My Swaziland Friend (a.k.a. Nigerian 419 scam)
Often I receive emails from African people, telling me that they have a lot of money and, if I help them, they will give me some because I am such a trustworthy person. *grin*
This is a well known scam, called the Nigerian 419 scam. And lots of people let their greed overpower their senses and lose heaps of money in the process.
Normally I ignore these mails or forward them to the authorities but recently I replied to one to see what would happen..
This is the mail that I received:
From: themba dlamini [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: dinsdag 9 mei 2006 16:39
Subject: : Lucrative Deal>
My name is Mr Themba Dlamini writing from Swaziland, your info was reliably
introduced to me I will like to invest in your country but I don't know
anybody that will help me when I come over there that is my reason of
contacting you to know if you will be of assistance.
I have USD18Million dollars to invest in a profitable business in your
country. The money is right now in an bank vault in Europe. If you can
handle it then let me know so that we shall plan/discuss how to move the
money to you in your country.
10% of the total funds is yours for your involvement which you will get
when the original funds are in your possession Waiting to hear from you
for further information.
Mr Themba Dlamini
So, i replied to see if somebody was reading the replies:
I don't know you.
How do you want me to help you? What kind of assistance?
And, what do you know, the fishes were biting. :)
From: Themba Dlamini [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: woensdag 10 mei 2006 12:19
Subject: : Thanks for your mail
received your swift response and l must say l am very happy for your
willingness to assist me in this venture. l want to let you know l do
not have any business in mind which l want us to do,but if we agree, l
think whatever business you deem viable in your country will be
acceptable by me. if l receive your full names and address, l will
forward it to the attorney to enable him prepare an investment
agreement for us which we shall look into before we proceed.
l will like you to let me know more on the areas of invesment you think
we can move into in your country. l want to know how old you are and if
you are married or not, what kind of business have you done in the past
or now, l really want to know more about you.
l will call you
if you stipulate a phone number so we can talk about this and please
keep this business between me and you to be devoid of any leakage of
I wanted to get some more information so that I could send it to the authorities. So I pretended to be a bit suspicious:
Why do you want to know if I am married? Why is that related?
have my email adres but you have not given me any personal information
about yourself. Who are you and who is this attorney?
thought you knew this because you said somebody gave you my
information. But you don’t even seem to know which country I live in.
Who gave you my information?
My website isn’t even online yet.
starting your own business is always hard work, and I can use all the
help I can get. But you are being so vague that I’m doubting your
If you want to go into business with me you will have to give me
some proof that you are for real.
From: Themba Dlamini [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: woensdag 10 mei 2006 14:47
Subject: : Trust is the key
respect of my proposal, l called with honest and sincere intention to
create an everlasting and strong business relationship hoping that you
will not let me down now or in the near future. it wont do me any good
if l with hold any information regarding this business from you because
the smooth success of this transaction is my objective and the earlier
you understand this the better for us. if you may know, l am a banker
here in Swaziland (Africa) and l am from Swaziland, l got your
information from a diplomat friend although l never mentioned to him
the reason l needed your assistance, l only told him l needed a foreign
partner with whom l can discuss important business matters with, l must
be frank to you that l did not get into details with him regarding my
proposition and it will be better if we work together and have trust in
each other, l will not gain anything from being dishonest to you.
my funds is in Europe (Paris), it was moved from Switzerland to Paris
diplomatically in the middle of last year and until today it has been
in a safe vault in Paris, l need to be open to you so that we do not
have any problem now or in the near future. l have more information for
you but before then l need to know if you can be able go to Paris for
the conclusion of this business, it has always been my aim that my
prospective partner will get over to Paris for this business. The
banking of this funds will never be a problem. l assure you 100% of no
risk in this business, all l want from you is transparent honesty and l
am very sure you will not regret your involvement with me in this
we agree, l will introduce you to the UN staffer (Diplomat) who
conveyed the funds as cargo to Paris but before then we need to have a
mutual understanding regarding the funds and whatever investment we
shall get involved in.
very importantly, in respect of phone call/conversation, you will not
call me here in Swaziland because the area were l am working as a
banker has been networked including my residence and any international
calls are been listened to, l will be available all the time on the
internet as l have my laptop with me always and l will call you when it
is very necessary. The discreetness of this business is very important
l have attached the photocopy of my international passport and l hope now to receive more information from you.
l wait to hear from you soonest.
The scan of the passport was obviously tampered with. I could see it with my naked eye, and I'm no expert so.. I will try to add it but right now i can't find the image..
So, this time I had more interesting information to report to the authorities. A scan of the pasport and more headers information. I was quite proud. :)
I never received an answer from the authorities so today, two weeks later, I decided to reply to my African friend again and confront him with his false passport.
I apologize for
he long delay. But I did not want to continue without doing some research.
I asked someone to check out your passport and it is a fake! Why did you send me a fake passport?!
I also see that you are an african person. I have seen on the news that africans do not like woman and beat them always.
You probably did not know that I was female when you wrote me. Are you against women too?
What information do you need?
I thought i wouldn't get an answer anymore.
- It has been two weeks since my last mail
- I confronted him with his passport
- I openly said that I had somebody check it out
- I was rude
But, what do you know. Apparently greedyness overcomes his carefullness too.
l am surprised at the
content of your mail after calling me fake you still went ahead to ask
me what information l request from you. l have not lied to you and it
will be better if you take my advice in this business as l called you
into it so we can put heads together to achive this goal. l am an
African, l can not deny that because you saw in the nwes where people
from DRC beat and rape their woman, l am from Swaziland and l have
respect and regards for women,l have a mother, l am married with
3children and until today l have never laid my hands on my wife as in
beating her. l am sure if we keep the trust in this business we all
shall get to meet eachother soonest, l mean my family and your family.
need to know if you can be able to go to Paris for the conclusion of
this business. My funds is in a vault in Paris and if l choose you as
my partner then the diplomat who is in Paris will welcome you in Paris
and handover the cash cargo to you, he will also assist you in the
banking of the funds in an account that will be opened in your name in
Paris for onward transfer of the funds to your account in your country.
This is my arrangement.
I wonder why he uses the L-letter instead of the I-letter in the word I. l find that rather strange.
I am curious to see how long I can keep him trying to wheel me into his net.
Ofcourse I will never agree to a meeting. I wouldn't be the first that gets beat up upon arrival.
And for those of you that wonder why it is called the Nigerian 419 scam. A lot of these scams are sent from Nigeria and the law that regulates Spam in Nigeria has number 419.
Do the victimes of these scams deserve what they get? I think they do. When you agree to something like this you know you will probably be doing something illegal. So that removes your right to complain when your are ripped off. And if your greed overcomes your logic thinking it serves you right to get it back in your face.
But that doesn't mean that these scammers should be able to get away with it. Sitting in a cybercafe all day and ripping off foreigners to make a living is just wrong. Even when you are pretty sure that your government wont do anything.
Another strange thing, in the time that I got the original mail and my replies, I never received another one of these mails. And usually I get them often.
Anyways, I will put further replies on the blog. So stay around. :)
And maybe next time when you receive such a mail, you can have your own Nigerian friend too. But don't send money or meet him ofcourse.