Do Nigerian Scam Artists Catch more Flies with Threats of Detainment?
Thanks to the economy, it’s slow all around. In fact, even those who run some of the most devious and damaging email scams are having to come up with new ways to try to steal your money. The latest? A part promise, part threat email from the “FBI” designed to protect the security of our country. Oh, whatever will I do?
It has all the makings of an entertaining read.
I received the email this morning. It had all the makings of a Nigerian Scam: misspelled words, strange typesetting, and many comedic references to government agencies that don’t really exist. This particular email caught my eye as it came from “F.B.I Washingtom D.C.” I’d never been there, but when the subject promised that I was “BEIGN WARNED FOR THE LAST TIME,” I had to see what was up.
You see, up until now, I had successfully ignored all attempts to get my money. Promises of inheritances from dying princes and thank-you gifts from God-fearing missionaries were all nabbed efficiently by my spam filter. This time, however, the F.B.I and the inland Revenue Service (IRS) wished to remind me of millions of dollars (how much was not actually stated) that had been wire-transferred from overseas to a corresponding U.S. account, and all they needed was for me to take it. The amazing part of it was that it came from -- guess who? – the Central Bank Of Nigeria[CBN].
They lay down the law.
But the oh-so-concerned FBI and IRS also wanted to remind me:
“of the consequences of transferring such huge sums without complying fully with the legal provisions of the Financial and Allied Matters laws as amended in sub-section C (6) of 2003, which clearly indicates, that any monetory transaction in or out of the United States Of America, must undergo clearance for drug, terrorist and money laundry as that will guarantee that such funds are legitimately and legally acquired and does not have any criminal or terrorist involvement.”
So they want me to have the money… but they also have me under suspicion of some kind of money laundering activity. This is getting funny.
They continue to ask me (in this rather lengthy 1,000 word email), to send verification to make sure I’m not a terrorist. I’m sure that the info would be rather personal, would most likely involve credit accounts, social security numbers, and the like. They instead ask me for my rap sheet to verify that I’m eligible for this money. (Like I have a rap sheet.)
When push comes to shove….
So now they go all “FBI” on my bum, giving me the following ultimatum (in all caps, no less):
“THESE CONDITION IS VALID UNTIL 15TH OF FEBRUAURY 2009 AFTER WE SHALL TAKE ACTIONS ON CANCELLING THE PAYMENT AND THEN CHARGE YOU WITH THE FOR ILLEGALLY MOVING FUNDS OUT OF NIGERIA.”
Wow. That’s getting kind of nasty. I start to wonder if someone less versed in Nigerian scam efforts could potentially fall for this ruse. They continue:
“The very heart of FBI operations lies in our investigations, as our mission states, "to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats and to enforce the criminal laws of the United States. Please be warned! The F.B.I will not stop at any length in tracking down and prosecuting any criminal who indulges in this criminal act.”
And go on again with:
“WARNING: If you fail to produce the above requirement in 2 days, legal action will be taken immediately by arresting and detaining you, justificated and if found guilty, you will be jailed. As terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering is a serious problem in our community today. The F.B.I will not stop at any length in tracking down and persecuting any criminal who indulge in this criminal act. FORWARD THE DOCUMENT TO US VIA EMAIL ATTACHEMENT AS SOON AS YOU OBTAIN IT.”
Yeah, I get it. You’re going to justificate me. (Whatever that means. Now they are just making up words.)
The Bottom Line Is This:
Why am I telling you all this? Do I think you wouldn’t know a scam when you see one? Probably. But we all have loved ones who may not have experienced something like this, and when threats are made to your freedom and liberty -- it’s a bit over the line.
If you have a loved one who’s new to email (maybe Grandma just got a Dell for Christmas), take the time to tell them what’s up. Give them all the information available at your state attorney general’s website (you can Google it.) Have them read Catherine’s true story of How Scammers Stole all of her Grandma’s Money. Stay up on all the new tricks, like home rental rip-offs on Craigslist. Or just have a beer and a laugh with Paul Michael and the professional scam baiters.
Just don’t do nothing… and don’t give out your personal info, rap sheet, or blood type to anyone (especially if they can’t spell “until.”)