This email is the hands down winner of Hoax-Slayer’s prestigious ‘Dumbest Scam of The Week’ award.
Advance fee scams come in many forms. Some are more sophisticated than others.
This version belongs quite decisively in the ‘others’ category. The message purports to be from US First Lady Michelle Obama. According to the email, you are eligible to receive the sum of $4.5 million from the Government of Benin via the White House. And the good news is that Michelle has been instructed by her husband to take charge of your case and ensure that you get your funds successfully. All you need do to claim your unexpected millions is send a $150 ‘Funds Clearance Paper’ fee via Moneygram.
To make sure you understand, Michelle has been thoughtful enough to USE ALL CAPS to drive home the point.
I guess, for clarity, I should explain at this point that, alas, the email is NOT from Michelle Obama. And nobody at the White House is set to give you 4.5 million dollars any time soon. The email is an advance fee scam designed to steal your money and personal information. If you are not familiar with this type of scam, you can read all about it here.
A rather worrying aspect of the message for US citizens is that the payment is apparently intended to ‘reduce the economy’.
FROM DESK OF MRS.MICHELLE OBAMA.I’M MRS.MICHELLE OBAMA AND AM WRITTEN TO INFORM YOU ABOUT YOUR ATM CARD AND BANK CHEQUE DRAFT BROUGHT BY THE UNITED EMBASSY FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF BENIN IN THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC WHICH CONTAINS THE SUM OF $4.5 million Usd DOLLARS CREDITED FROM THE BANK OF AMERICA.THE DELIVERY OF YOUR FUNDS HAS BEEN MANDATED TO BE POSTED TO YOUR ADDRESS ON MONDAY 17TH November 2015 TO YOU AS SOON AS YOU GET BACK TO ME WITH YOUR HOME ADDRESS AND YOUR CELL PHONE NUMBERS.
BEAR IN MIND THAT I HAVE TAKING MY TIME TO BE IN CHARGE OF YOUR FUNDS AS INSTRUCTED BY MY HUSBAND TO ENSURE THAT YOU RECEIVED YOUR FUNDS SUCCESSFULLY FROM THE WHITE HOUSE TO REDUCE THE ECONOMY AND I’M THE ONLY ONE THAT HAS YOUR FUNDS IN REGARD TO MY HUSBAND MR BARACK OBAMA AND YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY THE SUM OF $150.00 ONLY BEFORE YOUR ATM CARD WILL BE DELIVERED TO YOU TOMORROW.THE REASON WHY THE FEE IS REQUIRED IS TO HAVE YOUR FUNDS CLEARANCE PAPER FROM THE ORIGIN OF THE FUNDS TO AVOID ANY HARASSMENT FROM THE AUTHORITY AND YOU ARE ALSO EXPECTED TO BE ANNOUNCED AS WINNER OF THE SAID AMOUNT BY THURSDAY AS SOON AS YOUR FUNDS IS DELIVERED TO YOU.
SO YOU ARE URGENT ADVISED TO GET BACK TO ME WITH YOUR HOME ADDRESS AND ALSO THE PAYMENT INFORMATION TODAY FOR IMMEDIATE EFFECT OF YOUR DELIVERY. PLEASE I WILL ADVICE YOU TO URGENT MAKE THE PAYMENT THIS MORNING VIA MONEY GRAM MONEY TRANSFER TO THE ABOVE LISTED CASHIER INFORMATION AS GIVEN. I WILL LOOK FORWARD TO RECEIVED YOUR EMAIL TODAY WITH THE PAYMENT TO ENABLE ME GET THE REQUIRED CLEARANCE PAPERS REQUIRED AT WHITE HOUSE TO DELIVER YOUR FUNDS.NOTE THAT THE FEE IS TO BE FORWARDED TO THE FUNDS ORIGIN AS INSTRUCTED AND TRY TO MAKE THE PAYMENT THROUGH MONEY GRAM.
PLEASE FIND THE PAYMENT DATA BELLOW.
ADDRESS……#68 IMF STREET COTONOU BENIN REPUBLIC SEND IT VIA MONEY GRAM .
RECEIVER NAME…….ELSON BLUM
I LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR RESPOND TO YOUR EMAIL WITH THE PAYMENT TODAY.
Last updated: November 15, 2015
First published: November 15, 2015
By Brett M. Christensen
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!