There are clear signs that easy life has turned tough on Nigeria's con men and that 419 scammers – after the Nigerian Penal code fraud section - are struggling to make money. Some reports out of Africa seem to confirm that the bogus appeals are falling on stony ground. There's too much publicity about 419 these days. People are catching on.
Sure, we still get dozens of email appeals, typically written in capital letters, but we also notice a couple of differences.
These days, Nigerian scammers are struggling to communicate with their victims. Fraudsters used to open up webmail accounts at random, but lately these accounts are typically closed after a day or so, as recipients complain to ISPs more frequently. Most scammers therefore open an account with one webmail service and ask their victims to reply to a second webmail address, hoping that this account will go unnoticed.
Not so. In particular Yahoo! and Hotmail go to great lengths to shut every scam account.
Increasingly, scammers divert to more obscure webmail services. In the past couple of weeks we have received scam letters from Elvis.com, Irangate.com and Handbag.com. How would you answer to a business proposal from someone at Elvis.com? One for the money, two for the show?
Yesterday we received a totally-new shift to the 419 appeal.
'This letter can only define Nigeria Scam, a.k.a 419' the subject read.
'As we all know, top government officials do loot funds out of the country with non-residence foreigners. These funds are discovered sums in some commercial banks belonging to some deceased foreign customers or from sum over invoiced sums emanated from sum contracts awarded over a period of time. When they attempt and fail, the world hears in the news as Nigeria fraud/scam, but when they succeed, nobody or newspapers writes it.
This trade is huge here and people are making lots of money out there in most foreign countries. Though the government is mapping out sophisticated strategies to checkmate their unauthorized intruders. From the president to the cleaner in the house, they are all into this trade. Go and read about Abacha, the former late head of state. Even the so-called present head is still in it.
The point I am making is nothing more than asking you to handle a pure deal of approximately USD$50,000,000.00, which will take approximately two weeks to conclude from here. Then the funds clear in any account of yours after 72hrs upon the remittance.
If you could assist us, kindly reach me via this direct phone number: +234 8034030960 so we could further discuss the modalities of this deal. Or do email me at:email@example.com
It must be the first Nigerian scam letter that actually refers to the 419 fraud, but there are a couple of giveaways: the guy apparently has no family name, uses a free webmail account from Bangladesh (of all places) and added the number 230 to his email address. Endeavor 230. Still interested? ®