Today I received my first Nigerian scam email in many years. For those of you who don't know, Nigerian scams are one of the most idiotic scams on the internet. If someone sends you an email promising $10,000,000 if only you send them $1,000 first, any reasonable person would wonder why they don't just send only $9,999,000 and be done with it.
On to the email.A
It starts off with some official-looking bank stuff:
HSC 1894 WESTERN LONDON ROAD
VERIFICATION HEAD OFFICE USA : 651-968-2966
HEAD OFFICE LONDON : :+44-793-714-1794
FAX :+44 -704-308-5388
RE: RSVX /07342/01/13
WESTERN UNION INSTALL MENTAL PAYMENT AND WIRE TRANSFER
This isn't about an installment payment, it's about an install mental payment.
Security payment Identification Number: XWUNTM000182
Nice to meet you, Mr.Edward Richard.
Oh, so I'm the one holding this up? Well, I'd better get right on this. Now that I've won the lottery, I need to be more diligent.
Dated today? (insert overly-attached nigerian girlfriend photo here)
Inheritance? What happened to the lottery? Only two paragraphs in and you've already forgotten why you're writing to me?
Two million dollars? Now we're talking. Central computing systems know where it's at.
Look, I know the date of Easter is a bit difficult to compute, but mixing it up with New Year's?
Federal Ministry of Finance. Can you imagine any country in the world that would have something called the Federal Ministry of Finance? Certainly not the UK, where this letter is supposedly coming from. A quick Google search puts Nigeria at the top of the list.
Too much awful for me. First it was the lottery, then it was an inheritance, now it's from a law enforcement judgment. They couldn't even pick a particular UN organization; they had to go with UNITED NATION ORGANIZATION instead.B And what's the agent's name? Miss Aloid Bettyswiz? Miss Aloid Bettyswiz?
Let's skip ahead. Tell me more about this two million dollars I'm supposed to be getting.
It's not paid in one lump sum, but in daily installments (or install mentals). Fair enough. I can't complain about eight thousand dollars a day.
Wait, I'm getting that twice per day? Make up your minds. Still, it is $16,000 a day.
So where's the scam?
Ah, there it is. All this awful for just $150? Do I have to give my bank account info?
(2). Re-confirm Contact address:
(3). Re-confirm valid Phone to reach you #:
(7). Mode of Payment:
Oh, I have to have a fax number. (sad face) Guess I can't collect my lottery winnings / inheritance / court award after all.
Thankfully, they're kind enough to warn me about scams like this one. Here are some of the warnings scattered throughout the email:
Still, it's not very fair to call this email "Nigerian" just because other such emails come from Nigeria. Mr.Edward Richard is Head of Operation of the Western Union department in London, there's nothing Nigerian about him.
NAME: MR.EDWARD RICHARD
Western Union Payments
FOREIGN OPERATION MANAGER
WESTERN UNION OFFICE LAGOS NIGERIA