Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Beware of 419 Scams

As I checked my less active email this afternoon, I was surprised to get the email below:

from: Jenifer Bruce
reply-to: jeni_50bruce@yahoo.fr,
to: jenifer_bruce120@yahoo.fr,
date: Thu, Feb 14, 2008 at 5:18 AM
signed-by: yahoo.fr

Dearest In The Lord,

I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ our Lord, I am Mrs Jenifer Bruce From Kuwait. I am married to Mr.Abram Bruce who worked with Kuwait embassy in Ivory Coast for nine years before he died last year 2006.

We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. Before his death we were both born again Christian. Since his death I decided not to remarry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against.

When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of US$2.500million dollars in a Bank in Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire West Africa. Presently, this money is still in bank. Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next Eight months due to cancer problem.

The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a charity organization that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein.

I want an organization that will use this fund for orphanages, school and church , widows, propagating the word of God and to endeavor that the house of God is maintained. The Bible made us to understand that "Blessed is the hand that giveth".

I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I don't want my husband's efforts to be used by unbelievers.

I don't want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly way. This is why I am taking this decision. I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord. Exodus 14 VS 14 says that "the lord will fight my case and I shall hold my peace".

I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband's relatives around me always. I don't want them to know about this development.With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Bank in Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire west africa.

I will also issue you an authority letter that will prove you the present beneficiary of this fund from kuwait federal High Court of Justice. I want you and the church to always pray for me because the lord is my shephard. My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian.

Whoever that Wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and Truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life. Contact me on this email any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another church for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein. Hoping to receive your reply.

Remain blessed in the Lord.
Yours Sister In Christ,
Mrs Jenifer Bruce

As was my custom to check everything that I receive in the mail, especially forwarded messages containing announcements or warnings, I queried in Google on Jenifer Bruce from the above-mentioned email.

After scouring through some of the searches, I found a key post which confirmed my doubt - SCAM. It explained:

For those of you unfamiliar with this particular genre of money scam, please use your Google search engine and put the terms "Nigerian scam" into the box.

So I did what he suggested and lo and behold, I found the following useful articles:
1. 419 Scam: Jenifer Bruce.
The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
"abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
"remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
This email message is a "dying widow" scam.

2. Nigeria - The 419 Coalition Website. Defines the Nigerian Scam and advocates to fight it with educating the public.

3. Nigerian money scam: What happens when you reply? Meet Mr. Madu Frank in Will Sturgeon's article depicting the negotiations he went through when he tried to bait a "Nigerian" scammer.

4. 419Eater.com. Want to capture scammers in action?

Welcome to the world of Scambaiting! [...]
So what is scambaiting? Well, put simply, you enter into a dialogue with scammers, simply to waste their time and resources. Whilst you are doing this, you will be helping to keep the scammers away from real potential victims and screwing around with the minds of deserving thieves.

5. Advance fee fraud. Read through the comprehensive report of Wikipedia on Nigeria scam.

Hope this helps to protect yourself from such scams. Always be on guard on emails that you receive even from friends and family, since scammers can take hold of their email accounts and spam you. Also use the Spam button in your email accounts to report abuses to your mail provider.

Despite the fishiness of such emails, it's unfortunate that a lot of people are still lured into this foolishness and lose their money. Spread the word and stop ignorance.

Have you ever received an email scam?

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