Nigerian Scam: from help requests to death treats
Who has not yet gotten one of those Nigerian Scam or 419 scams? For those who haven't:
This scam usually begins with a letter-form e-mail8 sent to many target recipients making an offer that will purportedly result in a large payoff for the intended victim. The stories behind the offers vary, but the standard plot is that a person or government entity is in possession of a large amount of money or gold.This person, for myriad reasons, either cannot access the wealth directly or is no longer in need of it. Such people, who are fictional or impersonated characters played by the scammer, could include the wife of a deposed African or Indonesian leader or dictator, a terminally ill wealthy person, a wealthy foreigner who had deposited money in the bank just before dying in a plane crash, leaving no will or known next of kin, a U.S. soldier who has stumbled upon a hidden cache of gold, a business being audited by the government, a disgruntled worker or corrupt government official who has embezzled funds, a refugee21, and similar characters. The money could be in the form of gold bullion, gold dust, money in a bank account, so-called "blood diamonds", a series of cheques or bank drafts, and so forth. The sums involved are usually in the millions of dollars, and the investor is promised a large share, often forty percent or more, if they will assist the scam character in retrieving the money from holding and/or dispense of it according to the scam character's wishes. The proposed deal is often presented as a "harmless" white-collar crime, in order to dissuade participants from later contacting the authorities.
Anyway, since this form of polite request doesn't seem to work well enough anymore, they have changed their technic: They now tell you to give them money or.. they will shoot you dead:
Am very sorry for you my friend, is a pity that this is how your life is going to end as soon as you don't comply. … I don't have any business with you, my duty as I am mailing you now is just to KILL/ASSASINATE you and I have to do it as I have already been paid for that."
If people aren't gullible enough to believe in polite help requests are they really fall for those brute death treats?