Nigerian E-Mail Scammers Get Creative: The Libyan Passport Episode

I’ve been on the receiving end of Nigerian E-mail scams for as long as I’ve been active on Internet e-mail (Since about 1994 or so). But the last one I just received (which has landed on my work inbox) definitely takes the prize for creativity.

The time-worn story of the African Finance Minister seeking assistance to open a bank account has been replaced by the fanciful tale of a Libyan refugee on the lam for aiding the Gadaffi regime. And to add a touch of realism to the take, they have spiced it up by attaching a “scanned image” of the Libyan passport of the unfortunate soul.

Here’s the exact text of this letter:

Dear Sir,

Assalamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

Look into this email. You will find copy of my passport which I attached together with this mail so that you will see my face. I am a typical Muslim woman. I need your help and your advice. Can you find for me a superior Businessman in your area who can supply me a business bank account that can contain $50,000,000.00? It is very very much urgent.

I was Aide to late President Muammar Gaddafi. I am not in Libya ever since trouble started because all the officials that served under the regime of late President Muammar Gaddafi ran away from Libya.

I stay somewhere in Africa. Please do not be afraid. I cannot put you into trouble. I am a careful person. I need your quick reply. I will give you more confidential details as soon as I receive your positive reply. You can write me in Arabic if you can understand Arabic. And please forward your reply to only these two email addresses.

ahaniya@live.com
haniyaabdulaziz@yahoo.com

Yours sincerely,

Haniya Abdul Aziz

And here’s the graphic attached to the e-mail:

—-

There truly is “a sucker born every minute” as P.T. Barnum once famously said. The Nigerian e-mail scam industry has been raking it in for about 20 years now and shows no signs of being in decline.

Things are evidently “more fun in Nigeria.”

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