Shiny New Scam Tricks!

Today’s scam email from the ol’ Junk folder this morning is some juicy stuff in the ever-evolving literature of the 419 game, although not a new move (examples like it date from at least eight or nine years ago):

alliance with economic community of West African states
(ECOWAS) with head Office here in Nigeria. We have been
working towards the eradication of fraudsters and scam
Artists in Western part of Africa With the help of United
States Government and the United Nations and some corrupt
official adminstrators Mr Ibrahim Lamorde has been sacked
who happen to be the former EFCC chairman.We have been able to track down so many
of this scam artist in various parts of west African
countries which includes (NIGERIA, REPUBLIC OF BENIN, TOGO,
GHANA CAMEROUN AND SENEGAL) and they are all in our custody
here in Lagos Nigeria.We have been able to recover so much
money from these scam artists. The United Nation Anti-crime
commission and the United State Government have ordered the
money recovered from the Scammers to be shared among 100
Lucky people around the globe.This email is being directed to you
because your email address was found in one of the scam
Artists file and computer hard disk in our custody here in
Nigeria and with the information gartered from this Scam
artist, you notice that you have been scammed of so much
money and have decided to compensate you with a little token
to recover the lost of your fund. You are therefore being
compensated with the total sum $ 2.5 Million Dollars. We have
also arrested all those who claim that they are barristers,
bank officials, Inheritance, Lottery Agents who has money for transfer or
want you to be the next of kin of such funds which does not
exist.Since your name appeared among the
lucky beneficiaries who will receive a compensation of
US $ 2.5 Million, we have made arrangement to register an
Online Banking through our Global Bank, where you will have
full access to your Online Banking Account Fund, to transfer
your fund personally to your Private Bank Account with no
complication of things or questioning as the Account will be
fully registered in your Name.

Feel free to contact the processing
officer Mr. Ben Lawson . The online Banking Processing
It is made much easier for you to transfer your fund to your
private Bank Account personally, to avoid any delay or
complication of things. With this Online Banking Transfer
Processing, you can only transfer the Maximum Amount of
US $ 500.000.00 daily / install mentally until the total amount
of your Compensated / deposited fund is transferred and
completely paid to you and also if you choose to recieve your
payment VIA ATM CARD its is still accepted so you get back to her
with your choice of payment.

So you are advice to contact,
processing officer Mr. Ben Lawson  with your provided
information? required for verification below.

CELL PHONE: +234 810 967 0102

Provide the information below to enable
the processing of your Online Banking Account for deposition
of your total compensated fund.


Contact Mr. Ben Lawson  with the
information required for verification to enable her start
the processing of your Online Banking Account
We guarantee your safety and wish you
the best of luck.

Best Regard,
Mr. Ibrahim Mustafa Magu

There are two key points of interest here:

1. This is another lovely shift in the pitch. The last one like this that I shared involved a message that basically instructed the mark to trust these crooks, not those other crooks. This time, the scammers have taken the basic conceit of the 419 scam, stirred in likely awareness of the game itself on the part of the marks, and tried to take advantage of that awareness. Why, it’s almost clever! This is the sort of move that could a) snag old marks for more loot, and b) catch greedy folks that scams of this sort aim for, but haven’t yet caught.

2. Pay close attention to the name of the banking contact: Ben Lawson. Young Ben has been a naughty (fictional) boy for years in 419-land. He’s a man of many talents, and he sure gets around — in addition to being the Processing Officer for the EFCC’s financial restitution program, he is also:

a) A Claims Agent for the Publisher’s Clearing House

b) A barrister (advocate and solicitor) in Benin (and other places)

c) The Chair of the United Nations Compensation Program (another variation on the restitution version of the 419 scam described above)

Such a grand career — and this is only the tip of the Lawson iceberg!
I wish I had the time to really work on the tropes of 419-Lit. I’m sure someone’s done it (beyond the nice general work done over at TV Tropes), but I haven’t found it yet. It might be interesting, for example, to find out why Ben Lawson seemed like a good, trustworthy name to use (Lawson, eh? Hurhurhur)


About L. M. Bernhardt

For a good long while (15 years or so), I taught philosophy at a little private university in northwest IA, and occasionally branched out into playing music, dabbling in photography, experimenting with food, and writing nonsense on my blog. The philosophy teaching part ended in 2017 (program elimination via prioritization), but never fear! I've just finished my MLIS at San Jose State University, and I'm currently on the market looking for new adventures in either philosophy or LIS. For now, I labor at a fairly interesting administrative job in order to support my dogs in the lavish manner to which they've become accustomed.
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