Try as we might to wish they'd all die a miserable death (Ebola comes to mind), the spammers and scammers never go away. I've received emails from banks I do no business with telling me that my account's been suspended and that I must click on this link to restore everything. I've received junk email boasting of thousands of dollars a day paychecks. It's spam, pure spam of the first degree. It doesn't hurt to check that junk folder though, because I've found periodically actual email gets tossed in there.
And then there's this email, which came through some days ago. For some reason it feels familiar. Probably because I've heard the story before, or probably because this whole spiel has been sent to me before.
From the Desk of Mustapha Alfa.
Union Bank of Nigeria, Lagos-Nigeria.
Dear Sir, STRICTLY A PRIVATE BUSINESS PROPOSAL
I am Mr Mustapha Alfa, The manager, Bills and Exchange at the Foreign Remittance Department of the Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. I am writing this letter to ask for your support and cooperation to carry out this business opportunity in my department. We discovered an abandoned sum of $15,000,000.00 (Fifteen million United States Dollars only) in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customers who died along with his entire family of a wife and two children in November 1997 in a Plane crash.
Since we heard of his death, we have been expecting his next-of-kin to come over and put claims for his money as the heir, because we cannot release the fund from his account unless someone applies for claim as the next-of-kin to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines. Unfortunately, neither their family member nor distant relative has ever appeared to claim the said fund. Upon this discovery, I and other officials in my department have agreed to make business with you and release the total amount into your account as the heir of the fund since no one came for it or discovered he maintained account with our bank, otherwise the fund will be returned to the banks treasury as unclaimed fund. We have agreed that our ratio of sharing will be as stated thus; 20 % for you as foreign partner, 75 % for us the officials in my department and 5 % for the settlement of all local and foreign expences incurred by us and you during the course of this business.
Upon the successful completion of this transfer, I and one of my colleagues will come to your country and mind our share. It is from our 75 % we intend to import Agricultural Machineries into my country as a way of recycling the fund. To commence this transaction, we require you to immediately indicate your interest by a return e-mail and enclose your private contact telephone number, fax number full name and address and your designated bank coordinates to enable us file letter of claim to the appropriate departments for necessary approvals before the transfer can be made.
Note also, this transaction must be kept STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL because of its nature.
I look forward to receiving your prompt response.
Mr Mustapha Alfa. Union Bank of Nigeria.
As usual, the scammer has a few tell-tales of being an infernal scammer. He can't even write a business letter properly. You don't write Dear Sir, and then write in all capital letters after that. It's called clicking the enter button, moron!
Googling the name brings up all sorts of Nigerian Scammer links. Including the above letter, so whoever this scammer is, he's been sending off this letter with great regularity. But one won't find an actual Mustapha Alfa in the actual Union Bank of Nigeria (side note: I somehow don't see myself doing any business in general with any bank in Nigeria). Because Mr. Alfa, of course, is a fraud.
There are the usual tell tales of a scammer. Spelling mistakes such as expences. Capitalizing letters on words that don't need it, such as Planes or Agricultural Machineries (side note, scammer: if you had an actual grasp of the English language, you'd have written that as agricultural machinery). And the whole sentence structure doesn't read as legitimate: what kind of actual executive would write "to make business with you"? None. What kind of executive would use the phrase "designated bank coordinates"? None at all.
Mr. Alfa, or whatever the hell his real name is, puts out the claim of a plane crash involving an unnamed client with no apparent heirs claiming fifteen million bucks just waiting in his bank that he and "other officials" in his department want to share with me. Another tell tale of the scammer. Because there is no fifteen million bucks. There was no client. There was no plane crash.
Nice try, whoever you are. Well, to close, I will say this. In an ideal world there should be a plane crash. With you as the sole person on board.
No, wait, I take that back. Let's put all the scammers on board at once. And have the plane crash right into an active erupting volcano. That's a win-win for everyone involved. Well, except for you. But hey, you'll all be dead, and we'll be happy.