Wednesday, February 6, 2002

The second most interesting e-mail I received today was from an employee at TEKsystems, about a Unix/NT sysadmin job. I called the sender and expressed interest in the position. I should hear more about that today or tomorrow.

The most interesting e-mail I received tdoay was this:

Subject: urgent and confidential
From: madam abacha <>
Date: Wednesday February 06, 2002 — 06:35 PM

Dear friend, I am Mrs. Mariam Abacha, the widow of Sani Abacha THE Late Nigerian Head of State. You were introduced to me through the Chamber of Commerce. I am presently in distress and under house arrest while my son Mohammed is undergoing trial in Lagos and Abuja. He is presently detained in prison custody. The government has frozen all the family account and auctioned all our properties. To save the family from total bankruptcy I have managed to ship through an undercover courier company, the sum of US20, 000,000.00.kept by my late husband. The money was disguised to beat the Nigerian Security and it is currently deposited in a security company. I want you to receive the money and pay into your Account for the family safely. I am offering you 30% for assisting me secure this money fast before it is located by the Nigerian Government Agents. Contact me immediately with my Email Address so that I can forward to you all necessary details. Endeavour to send you phone and fax numbers for easy Communications. Best regards. Mrs. Mariam Abacha

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Rather breathtaking, isn’t it? This isn’t your typical “make thousands of dollars” scam; this promises six million dollars. Its over-the-top story is rife with ridiculous inconsistencies. She’s under house arrest but able to use a net connection? Her family is so close to bankruptcy she only managed to squirrel away twenty million dollars?

It turns out that Mariam Abacha really exists, and that she really is the widow of Nigeria’s late head of state, Sani Abacha. The rest of it is a well-known scam, though.

For some reason, the one-line Yahoo! Valentine card seems to offset the whole thing poignantly to me.

I’ve replied with a fake name, saying oh no!!! what can i do to help???, just to see what happens next. I won’t give the scammers any actual information about me (except my e-mail address, obviously, but they already have that).

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