Thursday, September 10, 2009


When I saw the email subject "ARE YOU STILL ALIVE," I assumed it was from my friend Suzanne, who writes all in caps (in a 20 point font) and will title emails things like "WHERE ARE YOU?" if I don't reply within a few hours. But it was not. It was what is now my favorite Nigerian scam letter, which tells me that a man has reported me dead in order to claim 2.5 million dollars owed me by the Nigerian government.

I like this one a lot. It's got a clever hook and a detailed story that not only makes you think you have money coming, but that someone is trying to steal it from you.

I liked it so much, I even emailed back a reply: " No, I am dead, and Mr. Johnson is welcome to the money, as I have no use for it in heaven. Thank you for your kind attention."

Here's the letter:

Attention Beneficiary,
We write to confirm if there will be any response from any of your relations concerning what we just heard from a man named Mr. Paul Johnson about yourself.
He came to our office today and informed us that you are dead and during your illness you willed him to claim your us$2.5m compensation that the Federal
Government mapped out to compensate those that were defrauded by the impostors in the local banks here in Nigeria. This was in line with an agreement reached
between this Ministry, The President of Nigeria, ALH. UMARU YAR’ADUA, The National Assembly, The World Bank, The Financial Crime Enforcement Network
(FINCEN), The United Nation (UN), The Economic & Financial Crime commission (EFCC) and The International Monetary Fund (IMF). These organizations has agreed
to compensate you with the above mentioned fund. Consequently an order of payment has been given to us via approval order No: PRES/CONT/101/2009/A.
With Ref No: BN/OHG/OXD1/2009 and Your payment file number is: BN/BEN/09 to release your ATM Card to you and also inform you about the payment. But very
surprisingly to us Mr. Paul Johnson made things very clear to us that you are dead and he is the only person you disclosed this matter with and you have
instructed him to come and claim the money if you did not make it which he came for.
We hereby decided to officially send this massage to your mail box in order to deliver this message in case if anyone has access to your mail box so that
they will know about this development and to find out if the information we received from the above named man is truth and to confirm if you are truly dead
or still alive. Failure to reply back in the next 24hrs simply means that what Mr. Paul Johnson said is truth that you are dead. Mr. Paul Johnson has even
ordered us to release your ATM card that contains $753, 000.00 to Mr. David Anderson from the United States of America. He want us to sign all the approval
documents in his favour and urged us to tell him what it will cost him to complete the process of delivering the ATM card to Mr. David Anderson home address
which he provides us with. He has agreed to pay the mailing fee for delivering the ATM card to Mr. David Anderson address in the next 48 hours.
Meanwhile, if the information we receive about you is false, kindly indicate to us because your ATM card is still intact with us as we have not changed any
information in favour of Mr. Paul Johnson. We have finalize arrangement concerning delivery of your ATM card pending when we hear from you and also receive
the delivery fee to deliver your ATM card to your home address. And you can start withdrawal of US$5,000.00 per day immediately you receive the ATM Card.
With this you are required to send to us the delivery fee of your ATM card to us so that we can deliver the card your address through Federal Diplomatic
delivery within the next 48 hours. You are advised in your own interest to reply back so we can stop further communication with Mr. Paul Johnson and Mr.
David Anderson.
In view of this development, you are requested to contact the Director Foreign Operations (ATM) Department, Mr. Francis Michael who is going to sign the
final release documents before your ATM card will be dispatched to your address. Contact him on the following E-mail address:
Be informed that delivery will be made to your address within 48 hours and the delivery receipt and the Airway Bill number will be included to enable you
track it yourself. Call Mr. Francis Michael immediately you receive this message on the following telephone number: +234170-2319-1188

Yours truly,

Manager (ATM) Department Payment Center.