The African Scammers have got a
hold of one of my website email addresses. Apparently, there are loads of
African officials who have loadsa money that they want to get out of their
countries (mainly Nigeria) and they need MY help. For my efforts I'll get
a share of the loot ... I could be a millionaire in no time at all for very little
So ..... why am I still so poor?
Well, it's partly because I'm a rather cautious fellow, but mainly because I know that these offers are pure
criminal SCAMS. I received my first one from
Nigeria by snail mail over ten years ago, when I was managing a company in
Cornwall, England. At that time I was encouraged to forward it to the UK
Government's Department of Trade and Industry to help their anti-fraud
What's the scam?
Well, the hopeful
"officials" (who use cyber-cafes in their home-towns) need to pay kickbacks to get the money
out. For that they will need your help, i.e. your money. They will usually start
out by asking for an advanced fee, transfer tax, handling charges or other excuses for robbing
you, even though they often profess to be devout Christians and mention their
utmost faith in God (their god is obviously Mammon). If you are foolish
enough to come up with the readies then you'll find that there are more fees
that need to be shelled out for before you can get your hands on the fabulous fortune.
Officially, this scam is known around the world as 419 (Four-One-Nine), after
the section of the Nigerian penal code which addresses the issue of Advance
Fee Fraud (AFF) and is reckoned to be around the fourth largest industry in Nigeria. The
latest unverified statistics show that gullible men and women around the world have lost
over ONE BILLION DOLLARS to this scam!
I found the 419 emails so funny (especially their background information and the grammar) that, in the end, I decided
to share these SCAMS for other people's amusement and as a warning to anyone who
receives similar emails and may be tempted to "get-rich-quick". On the
left is a selection of the emails I've received. They are "as
received" (except I've removed the To address, to save me
Worldwide, crooks have latched onto the criminal potential of the internet. For your further information, I've listed the TOP TEN email
- Bogus online auctions, where the items purchased are never
- Deliberate misrepresentation or non-delivery of general
merchandise purchased online.
- Nigerian money offers.
- Deliberate misrepresentation or non-delivery of computer equipment
or software purchased online.
- Internet access scams, where bogus internet service providers
fraudulently charge for services that were never ordered or
- Credit card or telephone charges for services that were never
ordered or misrepresented as free. These often include charges for
accessing 'adult' material.
- Work-at-home schemes promising wildly exaggerated sales and
- Advance fee loans, where consumers are duped into paying upfront
charges for loans which never materialise.
- Phoney offers of cheap-rate credit card deals, once again on
payment of upfront fees.
- Business opportunities or franchises sold on the basis of
exaggerated profit estimates.
Last year the European Commission said that online shopping sites
had contributed to a 50% rise in credit card fraud in the European Union