Can I trust you?

Almost anybody with email (and even those without) should be well aware of 419 scam letters, so called as a reference to the passage in Nigerian criminal code dealing with fraud. Here, victims are lured into handing over money in exchange for a share of ill-gotten fortunes. They are accompanied by elaborate stories worthy of B-grade Hollywood movies, such as rebel forces with helicopter gunships or the death of an exiled monarch. At SophosLabs, many such tales pass daily through our spam traps, much to our immense amusement. We thought we would share two of our favourites in today’s blog entry.

The first one shows that these fraudsters are well in tune with world events, and can adjust their campaigns accordingly. Their extremely sophisticated use of English language means they can convincingly play the role of an American soldier. Be warned:

Dear Friend,

I am an American soldier, In foreign service with the Third infantry Division in Iraq. I and my superior moved part of discovered funds belonging to fleeing regime leaders in Iraq, the total amount is $25,000,000.00 US dollars. This money is being kept safe in a secured location we will disclose to you later.

Basically, since we are in government service and we are not allowed to have or keep discovered looted funds around us, we have decided to look for someone to help us relocate and keep this funds for us, that is why I have contacted you, so that you can keep it for us in your safe account or custody untill we complete our foreign service in Iraq.
…..

Respectfully,
Sgt.M.Flansburg.

Even more heartening is an offer for compensation to assist a certain demographic of email users who have already been so hard done by:

ECONOMICS AND FINANCIAL CRIME COMISSION,
15A Awolowo Road Ikoyi,
Lagos NIGERIA.
Website: http://www.efccnigeria.org

ATTENTION

I AM MR MAL NUHU RIBADU THE CHAIRMAN OF THE NIGERIAN ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIME COMISSION,OUR JOB IS TO PROTECT NIGERIA AND THE WORLD FROM FRAUD AND FRAUDSTERS,I HEREBY USE THIS MEDIA TO INFORM YOU THAT YOU ARE NEXT ON THE LIST TO BE COMPENSATED BY THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT,IT MAY INTEREST YOU TO KNOW THAT AFTER OUR INVESTIGATION WE WERE INFORMED ABOUT SOME NIGERIANS THAT HAVE SCAMMED YOU OF SOME CERTIN AMOUNT OF MONEY AND THEY ALL HAVE BEEN APREHENDED AND BROUGTH TO BOOK.

THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT HAVE BEEN COMPENSATING INDIVIDUALS THAT HAVE BEEN INVOLVED WITH THIS FRAUDSTERS WITH THE SUM OF $2,000,000 TO EACH INDIVIDUAL INVOLVED IN THIS SCAM.YOU ARE ADVISED TO PROVIDE YOUR PERSONAL DETAILS

SINCERELY,
ALH MAL NUHU RIBADU
CHAIRMAN
ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION

This seems to prove there are exceptions to the saying: ‘once bitten, twice shy’.