REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE-STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL
I am Dr. Bakare Tunde, the cousin of Nigerian Astronaut, Air Force Major Abacha Tunde. He was the first African in space when he made a secret flight to the Salyut 6 space station in 1979. He was on a later Soviet spaceflight, Soyuz T-16Z to the secret Soviet military space station Salyut 8T in 1989. He was stranded there in 1990 when the Soviet Union was dissolved. His other Soviet crew members returned to earth on the Soyuz T-16Z, but his place was taken up by return cargo. There have been occasional Progrez supply flights to keep him going since that time. He is in good humor, but wants to come home.
In the 14-years since he has been on the station, he has accumulated flight pay and interest amounting to almost $ 15,000,000 American Dollars. This is held in a trust at the Lagos National Savings and Trust Association. If we can obtain access to this money, we can place a down payment with the Russian Space Authorities for a Soyuz return flight to bring him back to Earth. I am told this will cost $ 3,000,000 American Dollars. In order to access the his trust fund we need your assistance.
Consequently, my colleagues and I are willing to transfer the total amount to your account or subsequent disbursement, since we as civil servants are prohibited by the Code of Conduct Bureau (Civil Service Laws) from opening and/ or operating foreign accounts in our names.
Needless to say, the trust reposed on you at this juncture is enormous. In return, we have agreed to offer you 20 percent of the transferred sum, while 10 percent shall be set aside for incidental expenses (internal and external) between the parties in the course of the transaction. You will be mandated to remit the balance 70 percent to other accounts in due course.
In other news today, because of the persistent ridicule of the planet “Uranus”, scientist rename plant to “Urectum
Simply Google “latest scams” and you’ll see millions of news alerts about some of the latest scams, but doing this might give you results that are irrelevant and unnecessary. What’s worse is that skipping through the trash, you might even miss something that IS important.
What’s better is developing some skills of knowing where to look to up your chances of finding relevant information.
Lifehacker posted Three Common Strategies Behind Most Scams. Read it. They simplified an article from Consumer Reports, The Science of Scams which gives details on how scammers manipulate us into divulging information:
Three Sneaky Strategies
- Creating a connection. A scammer’s first task is to gain your trust so you will not question his motivations. Scammers look for hot-button issues they can use to create a connection. They’ll ask benign questions about your health, your family, your political views, or your hobbies. They may have already checked you out on social media to find revealing traits, such as the fact that you’re single or a military veteran, then use that information for the “sales pitch.”
- Establishing credibility. Scammers use lots of techniques to make themselves look legit. They may claim to be from a real business or organization—say, the Internal Revenue Service if they’re pushing the IRS scam, or a government agency purporting to award you a grant. They may “spoof” a real phone number to fool your Caller ID or hand over a fake business card. If they’re contacting you by email, they may use a phony website that looks similar to the real one—www.wesernunion.com, for example. The scammer’s goal is to look and sound so convincing that you don’t bother to check out his real credentials.
- Playing on your emotions. Scammers leverage your emotions to get you to make a quick decision before you have time to think. The lottery scam preys on the desire to get rich quickly and easily, the grandparent scam plays on the natural instinct to help a relative who’s supposedly in trouble, and the natural disaster scam exploits our generosity for people in need.
It is also good to look at places like your service providers (e.g. Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, T-Mobile, etc.) if they have notices of the latest scams. The FTC also provides a listing of a scams that have been reported to them. This is not the whole, but just a part. Check verified, credible sources as your first stop.
Since 1995, Snopes.com has been proving people with rumor research and fact-checking. It has become the “go-to” site for rumor-checking for the last 20 years.
Read Howard Rheingold’s About section for words that only he can express about him so succinctly. In addition to the numerous books he’s written, he provides links on his website to resources (updated as of 2013) on Crap Detection.
He’s also done TED talks and talked about his book Net Smart.
An email to Anorak said Nigerian Astronaut Abacha Tunde needs $3 million US dollars to return home. No one fell for it and called it hilarious. But it made its way around.
Sophos, a security company that provides free and pay antivirus and firewall software, also provides “the latest email and virus hoax information.” You can do a category search or alphabetical search for key or buzz words.
But seriously, Donald Simanek, who authored the website that the above image originates, is actually pointing out the ridiculousness of pseudoscience and surrounding some of the hoaxes out there, even backed with scientific evidence.
According to Snopes.com, the beginnings of the Dihydrogen Monoxide hoax started when two Florida DJs did a prank for April Fools Day, 2013. City officials all the way in California were concerned. Word spread, people panicked, and the DJs were in trouble.
Dihydrogen Monoxide is H20 – water.
Problem: Nigeria has a federal republic, with an elected president. There is no Nigerian Prince. The scam of a Nigerian Prince needing money is a lie and don’t fall for the classic email scam.
Why Nigeria? Where did this all begin? PC World has some background. These types of scams – Advance Fee Scams – are easily avoidable if you remain a skeptic to anyone asking for money.