According to the email I recently received from the British High Commission of Nigeria, Ghana, Benin Republic and Burkina Faso they have received a report about a scam committed against me and they aim to compensate me…
“Due to the retrieval valuable properties and money from the suspected scammers arrested by our security agency. NIGERIA FINANCIAL INTELLIGENT* UNIT(NFIU)”
*Which by the way really exists except they call it the Intelligence Unit. The image below is a screenshot of the email in its entirety:
419 Scam With A Twist!!
I gotta give this one an “A+” for style and originality. Claiming to represent the British High Commission of not only Nigeria but several other countries is a bit out of the ordinary as far as Nigerian scams go.
They are actually twisting the normal scam in a different direction altogether. It doesn’t really matter what they try to do to disguise it, even if you were to fall for the ever present atrocious grammar, there is no masking the foul stench that arises from any unsolicited email that originates in Nigeria
So they are trying to make us believe they are the “proper authorities”,(when in fact, they are low-down dirty schemers) thereby gaining trust. Cautioning us to not have any further contact with internet scammers. For the benefit of my own amusement, I write these guys and ask them stupid questions just to see what will happen(don’t try this at home kids!!)
So I write(there are two email addresses by the way. I wrote both)and I ask them how am I supposed to be able to tell who the internet scammers are that I shouldn’t have further contact with? One replied that I just needed to send all my info, then relax until I receive further instructions about my claim. The other simply re-sent a copy of the original email.
They’re Killin Me!
Seriously… every time one of these ridiculous emails comes to my inbox I just want to laugh. How can they really believe anybody would seriously fall for this drivel? The english is bad, the grammar atrocious and how could anybody possibly believe this email originated from a supposedly English speaking person. (British High Commission remember?)
Then I remember, not everybody is aware of the scams that abound on the internet specifically aimed at private emails. Scams that try to extract money, private information, or both, Usually both so they can suck you dry.
You would think that with all the attention on email scams and the fact that most of them spring from the suburban wildlife of Nigeria, People would stop falling for it. However, the internet teems with young new denizens who are unaware of some of the dangers to avoid when first discovering the joys and benefits of the email address.
The internet is a large hunting ground and the predators will always return as long as there is young, fresh prey to be had.
Big A** Dartboard
These scammers aim their emails like someone standing blindfolded in front of a dartboard with like 27,000 darts in their hand. Getting ready to throw them all at once. Some of them are bound to land on a bullseye.
The darts are the emails and the internet is the dartboard and instead of 27,000 darts there are 27,000,000 of them. Somewhere out there some of those darts will strike a bullseye(potential prey) and the scammer will profit. Because they profit, they keep perpetuating the scam.
So How can We Avoid These Email Scams?
It isn’t all that difficult. Just follow a few basic guidelines and learn to recognize them for what they are:
Make sure your email filters are set properly to make sure most of this garbage makes it to the junk mailbox and bypasses the inbox completely.
Do not Open any unsolicited emails.
Test them. look up addresses, map images, phone number prefixes, contact them(email only and only once)in other words… research
It’s Probably A Scam If…
They ask for money up front, they ask for financial information, hell, any personal information, they want you to fax a copy of your identification(i.e. driver’s license, passport etc.)your sex,(yes really)the grammar sucks, punctuation sucks, you’ve inherited wads of cash from a complete stranger, It’s from Nigeria, you’ve won a lottery you have never heard of and has a stupid name anyway.
These are just the merely obvious items As I said earlier, this one has definitely approached the good ole’ 419 scam from Nigeria in an entirely different albeit original, angle.
What It all Boils Down To…
Just exercise good common sense, don’t part with your money or your private, sensitive information EVER, and everything will be fine. Trust me.