What follows is the exact e-mail text of yet another variation of the Advanced Fee Scheme designed to separate you from your money. Read it carefully to see how people become tempted. The tale is always about some tragic circumstance where the government is corrupt or the family is in crisis and they are reaching out to only you...in a world of millions. Does that make sense? The con men will attempt to get some sucker to front $25,000, for example, to open an account in Nigeria before depositing their alleged millions into it.
Like all the African scams, these con artists will want to get personal information from you including your banking and financial details in order to allegedly affect the money transfer. Sometimes the telephone number presented to call is a toll number (like a 900 number) where you pay the fees to them. Usually the con men will present a never ending list of advanced fees to be paid for storage, bribes etc before the money can be transferred. This is one of these offers that sound too good to be true...because it's a scam. They rely on your greed or financial desperation to hook you and draw you in. Don't fall for it. Unfortunately, many people of been victimized by this approach to get rich quick or solve a financial crisis.
The Secret Service calls these scams the "419 Advanced Fee Schemes" after the Nigerian Penal code fraud section. If you have been victimized by one of these schemes, please forward appropriate written documentation to the United States Secret Service, Financial Crimes Division, 950 H Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20223, or telephone (202) 406-5850, or contact by e-mail. If you have received a letter, but have not lost any monies to this scheme, please fax a copy of that letter to (202) 406-5031.
E-Mail received 11/09/01
This is a scam...don't fall for it!
FROM: MR. Halid Nebo
Tel: 225 **65 **1 ( Ivory Coast)
Before reading my proposal, please note that it is not one of those funny letters from Africa. This is a genuine deal that you stand to benefit from. This transaction is about cash, and it's in the amount of Sixteen Million United States Dollars (USD $16,000000.00).
I am Mr. Halid Nebo from Sierra Leone. Before now l didn't have any problem, until l lost my father two years ago. He was a big time diamond dealer, his business was flourishing until the United Nation placed embargo on diamonds from West Africa. When the embargo was enforced, my father started having problems with bank transactions in respect of making deposits and receiving payments for diamonds purchased by his customers. Because of the problem he started storing cash in the house. One morning, he left as usual with his men to the diamond mining area of Sierra Leone. While there, they were attacked by rebels; during the attack, my father was shot. He did not die, he was rushed to the hospital where the bullets were removed. My dad returned home after a few days feeling well and okay.
But two months later, my father became sick. His situation deteriorated so much that he couldn't carry on with his work anymore. One day, he told me to prepare myself that we have to go to a Security Company in Ivory Coast to deposit the USD$16,000,000.00 for safe keeping. At the Security Company in Ivory Coast, my father deposited the funds as a bonded shipment and he declared it as family personal effects. My father made me the beneficiary of the deposit. In the agreement signed with the Security Company, my father instructed them not to release the deposit to me the beneficiary, until l am 35 years of age. Not too long we returned from Ivory Coast, my father died. After the burial rights, my late father's brothers came to the house accusing my mother of masterminding my father's death in order to inherit his wealth. With this accusation, they drove my mother and her children (my sister and l) away from the house. They did not allow us take anything out of the house. We then went to my mother's family house to live there. My mother went through everyday in sorrow, little did we know that she could take her own life. We returned to the house one day to meet her on the ground dead; she committed suicide. It was really painful. After this period, things became very difficult for us, so l decided to travel to Ivory Coast to meet with the director of the Security Company to see if l can get the deposit released since my father is dead.
Meeting with the director, he told me that he feels sorry about my father's death and everything we have suffered, including the death of my mother. But he can not go against the agreement reached with my late father. He said there is only one area in the agreement that l can explore. He said contained in the agreement, is a portion were my late father stated that, I the beneficiary (myself) has the right to nominate another beneficiary if l so desire, but the beneficiary must be a European or American, and the beneficiary must be at least 40 years old.
It is in view of this that l am writing you. Please see how you can help me; l would like to nominate you as the beneficiary. I and my sister needs money to take care of ourselves. We want to travel to the United states to live there. If you would help me, please contact me as soon as possible (Tel. 225 **65 **1). Also let me know what your fee would be. When calling, dial the numbers exactly as stated.
Thank you and God bless,
This is a scam...don't fall for it!