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12 Jan 2007

A Nigerian tragic comedy

I though I'd share the following email, which plopped into my inbox overnight, with you. It's one of the funniest I've seen in ages, a truly tragic comedy:

Mohammed M. Abacha.
NO.16.Queen's Drive Victoria Island,

Dear Friend,
as-Salam-u-'Alaikum!I heartily solicit for your honest/Godly assistance to safe our soul.Following the sudden death of my father General Sani Abacha the late formerNigeria head of state, in August 1998, I have been thrown into a state of utter confusion,frustration and hopelessness by the present civilian administration, I have been subjected to physical and psychological torture by the security agents in the country. As a child that is so must have heard over the media reports and the Internet on the recovery of various huge sums of money deposited by my father (General Sani Abacha) in different security firms abroad, some companies willingly give up their secrets and disclosed our money confidently lodged there or many out right blackmail. In fact the total sum discovered by the Government so far is in the tune of US$700. Million dollars. And they are not relenting to damage my family.

Further info.Website:

I got your contacts through my personal research, and out of desperation decided to reach you. I will give you more information as to this regard as soon as you reply. I repose great confidence in you hence my approach to you due to security network placed on my day affairs I cannot afford to visit the embassy so that is why I decided to contact you and I hope you will not betray my confidence in you. My father deposited the sum of US$350.000.00 million dollars with a security firm in abroad in which I want you to clear at least US$50 million first so that you will use part of the fund to clear the remaining fund and the security deposit company have affiliate collecting centre all over the global. whose name is withheld for now until we open communication. I shall be grateful if you could accept to conclude this transaction and keep this fund for safe keeping. This arrangement is known to you , my mum Zainab and our Attorney alone,so our Attorney will deal directly with you as security is up my whole being.I am seriously considering to settle down abroad in a friendly atmosphere like yours as soon as this fund get into your custody. I will require your telephone and fax numbers so that i can forward them to me to enable you and me to communicate immediately.
Listen carefully, I not in doubt of what my late father did, but I want you to understand that present President (Gen. (Rtd)) Olusegun Obasanjo intentionally dealing with my family based on the political misunderstanding he had with my late father of the past Nigeria is a wealthy country and no Government since 1977 to this day that is not dubious,
President (Gen. (Rtd)) Olusegun basanjo and his family today has syphoned the ecomony (fund) of this nation. I hereby take you back to the history of this nation (Nigeria) from 1977 to this day and you willunderstand my point.
President (Gen. (Rtd)) Olusegun Obasanjo made up his mind to damage my family out of his share wickedness. I am once in Nigeria Government and hereby giving you assurance that Nigerian are corrupt from the top to it's base. Please don't disclose the telephone number to the third part for the good interest of my family and the safety of this business.
Call my direct line +23450408864 or email: allajimohammed_abacha@yahoo.com.au for more info.

Sincerely yours,
Mohammed M. Abacha.

The email header (viewable in Outlook using View > Options > Internet headers) was interesting too. The "From:" address (which may well have been spoofed) was a US-based ISP. The "Reply-to" address was an address at Yahoo in the UK, different to the Australian Yahoo reply address included in the main body of the email. I've notified all three by the way so now the race is on between the processes that will delete the mailboxes, and the scammer's activities to gather personal information from those poor fools who might have fallen for his amusing sob story.

I think I'll print out and laminate this classic 419 email for the office wall. As well as being a useful lesson in security awareness, it's one of a dying breed (/wishful_thinking_mode)

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