Lately I have been receiving an unprecedented amount of Nigerian scam email that claim the sender has a strong Christian conviction and needs help to distribute funds to charities. The messages often include Biblical references and begin with passages like the one quoted below:
My Dearly Beloved,
It is by the grace of God that I received Christ, having known the truth, I had no choice than to do what is lawful and right in the sight of God for eternal life and in the sight of man for witness of God’s mercy and glory upon my life
The emails go on to explain that the sender is severely incapacitated due to a terminal illness. Supposedly, the sender requires help to access funds in a bank account and then distribute them to charity.
Presently, I’m in a hospital in Kenya where I have been undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer.I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have only a few weeks to live.It is my last wish to see this money distributed to charity organizations any where in the World. ….. Please, I beg you in the name of God to help me Stand and collect the Funds from the Bank. I want a person that is God fearing that will use this money to fund churches, orphanages and widows propagating the word of God and to ensure that the house of God is maintained.
Of course, underneath the Christian rhetoric these messages are just typical Nigerian scam emails. The “funds” do not exist nor do the swine perpetrating the scams have any intention of donating money to charity. As usual, the purpose of these emails is simply to initiate a dialogue with potential victims. If recipients reply to the emails, the criminals running these scams will subsequently attempt to draw them deeper into the fraudulent scheme via further emails, letters, faxes or phone calls. Victims will eventually be asked to part with their own money, supposedly to allow the “deal” to proceed. This money will not be used for its intended purpose. Instead, money sent by victims will line the greedy pockets of the scammers. Fraudulent requests for fees will usually continue until the victim realizes he or she is being conned and stops sending money. The scammers may also manage to collect enough personal information about the victim to steal his or her identity.
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