“Nigerian” scam letters – why do they continue?

The first time I saw a “Nigerian” scam letter was probably around 25 years ago – on paper and delivered by regular post. Since then they have proliferated on emails and paper copies which require some real expenditure for postage are probably obsolete. The stories they present are just as ridiculous now as they ever were and these days such emails hardly ever get past my spam filter.

This morning I noticed two scam letters as I was clearing out my spam folder and I looked at them out of sheer curiosity. One was a very “traditional” Nigerian letter and the other apparently from Brazil. It surprises me that anybody still falls for these but presumably they do since such letters continue. If anything the Nigerian letter is even more inane than those of 25 years ago.

Nigerian letter:

This purports to be from the FBI  in Washington (.jp email address) advising me that together with the IMF they have discovered that $8 million owing to me is lying in an escrow account at the Central Bank of Nigeria. The money has been approved for release to me but a Mrs. Joan B Melvin of New York has claimed to be acting on my behalf because I am ill. I am therefore warned to shun all other contacts and to reconfirm all my personal details to a Mr. Godwin Emefiele at a Nigerian address but an aol email address!!!!! The author of the letter purports to be an Andrew Mccabe of the FBI in Washington  with an aol email address!

Godwin Emefiele is actually the Governor of the real Central Bank of Nigeria but he certainly does not use an aol email address.

Brazilian letter:

Here a certain Robert Phillip (with a .br email address) writes “I have a High Profile Client who has $68million to invest. This client of mine has mandated me to source for someone with wealth of experience in Financial Management that can have her funds invested judiciously with excellent Return on Investment. Therefore if this offer falls within your areas of specialization, you are hereby advised to respond with your Telephone Number and your Personal Profile so we can discuss further.” I am to get in touch  immediately to roph at a gmail address!!!!!

 They do have a certain amusement value though it is the amusement reserved for very bad clowns.(The letters are attached below for the amusement of all). But if it is so that some people are still gullible enough to fall for these, it would be evidence that the world is dumbing down.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, as a central bank of a sovereign country, does not have personal or company accounts. It has this notice on its site:

  • Do you intend to claim an inheritance or lottery?
    The CBN is the apex bank in Nigeria – much like other central banks and reserve banks in other countries. CBN does not maintain accounts for individuals or private companies. If you have received memos, faxes, telephone calls, e-mails, etc in respect of any inheritance claim or lottery win purporting to emanate from the CBN, you must have been contacted by fraudulent scammers. CBN does not keep account of any inheritance or conduct any form of Lottery nor engage in transfers of winnings of any lottery in Nigeria or any other country.

Couldn’t the scamsters at least have tried to make their letters the tiniest bit plausible. They ought to be thrown out of the Scamsters Union for incompetence.

Nigerian letter

Brazilian scam letter




One Response to ““Nigerian” scam letters – why do they continue?”

  1. Douglas Kubler Says:

    The scammer letters are ridiculous by design. A scammer does not want to waste time on anyone with a bit of common sense. The chance of a payoff is zero if the target has any doubts. The scammer’s only chance of a payoff is to find an idiot who will believe what he is told. The scammer is not trying to sell a product to the maximum number of people, he is fishing for a winning lottery ticket in a pile of trash. In this case the lottery ticket jumps onto the hook.

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