I am working on a new venture. I have been contacted by senior government officials (and the widow and former lieutenant of important officials) in Nigeria with an intriguing business opportunity. It seems that because of political and military turmoil, large amounts of money are stranded in offshore bank accounts, money that my contacts need help procuring. I am excited to publicly announce that I have been chosen to help obtain these funds, and will be paid a percentage of the proceeds for my efforts. I have already provided these contacts with all my personal information, and will likely be making a trip to Nigeria in the near future …
Ok, so I lied, I am not losing it, but apparently many have (lost it, as in their money, or even their lives). We all regularly receive numerous variants of the “business opportunity” message, and we all hit delete as quickly as we can. But according to the FTC this is now one of the most prevalent and successful scams; people are actually falling for it.
I am not sure what I find more disturbing, the fact that 10% of recipients seek more information (http://www.archives.gov/about_us/office_of_the_inspector_general/email_fraud_awareness.html), the fact that the US Secret Service gets reports of 100 victims a day (http://www.justiceonline.org/consum/nigerian.html), the fact that people have actually flown to Nigeria and have been killed, the fact that there is actually a coalition to fight this scam (http://home.rica.net/alphae/419coal/), or the fact that this is so problematic that the FTC (http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/nigeralrt.htm), the FBI (http://www.fbi.gov/majcases/fraud/fraudschemes.htm#nigerian), the Secret Service (http://www.secretservice.gov/alert419.shtml), the Justice Department, and more, have all needed to warn the public about this.
Oh, and before I forget, I have a bridge to sell you …
Sad, so sad.

6 thoughts

  1. Haaaa! I received so much of them, now I am making good use of the slangs and swears that I learn from Hollywood movies to reply to them.

  2. wait…whaddya mean "scam"??
    i just got this e-mail this morning and already shot off the requisite "screw you" e-mail to my boss in anticipation of receiving my % of the proceeds…
    NOOOOoooooooo……*
    Who would have thought the wife of an ex diplomat would lie so blatantly? 🙂

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