. In fact I have my transmittal to prove to them that I did, which by the way, making it is faster than actually transacting with western union:
 I bet by this time, Mr. Modidatu Abibu is very happy as he was about to cash in its money from me. Just take note of the details I had with the transmittal, you can’t go wrong with it, right? Skham City, F0011SH, FUC-OI-U. 

So I emailed him again and pretended and sounded to be alarmed that he did not respond to my previous mails now that I have “payed”. I only assumed that he went to a western union outlet and claimed his money because he then asked for some mtcn number which I have no idea what it is and a so called txt question and answer. Ok, no problem, here is the last and concluding part of our conversation: 
 Someone indeed lost $585 on this evening. The good thing is, it is not me, but some Modinatu Abibu, from I don't know where, an obvious scammer.

As absurd and borderline hilarious their methodology may seem, they are actually making a killing on this modus operandi. Many are being victimized by this, people whom you would not think will fall for such scams. Worse cases involved millions of dollars and some life savings of gullible victims.

It is a million dollar industry in Nigeria, and it is believed that some of the more influential people there are behind it. But scammers and con men are everywhere; I mean it could just be sitting beside you. Just be careful with these things and always take everything with a drop of salt water. Being poor is not a good excuse to take advantage on unsuspecting victims. But in cases like these, it is worse to be stupid. So watch out.


Anonymous said...

oi! 1002 page views na! :)

miss oink oink said...

soar high! go for #1. me likey! =)

Layla White, PoweredServices said...

Nigerian scams? Didn't know people are still falling for them. :(

Anonymous said...

Their vistims are greedy for quick money like their fraudster wants to get rich without working for it..grr