"I am Engr Moses Ekpen a director in the
budget and planning department of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum and
Natural Resources (FMPNR), I had a seven man Tenders Board Committee in
charge of contract award and Payment approvals. I came to know of you in
my search for a reliable and reputable person to handle a very
confidential transaction, which involves the transfer of a huge sum of
money to a foreign account."
"I am Mrs. Mariam Abacha, the widow of
Gen. Sani Abacha, The Late Nigerian Military Head of State. You were
introduced to me through the Chamber of Commerce. I am presently in
distress and under House arrest while my son Mohammed is undergoing
trial in Lagos and Abuja. He is presently detained in prison custody.
The government has frozen all the family account and auctioned all our
To save the family from total
bankruptcy I have managed to ship to Europe and Asia through a Shipping
company, the sum of US20, 000,000.00 respectively kept by my late
The essence of these emails are also
basically the same – the person although does not know you, thanks to
your business reputation, has decided to contact you with a very
confidential proposal to transfer a mind boggling amount of money from
his country to any foreign land.
There could be numerous stories but the
bottom line is they require your help to transfer the amount. For your
service they will promise you something from 10 to 40% of the whole
amount. There would be a telephone no or an email address to contact the
You may wonder how they swindle people.
There are various ways that the crooks
rip off their victims. Some of the most commons ones of them are
ask you to open a bank account under their name. On their second step,
they will ask you to deposit a sum of say US$ 10000 to that account,
explaining if the account does not have any decent amount, the
officials those who are responsible for transferring the promised
millions of dollars would become suspicious and won’t authorize the
transaction. Once you deposited the asked sum, they simply withdraw it
and disappear. Usually they choose a bank where they might have some
connections. So you, after losing your money, do not get any help from
the bank either.
They will ask
you to send some merchandize or gifts for the officials they need to
bribe in order to make the transactions of the assumed millions of
dollars smoothly. Naturally, you never hear from them once you sent
the requested gifts to their address.
We even heard stories like this one: A
man was persuaded to come to Nigeria to look after the transaction by
himself. Over there he was kept hostage until he shifted all his liquid
assets to the thugs.
Looking at the increasing quantity of
scam emails that we receive, this only convinces that many fall for this
seemingly simple trap. According to FBI these swindlers have defrauded
millions of dollars from gullible people.
There could be other variations of this
scam, next time you read an email that feels suspicious, just delete it!
There are other ways of making money!
Some words of cautions! Although most
of these scams originate from African countries, please do not
generalize and consider that all companies form these countries are bad.
As usual a few people are responsible for tarnishing the reputation of a
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