the ‘help the foreigner’ spam-scam
Some time ago, the Blue Spider found this in his e-mail inbox:
With warm heart I offer my friendship, and my greetings, and I
hope this letter meets you in good time. It will be surprising to
you to receive this proposal from me since you do not know me
personally. However, I am sincerely seeking your confidence in
this transaction, which I propose with my free mind and as a
person of integrity.
My name is Mr.Marcus Moyo, the first son of Bila Moyo,one of
the most popular black farmer from Zimbabwe, murdered in the land
dispute in my country. As led by my instinct, I decided to contact
you through email, after searching for contacts via the internet,
as it is the only means I can contact anybody since I am cutting
off ties with Zimbabwe for security and safety reasons. However,I
apologize if this is not acceptable to you.
The purpose of this letter is to seek your most needed assistance
in a business venture. Due to the the land and political problems
in Zimbabwe, as a result of President Robert Mugabe’s introduction
of new Land Act Reform wholly affecting the rich white farmers and
the few rich black farmers, and his desire to hold on to power for
life, my father forsaw the danger that came in Zimbabwe. Before he
was murdered, he withdrew all of our business foreign accounts in
dollars and sold up our shares in major companies. We then went to
Johannesburg, South Africa to deposit the sum of US$10.5 million
Ten million, Five Hundred thousand US dollars), in a private
security company. This money was deposited with this Private
Security company for safety and security reasons, and was to be
used for the purchase of land, new machines and chemicals
establishment of new farms in Botswana and Swaziland.
President Mugabe’s support for the violent Zimbabwean war veterans
and some lunatics in the society, led to the murder of my beloved
father and other innocent lives. I was continually threatened to
abandon my inheritance from my father after he was murdered. I
resited for a while, but when the danger became unbearable, and I
survived two murder attempts, I fled Zimbabwe to South Africa
where I was arrested and detained for eight(8 good month)in jail.I
fled south Africa for The Netherlands with the help of the present
prison command chief officer in Charge(P.C.C.O)
I am currently staying in the Netherlands where I am seeking
political asylum. In fact my decision to come here to seek asylum,
is because the security company from South Africa, has a branch
here, and they have moved the deposit from their office in
Johannesburg here. I need to transfer this money to an account
and invest part of the money. Since the law of Netherlands
prohibits a refugee (asylum seeker) to open any bank account or to
be involved in any financial transaction, this is why I am
seeking a genuine and reliable partner, whose account this money
can be transferred, hence this proposal to you.You have to
understand that this decision taken by me entrusts my future
in your hands, as a result of the safe keeping of this money. If
you accept to assist me, all I want you to do for me, is to assist
with arrangements to claim the deposit from the security company
from their office here in The Netherlands, as it has now been
transfered from Johannesburg, South Africa to their branch here.
The company will be legally informed of you representing me.
For your assistance, I have two options for you. Firstly you can
choose to have 20% of the money for your assistance, and helping
me open an account for the money to be deposited here, or you can
go into partnership with me for the proper profitable investment
of the money in your country. Whichever the option you want,
please do notify me in your reply.
I have also mapped out 1%($105,000,00) of this money for all kinds
of expenses that come our way in the process of this transaction,
and 4% ($420,000,00) for Charity donation. If you prefer to accept
the 20% for assisting with opening an account, then 75%will be
left in the account here for me.
Please, I want you to maintain the absolute secrecy for the
purpose of this transaction.
I look forward to your reply and co-operation, and I thank you
in advance as I anticipate your co-operation.
Thanks and God bless.
Another one I found read like this:
FOREIGN LIAISON OFFICE
NIGERIA NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION (NNPC)
AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS.
I am an Engineer with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and, also
a member of the Contract Review committee. Presently, I’m on a special
diplomatic duty in the Nigeria foreign office in Amsterdam,the Netherlands. A
contract for the construction and laying of oil pipelines network from
Warri-Port-Harcourt-Kaduna has been awarded to a local firm and, this contract
was over invoiced to the tune of Eleven Million United States Dollars (US$11
The over invoicing was a deal by my committee to benefit from the project, and
now the local contractor have been fully paid but, the over invoiced amount is
still floating in one of the offshore banks of Central Bank of Nigeria in
Canada. We now desire to transfer this money which is presently in a suspense
account of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) into any overseas account which we
expect you to provide for us, if you are capable and able.
For providing, the account where we shall remit the money,you will be entitled to
35% of the money,60% will be for myself and my partners,the remaining 5% will be
set aside to settle all expenses incurred by both parties.
I would require the following;
1.Bank name and Address
2.Name of Beneficiary
3.Company Name and Address
5.Confidential Telephone and Fax number of Beneficiary.
The above information would be used to make formal applications to the
appropriate government parastatals such as the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF),
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria
(CBN) as a matter of procedure for the release of the money and onward transfer
to the nominated account you would provide. In as much as , we are doing a deal,
we would like to comply with all laid down procedures for transfer and contract
of this nature. It does not matter whether or not your company did this contract
or not. The assumption is that your company was awarded the major contract and
subcontracted it out to the local company. We have strong and reliable
connections and contacts at the Apex Bank and the Federal Ministry of Finance All
we need is a trust worthy foreign partner to assist us in this mutual/beneficial
Therefore, when the business is successfully concluded,we shall through our same
connections withdraw all documents used from all the concerned Government
Ministries for 100%security.We are civil servants and we do not want this
opportunity to miss us, as opportunity loss can never be regained
Please contact me immediately through my e-mail address,whether or not you are
interested in this deal. If you are not,it will enable me scout for another
foreign partner to carry out this deal.But where you are interested, send the
required document aforementioned herein without delay,as time is of great essence
in this deal.
I await your anticipated co-operation and response.
I know this message is going to surprise you, considering that I am
unknown to you, but I want you to know that this email is sent with all good
intentions in mind.
My name is Princewilliams Taylor, a Liberian and a younger brother to the
incumbent president of Liberia, Charles Taylor, who is about to be
exiled from the country.
I have been delegated by Charles to leave Liberia for Dubai united arab emirates
with the sum of (US$28.M) Twenty-eight million United States dollars, and from
Dubai united arab emirates look for a trustworthy person who will assist us with
the transfer of the fund out of Dubai united arab emirates to a country where we
can invest, and resettle in.
Now, if you decide to assist me, first I will demand absolute
confidentiality for my brother�s sake and I want you to know that for
your assistance you will be compensated with 20% of the Total sum.
Please, you can reach me through the following phone numbers
listed below. And it is also important you give me your confidential phone and
fax numbers on indication of your interest in the transaction. so you can reach
me through my private telephone which is +971.50422.5106 or e-
Just how stupid do these people think I am?
I’m the Blue Spider; it’s a handle I use for commenting on lighter topics in various forums. It’s fun to say that’s who I am and know one cares otherwise. Obviously though, there’s no one out there really named “the Blue Spider” so it’s an idiotic concept to send a serious business note to an address identified as such. Second of all, anyone who would actually be named “the Blue Spider” isn’t the kind of person likely to be trustworthy to handle such financial transactions. It’s obviously not that kind of person. Anyone who doesn’t actually compute this as they send out these letters is obviously sending out random spam to random addresses. I’m not that stupid.
I received in my public account the following:
REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE: _STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL
I AM DR. TEMISAN VICTOR, THE CHAIRMAN OF CONTRACT
AWARD AND REVIEW COMMITTEE SET UP BY THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA UNDER THE NEW CIVILIAN
DISPENSATION TO AWARD NEW CONTRACTS AND REVIEW
EXISTING ONES. I CAME TO KNOW OF YOU IN MY SEARCH FOR
A RELIABLE AND REPUTABLE PERSON TO HANDLE A VERY
CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTION, WHICH INVOLVES THE TRANSFER
OF A HUGE SUM OF MONEY TO A FOREIGN ACCOUNT.
THERE WERE SERIES OF CONTRACTS EXECUTED BY A
CONSORTIUM OF MULTI-NATIONALS IN THE OIL INDUSTRY IN
FAVOUR OF N.N.P.C. THE ORIGINAL VALUE OF THESE
CONTRACTS WERE DELIBRATELY OVER INVOICED TO THE SUM
OF USD$25,000,000.00 (TWENTY FIVE MILLION UNITED STATE
DOLLARS). THIS AMOUNT HAS NOW BEEN APPROVED AND IS
NOW READY TO BE TRANSFERED BEING THAT THE COMPANIES
THAT ACTUALLY EXECUTED THESE CONTRACTS HAVE BEEN FULLY
PAID AND THE PROJECTS OFFICIALLY COMMISSIONED.
CONSEQUENTLY, MY COLLEAGUES AND I ARE WILLING TO
TRANSFER THE TOTAL AMOUNT TO YOUR ACCOUNT FOR
SUBSEQUENT DISBURSEMENT, SINCE WE AS CIVIL SERVANTS
ARE PROHIBITED BY THE CODE OF CONDUCT BUREAU (CIVIL
SERVICE LAW) FROM OPERATING AND/OR OPENING FOREIGN
ACCOUNTS IN OUR NAMES. NEEDLESS TO SAY, THE TRUST
REPOSED ON YOU AT THIS JUNCTURE IS ENORMOUS, IN
RETURN, WE HAVE AGREED TO OFFER YOU 30% OF THE
TRANSFERED SUM, WHILE 10% SHALL BE SET ASIDE FOR
INCIDENTAL EXPENSES (INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL) BETWEEN
BOTH PARTIES IN THE COURSE OF THE TRANSACTION YOU WILL
BE MANDATED TO REMIT THE BALANCE TO OTHER ACCOUNTS IN
MODALITIES HAVE BEEN WORKED OUT AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL
OF THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE AND THE CENTRAL BANK OF
NIGERIA FOR THE IMMEDIATE TRANSFER OF THE FUNDS WITHIN
10 WORKING DAYS SUBJECT TO YOUR SATISFACTION OF THE
ABOVE STATED TERMS. OUR ASSURANCE IS THAT YOUR ROLE IS
RISK FREE.TO ACCORD THIS TRANSACTION THE LEGALITY IT
DESERVES AND FOR MUTUAL SECURITY OF THE FUNDS THE
WHOLE APPROVAL PROCEDURES WILL OFFICIALLY AND LEGALLY
PROCESSED WITH YOUR NAME OR THE NAME OF ANY COMPANY
YOU MAY NOMINATE AS THE BONEFIDE BENEFICIARY.
ONCE MORE I WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND THAT HAVING PUT IN
OVER TWENTY FIVE YEARS IN THE CIVIL SERVICE OF MY
COUNTRY, I AM AVERSE TO HAVING MY IMAGE AND CAREER
DENTED. THIS MATTER SHOULD THEREFORE BE TREATED WITH
UTMOST SECRECY AND URGENCY IT DESERVES.
I WANT TO ASSURE YOU THAT THIS BUSINESS PROPOSAL IS
100% RISK FREE AS WE HAVE DONE OUR HOME WORK PROPERLY
I QUITE BELIEVE THAT YOU WILL PROTECT OUR INTEREST BY
TAKING THIS DEAL STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL, AS WE ARE
STILL IN GOVERNMENT SERVICE, WHICH WE INTEND TO RETIRE
FROM.KINDLY EXPEDITE ACTION AS WE ARE BEHIND SCHEDULE
TO ENABLE US INCLUDE THIS TRANSFER IN THE FIRST BATCH
WHICH WOULD CONSTITUTE THE FOURTH QUARTER PAYMENTS FOR
THE 2003 FINANCIAL YEAR.
THANKS AND GOD BLESS.
DR TEMISAN VICTOR
But if you know you are interested let me know. List
your phone & fax Numbers so we may Communicate with
you. This is important as we would have to talk about
the modalities of the transaction. Waiting to hear
you.Do contact me at my more secure email address.
as well as this:
I do hope this letter will not come to you as a surprise,it
was out of my sincere desire to share a mutual business
relationship with you My name is ENG, philip samuel
,I AM 39yrs , married with a wife and four children I
work as an administrative secretary to DIPLOMATIC
UNION OF WEST AFRICA STATES IN Dubai,United
Arab Emirate. I got the information concerning you from
the U.A.E Chamber of Commerce and Industry after
due consultation with my spiritual adviser, I decided to
contact you believing that by the Grace of God, you will
accept to be my partner in this business I joined the
services of this Company in 1991 as an office Assistant
I decided to contact you believing that by the Grace of
God you will accept to be my partner in this
business I have been working with this Company for nine
years now. Within this period, I have watched with
meticulous PRACTISE ON how African Heads of States
and Government functionaries have been using”
DIPLOMATIC UNION OF WEST AFRICA STATES ”
to move huge sums of money USD, Pounds Sterling,
French Francs- (Cash ) to their foreign partners.
They bring in this consignments of money cash and
secretly declare the contents as jewelleries, gold ,
diamond, precious stones, family treasure, African Arts
Antiquities documents etc. General Sanni Abacha of
Nigeria (Dead) Mobutu Sese-Seko of Zaire(Dead) Foday
Sankoy of Sierra Leone. Babangida of Nigeria etc.
All these people have hundreds of consignments
deposited with DIPLOMATIC UNION OF WEST
AFRICA STATES .
Their foreign partners , friends and relatives, are
claiming most of these consignment. A lot of them are
lying here unclaimed for as much as fifteen years
now Nobody may ever come for them because in most
cases, the documents of deposits are never available to
anybody except the depositors most of them dead.
Sometime last year (2002) DIPLOMATIC UNION OF
WEST AFRICA STATES changed the procedure of
claims of consignments, it will be released to you upon
From our records, more than 120 consignments
belonging to General Abacha/ Mobutu Sese-Seko, has
been claimed in past six months. This is why I am,
soliciting for your cooperation and assistance. Gen.
Abacha has 85 consignments deposited with several
names and codes. 35 have been claimed in the past
6 months. Since he died, his first son died also in the
plane crash, the second son is facing trial for murder
and embezzlement , the family members are under
restricted arrest without communication. I have finalize
every arrangement for you to come and claim
consignment No.1200 containing US25M and
consignment No.1201 containing USD32M. My duty is to
supply you with all information and documents by fax
You will deal directly with the management.
The procedure is simple You will apply officially to the
director of operations of Diplomatic Union of West
Africa States for the release of consignment No 1200
and 1201. They will demand some documents and secret
codes Call me, I?(tm)II supply you with every detailed
information and you will fax it to them. As soon as they
confirm it to be correct.
They will invite you for the collection If you do not want
to come to Dubai, you can arrange with them to transfer
the consignment to any where on agreement.
No body will ever know I am involved in the deal except
the Lawyer who will write the agreement for us. I?II
suggest upon conclusion we share 50-50.
At the successful conclusion of this deal , you will
arrange for me and my family to come over to your
country I assure you that the business have been hatched
for years now, it is very secure and 100% risk free For
further explanations and directives on the procedures
reach me immediately as you can .
God bless you.
The fact is that this type of scam is so common, and has been publicized in the news, that this kind of “cry for help” is an obvious scam. The genuinity is especially questionable given the similarity in format of all these letters. Yet the scam continues; the spam piles up in my inbox; these people think I’m stupid. They think many people are stupid; the problem is that some people do become victims of these scams. These people are stupid…. or they weren’t thinking.
As it is, the con men are sending their data using the following information. Judge how real each looks.
From: Marcus Moyo
Date: 24 Jul 16:56 (PDT)
Subject: For your attention
From: “PRINCEWILLAMS TAYLOR”
Date: 13 Sep 14:19 (PDT)
Subject: TREAT URGENT PLEASE.
From: FIBIAN DURU
Date: 8 Nov 16:24 (PST)
Subject: BUSINESS PROPOSAL.
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2003 16:59:29 -0700 (PDT)
From: “temisan victor”
Subject: A VERY REPUTABLE OFFER
From: “philip samuel”
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 23:52:44 +0400
Subject: comfidential business proposal
If you get anything that looks like this, actually think about it and report these bastards.
Who types letters in all-CAPS anyway?
Feel free to e-mail me if you actually have a thought. Keep in mind that the Blue Spider account is generally comic book-themed and I don’t really pursue political debate through that venue.