Nigerian scam

I nearly fell for the Nigerian scam. I had an e-mall purporting to be from one of my friends, an elderly female, in her 70s, saying she was working for a charity in Nigeria concerned with racism HIV/AIDS. She said she had left her money & documents in a taxi.


Personally I am always very careful not to fall for these things but I suppose because I was concerned, worried in fact about her,


She said she had left all her things in a taxi.


There was much odd about the e-mail which I should have spotted. For example, what was doing there by herself? If she was not there by herself the people she was with would have helped her out & she would have gone to the British consulate. There was some odd spelling, in fact American spelling.


I was just about to go home when it came through. If it had come through 10 minutes later, in fact I wouldn’t have seen it until the next day…..


I was going to tell her off for going to a country like Nigeria buy herself. Instead I told her off for giving her password to somebody else. In fact I read on the internet that it is possible to break into an e-mail account without the password. Actually I doubt that. The truth is much more likely to be that people give really rather obvious words as passwords. For example religious people might have love, pope, church, religion, archbishop.


The MP for Kensington North who is called Sarah McCarthy Fry was hit by the same scam on the same day, namely Monday


This is the link


In her case, I suspect that she said to someone something like, oh can you look at my Hotmail, my password is….well I bet it was something like parliament or primeminister or Portsmouth, something not impossible to guess.


Luckily my bank wouldn’t send the money, for which I thank them. Plus I had no credit or debit card because it is late (very late) in coming through; again luckily. I e-mailed a mutual friend asking him to send the money & I would give him a cheque when I was due to see him later on in the week.


I was going to withdraw what cash I could from the bank. I was seriously worried about her. I didn’t notice that the way the e-mail was worded wasn’t like her at all. I did think it was strange & unlike her to go on a trip of any description by herself. She does get around but usually when she goes abroad, it is either to see relatives or with a group of other people on an organised trip.


I phoned up Western Union first thing in the morning to find out how to go about sending money via them & I then went out & looked at my e-mails en route. The mutual friend had e-mailed me saying (I paraphrase) don’t send any money, phone me, this is my phone number. I phoned him & he said (inter alia) that he had seen her on Thursday & she made no mention of any sort of trip abroad & that he knew she was around on the Friday as well & she was fine but had made no mention of any trip abroad. I was almost completely convinced now & then she phoned me & I knew for sure.


They have stolen her e-mail account by changing her password so that she can’t get into it. The people in Nigeria have been sending the same e-mail to everybody in her address book, some of which she has no way of contacting because the e-mail address is the only contact information she has about them. Some of her acquaintances must have sent off some money. What is to be done about this? Are they going to say to her, look I sent this money because you were stupid enough to give away your password, can you please repay me? If I had sent some money, honestly I don’t know….

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