Nigerian Scam

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

Very Official

It starts off with some official-looking bank stuff:

FROM THE WESTERN UNION DEPARTMENT
HSC 1894 WESTERN LONDON ROAD
VERIFICATION HEAD OFFICE USA : 651-968-2966
HEAD OFFICE LONDON : :+44-793-714-1794
FAX :+44 -704-308-5388
REF: CBN/IRD/-NY-CBX/021/13
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.

Attention, Message was sent from Mr.Edward Richard Head of Operation.
Security payment Identification Number: XWUNTM000182

Nice to meet you, Mr.Edward Richard.

It's Late because Problems

This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract Unclaimed file presently on my desk, and we found out that you have not received your payment due to lack of co-operation and not fulfilling the obligations giving to you in respect to your contract Unpaid and lottery payment through your payment bank. Your Over-due payment please confirm for immediate release. Get back to me immediately for necessary steps concerning your award winning Funds.

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.

Sequel to your none reply of my earlier email to you dated today.

Dated today? (insert overly-attached nigerian girlfriend photo here)

On behalf of the Trustees and Executors to your inheritance file of Funds month ago...

Inheritance? What happened to the lottery? Only two paragraphs in and you've already forgotten why you're writing to me?

250 Days of Awesome

...I wish to notify you that your name And Email Address appeared in the central computing system in our ministry as the rightful owner for the unpaid beneficiary as the statement of the Funds and your entitled part payment of your total Winning funds of $2,000,000.00 Million...

Two million dollars? Now we're talking. Central computing systems know where it's at.

...through Western Union Money Transfer System Easter celebration in this New Year season...

Look, I know the date of Easter is a bit difficult to compute, but mixing it up with New Year's?

...as authorized by Federal Ministry of Finance and Federal Reserve, with the Central bank.

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.

After the Law Enforcement judgment between the UNITED NATION ORGANIZATION Agent Miss Aloid Bettyswiz and Compensation finance head office...

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.

...will be sending under installment of $8,000 daily till the amount is completely paid...

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.

The amount you will be receiving twice per day is US$8000.00

Wait, I'm getting that twice per day? Make up your minds. Still, it is $16,000 a day.

So where's the scam?

You will pick up YOUR 1ST payment at any western union office nearest to you as soon as you send the $150 USD endorsement & daily activation file fee today.

Ah, there it is. All this awful for just $150? Do I have to give my bank account info?

(1). Re-confirm your full names:
(2). Re-confirm Contact address:
(3). Re-confirm valid Phone to reach you #:
(4). Fax:
(5). Age:
(6). Occupation:
(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.

Beware Scammers!

Thankfully, they're kind enough to warn me about scams like this one. Here are some of the warnings scattered throughout the email:

you are hereby advice to stop dealing with your present transaction, they are Fraudulent Offices and the non-officials member of the Bank as this is an illegal act and you have to stop further communication
a lot of junks mail flying over the internet and some people are using advantage to collect account information from people on internet for fraudulent purpose

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.

We look forward to serving you better.
Best regards,
NAME: MR.EDWARD RICHARD
Western Union Payments
FOREIGN OPERATION MANAGER
WESTERN UNION OFFICE LAGOS NIGERIA

LAGOS NIGERIA.