Friday, August 10, 2012

The Nigerian scam, now with the IMF and World Bank

I was rather amused when a friend forwarded this:

From: United Nation []
Sent: Friday, August 10, 2012 4:47 AM
Subject: Update

On behalf of the entire Staff of the United Nation and the Federal Government of Nigeria in collaboration with IMF and World Bank. We apologise for the delay of your Contract Payment and all the Inconveniences you encountered while pursuing this payment. However,from the Records of outstanding Contractors due for payment with the Federal Government of Nigeria, your Name and Company was discovered as next on the list of the outstanding Contractors who have not yet received their payments. I wish to inform you now that the square peg is now in square hole and your payment is being processed and will be released to you as soon as you respond to this letter. Also note that from the record in my file, your outstanding Contract Payment is US$5,700,000.00 (Five Million Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars). Kindly re-confirm to me the followings: Your Full Name: Your Complete Address (Physical Address with Zip Code not P.O.BOX) : Name of City of Residence: Country: Direct Telephone Number: Mobile Number: Nearest airport: Working Identity Card/Int'l Passport: Occupation: Position: As soon as the above mentioned details are received, your payment will be made to you via diplomatic courier delivery inaccordance to World Bank and IMF recommendations. A diplomat with international travel immunity will be contracted to deliver the funds at your doorstep. YOURS SINCERELY, Smith Murry(BSC) Funds Delievery Unit 

Technically termed an advance fee fraud, it is a very old scam, originating in the 1980's according to Wikipedia. The surprising thing is that will all the exposure the scam has got, people still keep falling for it, the fact that the scammers keep using the same technique is proof enough of this.

It is a combination of greed and gullibility that makes the scam workable, the right combination of these characteristics results in a suspension of that all too rare commodity, common sense.

Speaking of which, the Ponzi scheme listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange should start getting into difficulties within the next, oh five years or so. It may prompt a revisit of the more absurd aspects of IFRS accounting as well, I think. 

No comments: