This weekend, I finally received my first Nigerian scam e-mail. In actuality, this is probably not the first but it is the first one to make it through the e-mail filters. I have to admit, I have felt a little left out over the past few years. I always heard about these e-mails but I never received one. Here is the text from the message:
Subject: PLEASE I NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE
I’m Mr. Clement Mattins from bank of Africa. firstly,accept my apologies ,am the personal accountant to Dr. Ravindra F. Shah who died with his wife Mrs. Manjula Parikh-Shah in a plane crash on 1st Oct. 2003 on their way to Boston. i came across ($8,500.000.00USD) in his balance with our Bank (B.O.A), then i want you to provide an account where this money will be transfer into for both of us, If you are willing to assist me, therefore you should contact me immediately you receive this E-mail for more detail, Regards Mr Clement Mattins Telephone: +226 78 31 77 67
After looking around the net, it became obvious that this is a 419 scam. A few ideas came to mind. Should I play along and screw with the scammer? Should I report this to some official government agency?
In the end, I decided to just let it go. I tried forwarding the message to the secret service’s 419 scam e-mail address but it just bounced. It just pisses me off that people fall for these scams. It also worries me that in the current economic climate, more and more people will fall for these scams. The public at large is aware of this type of generic scam. However, these scammers have adapted their methods and are becoming more clever.
Nothing made this more clear than Dateline NBC’s episode on, what they call, Work-from-home scams. The sad part is that these scams are originating in the same place as the scam e-mail I received. I guess these people will always find a way to make a quick buck.