First we had the Nigerian scam. Now, apparently, for the terminally stupid among us who don’t understand the phrase “once bitten, twice shy, we have the Nigerian metascam. This email example collected by Snopes is, well, spectacular. Observe.
Federal Bureau Of Investigation ATM CARD PAYMENT NOTIFICATION
From: Federal Bureau Of Investigation (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sent: Mon 9/01/08 9:24 AM
Anti-Terrorist and Monitory Crimes Division.
Federal Bureau Of Investigation.
J. Edgar. Hoover Building, Washington D.C
Telephone Number : ( 202 )-324-3001
This is to Officially inform you that it has come to our notice and we have thoroughly completed an Investigated with the help of our Intelligence Monitoring Network System that you are having an illegal transaction with Impostors claiming to be Prof. Charles C. Soludo of the Central Bank Of Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Aziza, Mr Frank Nweke, none officials of Oceanic Bank, none officials of Zenith Bank and some impostors claiming to be the Federal Bureau Of Investigation agents. During our Investigation, it came to our notice that the reason why you have not received your payment is because you have not fulfilled your Financial Obligation given to you in respect of your Contract/Inheritance Payment.
So therefore, we have contacted the Federal Ministry Of Finance on your behalf and they have brought a solution to your problem by coordinating your payment in the total amount of $800,000.00 USD which will be deposited into an ATM CARD which you will use to withdraw funds anywhere of the world. You now have the lawful right to claim your funds which have been deposited into the ATM CARD.
Since the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been involved in this transaction, you are now to be rest assured that this transaction is legitimate and completely risk-free as it is our duty to Protect and Serve citizens of the United States Of America. All you have to do is immediately contact the ATM CARD CENTER via E-mail for instructions on how to procure your Approval Slip which contains details on how to receive and activate your ATM CARD for immediate use to withdraw funds being paid to you. We have confirmed that the amount required to procure the Approval Slip will cost you a total of $550 USD which will be paid directly to the ATM CARD CENTER agent via Western Union Money Transfer / MoneyGram Money Transfer. Below, you shall find contact details of the Agent whom will process your transaction:
NAME: MR. PAUL SMITH
Telephone Number : +234-808-252-6229
Immediately contact Mr. Paul Smith of the ATM Card Centre with the following information:
Direct Phone Number:
Once you have sent the required information to Mr. Paul Smith he will contact you with instructions on how to make the payment of $550 USD for the Approval Slip after which he will proceed towards delivery of the ATM CARD without any further delay. You have hereby been authorized/guaranteed by the Federal Bureau Of Investigation to commence towards completing this transaction, as there shall be NO delay once payment for the Approval Slip has been made to the authorized agent.
Once you have completed payment of $550 to the agent in charge of this transaction, immediately contact me back so as to ensure your ATM CARD gets to you rapidly.
Can the English be any more mangled or any more confusing? What’s more, if this is an FBI email, why do they have you calling, oh, say, Nigeria? And, why do they have you emailing sensitive information to a hotmail account? Those are questions anyone with half a brain should be asking. Those with a full brain should just hit the delete key without looking back.
I can’t believe the sheer gall of these scammers. It’s, well, amazing.