Nigerian get rich scheme

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Dear Hillary,

My name is Oghale Lawrence, a member of the Presidential Task Force on Oil Spillage Clean-up. Early last year there was a major oil spillage in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. The contract was handled by a foreign firm but we decided to over-invoice the contract sum.

Now the contract has been completed and the original contractor has since been paid, but the contract balance of US$38 million has been left in a suspense account with the Central Bank of Nigeria. The problem is as government officials, we are not supposed to own fat bank accounts, talk less of having foreign ones.

We are soliciting your assistance as a foreign partner who can assist us and receive this amount into your account. We are ready to share this money with you. For providing the account where we shall remit this money, you will be entitled to 25 percent of the entire funds, 70 percent will be for me and my partners, while 5 percent has been set aside to cover any expenses that may be incurred by both parties during this transaction, both local and international.

Please I enjoin you to handle this transaction with utmost degree of maturity and confidentiality because I am still in active government service with the “Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation”.

Oghale Lawrence

Dear Oggie,

Sending uninvited “invitations” such as this to a newspaper is a sure-fire way to keep things confidential. However, Hillary is well aware of your particular scam, which has been doing the rounds for about 15 years. It works because people get blinded by the thought of 25 percent of 38 million USD (before you rush to the electronic calculator, it is 9.5 million), and it sounds as if you don’t have to pay out anything. You do, and Oggie and his mates would tantalize you with messages that there is only one more step, but they have to pay somebody off, so just send another X dollars for stamp duty, transfer, etc., and the money will be released. They, of course, cannot touch the 38 million because it is frozen until it is sent to your account, so are unable to pay the stamp duty themselves. Pattaya, if you haven’t seen one of these scam letters – there it is. Put it in the circular file immediately. Oh yes, Oggie, oil spillage is a great place for you, you slippery character.

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