Nigerian Spammers Take On the FBI

image Times must be tough in Spammer Land (Nigeria). Or, it could be, that the poor air and water quality, in this infamous country, is beginning to rot a few brains.

How else to explain, spammers giving a deliberate “poke in the eye” to, of all organizations, the FBI. On the other hand, I suppose it’s possible to be both bold, and dead stupid, at the same time.

In any event, it’s obvious the spammers who are responsible for a ludicrous email currently making the rounds, do not subscribe to the philosophy of “choose your enemies carefully, for they shall kick your ass”. In this case, I suspect, it won’t be very long before that happens.

Most of us learned, in kindergarten, that appearances can often be deceiving. In the unlikely event that you didn’t; checkout, “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten”, by Robert Fulghum. This book continues to be a phenomenal bestseller; with good reason. The following is a teeny, tiny excerpt:

“And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.”

Unfortunately, not all of us, when we are on the Internet, LOOK – really look. Not all of us recognize, “the wolf in sheep’s clothing” email scam. Spam scammers rely on this to defraud those of us who don’t.

According to a recent email I received (a perfect example of the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” scam), the FBI has interceded on my behalf, to allow me to complete an illegal transaction with Mr. Sanusi Lamido, of the Central Bank Of Nigeria.

The FBI (according to the email), kindly points out “During our Investigation, it came to our notice that the reason why you have not received your payment is because you have not fulfilled your Financial Obligation given to you in respect of your Contract/Inheritance Payment”.

“So therefore, we have contacted the Federal Ministry of Finance on your behalf and they have brought a solution to your problem by coordinating your payment in the total amount of $5,000,000.00 USD which will be deposited into an ATM CARD which you will use to withdraw funds anywhere of the world”.

The email goes on to say – “We have confirmed that the amount required to procure the Approval Slip will cost you a total of $196USD which will be paid directly to the ATM CARD CENTER agent via western union money transfer / money gram Money Transfer”.

Not a bad deal huh? $5,000,000.00 USD for an investment of a measly 196 Bucks – and all of it guaranteed by the FBI! Jeez, how could a rational, thoughtful person, pass up an opportunity like this?

image

I know that you won’t be deceived by this type of clumsy attempt to defraud, but you would be surprised how often reasonably intelligent people are. Believe it or not, there are some people, somewhere, who will believe this nonsense.

Be kind to your friends, relatives, and associates, particularly those who are new Internet users, and let them know that there is an epidemic of this types of scam on the Internet. In doing so, you help raise the level of protection for all of us.

Ask your friends, relatives, and associates to keep the following tips in mind while on the Internet:

Don’t click links in emails or social networking sites. If they come from a known source, type them on the browser’s address bar. If they come from an untrusted source, simply ignore them.

Don’t open emails that come from untrusted sources.

Don’t run files that you receive via email without making sure of their origin.Keep your computer protected.

Install a security solution and keep it up-to-date.

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12 Comments

Filed under Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Email, email scams, Internet Security Alerts, Online Safety, Windows Tips and Tools

12 responses to “Nigerian Spammers Take On the FBI

  1. Murphy

    Hi,
    Another good article particularly (and not only) for those who until now have not heard of …. as you said …. ”Spammer Land” .
    Best regards !

    • Bill Mullins

      Hi Murphy,

      As always, thank you for dropping by.

      I know, that very often, people have a difficult time believing that *anyone * would fall for this type of scam. But, if this type of scam didn’t pay off for scammers, they wouldn’t continue to use it – ergo; it works.

      Best,

      Bill

  2. Mal

    Hey Bill,

    I always get a good laugh out of these scams. Sometimes they pretend to be from another country, say Russia, but usually you can track the email to Nigeria. Sometimes, to amuse myself, I might reply and ask them, if they are from such and such a country, how come the email originated in Nigeria. Needless to say, I never get a reply

    Cheers

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Mal,

      It is frustrating having to deal with these morons – no question. But, replying to them, or even a simple thing like opening the email, is never recommended. Here’s why – simply opening the email is sufficient to let the “bad guys” know that your email address is “live’. In other words, your address is now good to sell to more spammers, which will guarantee even more spam. So, you see, they still win.

      If you’re going to “write” to these people, do so from a mailbox such as Spamfree24.org, or the like, which cannot be traced back to you. In fact, I’ve got an article on anonymous email boxes in the hopper for publication shortly.

      Bill

      Bill

  3. Mal

    Hey Bill,

    Yes you are right, it is probably silly to reply. But sometimes I can’t help myself lol. I never use my own, personal trusted email though. That is strictly for people I know, and trust.

    Cheers
    Mal

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Mal,

      I hear ya loud and clear on this one. Have to admit, there are days I’d love to put the boots to these people – over and over again. LOL

      Bill

  4. Pingback: Think Out of the Email Box with FilzMail – A Disposable Email Address « Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts

  5. Jonny

    I couldn’t help myself not to look at the picture. Although i can see pretty little because of small format, i see one thing:
    Mr. John Smith.
    That’s sucker’s mistake.
    From all the names and to choose
    “John Smith” ?
    Usually that happens to non English persons not aware of what are they writing.
    I usually give somewhere some details for non-important places and i mostly use the name “John Smith”.

    Something interesting
    Baiting Nigerian scammers for fun (not so much for profit)
    http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2009/05/baiting-nigerian-scammers-for-fun-not-so-much-for-profit.ars

    “My house is for rent?” Adventures in online scam baiting
    http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2009/08/my-house-is-for-rent-adventures-in-scam-baiting.ars

    Citibank tries to wire $27 million to Nigerian scammers
    http://arstechnica.com/security/news/2009/02/online-thieves-thinking-big-now-trying-countries.ars

  6. Jonny

    One more thing.

    Priceless.

    Jonny

  7. Fathom Out

    Hi,

    I’ve little experience with this sort of spam, got maybe 2-3 altogether within 10-12 years.

    If it’s ok, here’s an amusing read:
    Phishing Scammer tries it on with CEO of an Anti-phishing software product “Online Armor”
    by Mike Nash, over at OA blog:
    http://onlinearmorpersonalfirewall.blogspot.com/2009/03/yes-16million-usd-but-we-will-have-to.html

    Regards

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Fathom Out,

      You’re right – an amusing read.

      Have had to deal with Skype spam from time to time – wrote a piece on it: I Dont Care If Youre Naked Stop Spamming Me! Bill