They are like a plague of the Old Testament, driving the Egyptians nuts. They never take a hint- you can tell them to go away, drop dead, assume room temperature, cease wasting oxygen- and they'll merely just keep going along doing what they do. On the one hand they are the internet spammers who try to send us spam email and leave spam comments. On the other they are the internet scammers with scams-by-script. Such as the following, which turned up in email some days ago.
This letter is not intended to to cause any embarrassment but just to contact your esteem self-following the knowledge of your high repute and trustworthiness.
I am Mohammed Abacha,the son of the late Nigerian Head of State who died on the 8th of June 1998.If you are conversant with world news,you would understand better,while I got your contacts through my personal research.Please,I need your assistance to make this happen and please; do not undermine it because it will also be a source of upliftment to you also.You have absolutely nothing to loose in assisting us instead, you have so much to gain.
The then head of state General Sani Abacha,transferred the money through a Lebanese businessman,Chagoury and a Jewish business man,Mark Rissar to bank accounts overseas,Instead,he used PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS (PIN) and declared the contents as Bearer Bonds and Treasury Bills. Also the firm issued him with a certificate of deposit of the consignments notes, which I have these information in my custody now.
You must have heard over the media reports and the Internet on the recovery of various huge sums of money deposited by my late father in different Banks and security firms abroad. Some of these banks and security firms willingly gave-/divulge their banking secrets and disclosed to the present civilian administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo,about my family's cash lodgement and monetary transactions with them.
Please my dear,I repose great confidence in you and I hope you will not betray my confidence in you.I have secretly deposited the sum of $30,000,000.00 with a security firm abroad whose name is withheld for now until we open communications.The money is contained in a metal box consignment with Security Deposit Number 009GM.
I shall be grateful if you could receive this fund into your Bank account for safekeeping. This arrangement is known to you and my junior brother (Abbas) only. So I will deal directly with you.I am proposing a 20% share of the fund to you for your kind assistance.I shall provide for you all the documents of the fund deposit with the security firm, and raise a power of attorney to enable you claim and receive this fund into your bank account.I have done a thorough homework and fine-tuned the best way to create you as the beneficiary to the funds and effect the transfer accordingly.Is rest assured that the modalities I have resolved to finalize the entire project guarantees our safety and the successful transfer of the funds.So, you will be absolutely right when you say that this project is risk free and viable.If you are capable and willing to assist, contact me at once via email with following details:
1. YOUR NAME
2. POSTAL ADDRESS
3. PHONE AND FAX NUMBERS
Also this transaction demands absolute confidentiality.On no condition must you disclose it to anybody irrespective of your relation with the person.Remember,Loose lips sinks ship.I am looking forward to your urgent and positive response via my email address above.
Well, where to begin? We have the usual tell tales of the standard internet scammer. The overly formal language with regular sentence structure that suggests the person has no idea what they're actually saying. "Your esteem self following the knowledge of your high repute and trustworthiness"? Seriously? First, nobody talks like that. Second, suggesting that I've got high repute and trustworthiness is an insult to me. Do we need to go all pistols at dawn dueling? Because one sentence in and you've insulted my reputation.
There's the usual issues with punctuation and spacing. Capitalizing words that don't need it. He dangles the usual story- the family member who's recently deceased and managed to squirrel away a whole lot of money that our friend (for the record, this nitwit is not our friend) wants to put in my hands for safekeeping. Thirty million dollars with a twenty percent commission for me. A complete stranger. Isn't that nice of our totally fake scamming scammer?
He says "I repose great confidence in you", that he found me through "my personal research", and yet has no idea what my name is, hence sending back my name, address, and contact numbers. Right. Yeah. Like I'm going to do that.
It turns out that there was a Sani Achaba, President of Nigeria from 1993-98. If you look at his background, we're talking about a real scumbag. Human rights abuses, corruption, seizure of power, real dictatorial sort of things. Sani bought the farm from an apparent heart attack, though odds are it might have been murder. And it also turns out that his name, as well as those of his family, have often been invoked by internet scammers. In fact, this particular letter has been making the rounds for years on end- googling the names involved finds that letter, or various similar takes on it.
He closes off by stressing confidentiality and begging that I not tell anyone. "Loose lips sink ships," he claims. Well, yes, but that's a wartime expression that had to do with the idea of enemy intelligence around listening in on conversations.
Nice try, Irritating Scammer. Seriously. But you'll have to hope that somewhere in the hundreds of thousands of random emails you've sent this to, someone's gullible enough to buy into it. As to that closing expression, it's too bad we can't put you in a sinking ship. Preferably locked in a small room inside as it plunges down into the deepests depths. Give my regards to the Titanic when you hit bottom.