Though it’s now supposed to help you get loads of money out of Libya, this scam will always remain Nigerian at heart, in fond memory of the first people who fell for the desperate messages that urged them to help unknown senders take former Nigerian and Zaire dictators’ dough out of their blocked accounts.
Nigerian money scams date back to the 90s – already pre-history for some of us – but they haven’t lost their touch. As long as there is a tyrant out there, allegedly loaded with money, at least one dark mind will think of using that tyrant’s overthrow as a pretext to squeeze some personal data and even a little bit of cash out of a gullible aspirant to instant fame and fortune.
If you’re planning on getting involved in this line of business, your ROI will be sky high; you just need one carefully worded e-mail (some research might be required to get your details straight) and a set of e-mail addresses. In the case at hand, the initial investment is even lower as you’re generously spared of any creative pains. Behold the mighty template:
The ingredients are all in there:
a) Sender declares to be member of the Gaddafi family (ever wondered how such an important person, from a land far, far away, might write this letter to YOU? Still believe in Santa, don’t you?)
b) Official seizure of cash and properties. Check! (Loads of recent headlines to back this up, so the story is VERY credible, I give you that!)
c) Staggering amount to be recovered: 66,9 Million $. (I am SPEECHLESS)
d) This is a confidential transaction, don’t tell anyone (lest they should tell you it’s a SCAM and you should stay out of it!)
e) Request for recipient’s details (this is where the author’s generosity kicks in: you can fill in the blanks with whatever personal data your heart desires)
f) E-mail address where potential victims should send their details. (This is how you confirm the validity of your victims’ e-mail addresses so you can “keep in touch” with them later on. Smart!)
One missing point, though. The genuine Nigerian money scam would also ask the message recipient to send over a small “participation” fee or even travel to the country where the piles of money are supposed to be. In our case, the scammer’s less greedy and promises that the money will be delivered in boxes, straight to your door. Talk about a Santa visit!
Bottom line, watch out for this kind of trick. Stories may vary, but the core scam mechanism remains. Given that Nigerian scams are classics, a good antispam feature, such as the one included in the Bitdefender antivirus solutions, should keep you away from trouble. If, however, this kind of message gets through, for your own peace of mind, don’t send personal details to unknown persons, especially when it comes to “out-of-this-world” scenarios. Do not reply to this kind of e-mail as your address will then be confirmed as valid and may later cause your Inbox to be flooded with spam.
Stay safe and read Sci-fi! It’s better!
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