The Direct Approach

When corresponding with potential victims, scammers often go to great lengths to disguise their real motive - that is, separating the gullible from their money.

Sometimes, however, they apparently opt for the direct approach and just come right out and ask the recipients of their messages to send money. In the example shown below, the scammer claims that he is stuck in Nigeria under difficult circumstances after losing his money and travel papers. He asks if the recipient can "lend" him some money so that he can return home. He promises to pay the money back on his return. It hardly needs to be said that anyone foolish enough to send money will never see a cent of it again.

It seems incredible that anybody would actually fall for such a transparent scam attempt. However, people all over the world still fall for Nigerian and Lottery scams every day. And there are bound to be at least a few kind-hearted but gullible individuals who will become victims of even direct, "send me money" style scams like the one below.

After all, the scammer responsible probably distributed many thousands of identical copies of the message to all corners of the planet. If only one out of all those thousands of recipients was fooled into sending money, then the exercise would have been worthwhile for the scammer. His overheads are likely to be quite minimal, so netting even one victim will give the scammer his undeserved payday.

An example:

How are you doing today? I am sorry i didn't inform you about my traveling to Africa for a program called "Empowering Youth to Fight Racism, HIV/AIDS, Poverty and Lack of Education, the program is taking place in three major countries in Africa which is Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria. It as been a very sad and bad moment for me, the present condition that i found myself is very hard for me to explain.

I am really stranded in Nigeria because I forgot my little bag in the Taxi where my money, passport, documents and other valuable things were kept on my way to the Hotel am staying, I am facing a hard time here because i have no money on me. I am now owning a hotel bill of $ 1550 and they wanted me to pay the bill soon else they will have to seize my bag and hand me over to the Hotel Management., I need this help from you urgently to help me back home, I need you to help me with the hotel bill and i will also need $1600 to feed and help myself back home so please can you help me with a sum of $3500 to sort out my problems here? I need this help so much and on time because i am in a terrible and tight situation here, I don't even have money to feed myself for a day which means i had been starving so please understand how urgent i needed your help.

I am sending you this e-mail from the city Library and I only have 30 min, I will appreciate what so ever you can afford to send me for now and I promise to pay back your money as soon as i return home so please let me know on time so that i can forward you the details you need to transfer the money through Money Gram or Western Union.

Joseph Gerada

posted by Brett Christensen @ 2:54 PM,

4 Comments:

At January 22, 2008 6:28 AM, Blogger carl said...

Since you were so good to post this, let me add that this has been floating around in different forms.

Today I received it from a gmail address with the name KENT STREET at the bottom. This is the name of a local Blues club that is trying to get established in our community.

As I always say "if in doubt, check it out!" Peace.

 
At December 19, 2008 5:17 AM, Blogger KPWhiting said...

I received this scam email today with a slight twist. The email had a return address of someone that I DO know. The email was "signed" by this person and asked that after I sent the money I should email him back with the Western Union "transfer code" so he can pick it up.

Pretty clever, although I'm not sure how he would get the transfer code that I would email to my friend's email account.

On close examination, I also noticed that my friend's name and email address were in a different font and size than the rest of the email.

 
At January 15, 2009 4:19 AM, Blogger sallyo said...

I received this one (almost exactly) yesterday from the address of someone I know very well. No signature, just "thank you." I'm still trying to reach the friend to tell her that her address book has been stolen.

 
At April 23, 2009 6:32 AM, Blogger John Cruden said...

I received this today. The email address used was a work address that is available from my organisation's website. The name of the sender is the name of someone I know. How do they do this?

 

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