Saturday, May 17, 2014

Switching From Greed To Fear

This was published originally on on August 8, 2011.  As noted the original title was slightly different.  I changed it because commenters pointed out to me that I had fallen into a pernicious ethnic stereotype.   I wrote a summary of what happened on this blog.

The rest of the Nigerian forbes posts will be coming over in the next several days.  After that I will do a post on the rather odd denouement to this whole matter.  A couple of months ago, I was interviewed by Maeyen Bassey for her documentary - 419: How Nigeria Was Scammed Out of its Rightful Identity

Among the people the documentary will address are:

This film is for the Non-Nigerians who have been misinformed either through receiving a 419/Nigerian Prince scam email or some other negative propaganda (real or falsified) about Nigeria as their only contact/source of information as to what Nigeria is and who Nigerians are.

That would be me over three years ago when I originally wrote this.  
I've changed the title to this piece out of respect for criticism I received from people who thought I was characterizing their entire country.  Also see this follow-up post.

I'm hoping to continue this blog, but I'm a little concerned about some e-mail I just received. It had a pdf attached with a joint letterhead from the FBI Headquarters and the  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Lagos, Nigeria.  The thing is resisting cutting and pasting so I'll just give you the summary.
It tells me that I am to contact the US Department of Homeland Security to obtain my Clearance Certificate.  I'm supposed to contact their Principal Legal Advisor.  Here is his contact info :

It seems to be serious stuff:

Furthermore be advised that according to the United State Law together with the FBI rules and regulations, you are to obtain the document from the DHS.  Also  that you are to take care of the cost of the Clearance Certificate, which will be issued in your name. Due to the content of the Clearance Certificate and how important and secured the document is, you are the beneficiary and will send the DHS the sum of $350 Dollars only for the issuing of the Clearance Certificate.  That is the lay down rule for the DHS to release such sensitive document .......

You are hereby advised to Contact them through the email address above to make an enquiry concenring how you will send the official fee to them........

There's a warning that if I don't attend to this I will be arrested as soon as an international court issues a warrant.

We are charged with the responsibility of implementing legal norms and our authority is irrevocable so don't dare dispute our instruction.

The message is from Robert Mueller III, who I see is the actual director of the FBI.  It doesn't explain why he is using the address.

I suppose this was predictable.  People are catching on to the fact that the stranger who wants to transfer a few millions dollars into your account that his great uncle earned while he was the defense minister of some African country is probably not on the up and up.  So they are giving greed a break and switching to fear.  The FBI has many graduates of Jesuit colleges and high schools working for it, so if they were sending out letters like this they could probably find someone fluent in US English to write them.  I'm not going to speculate on who it is that will be falling for this thing.

On the other hand you never know.  If you don't see any posts from me in the next week or so, please call the FBI and put in a good word for me.

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