Nigeria/Africa Masterweb News Report
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Prince of 419 scam rips himself off
- Frank Walker
(Monday, November 1, 2004)
Many of us have been angered by endless scam emails and letters offering millions of dollars if you send details of your bank account and some money to clear the way. But a computer operator in the UK decided to do something about it. He decided to scam the scammers, and ended up getting $129 from them in a hilarious sting.
Computer "scambaiter" Mike (no surname given), 42, received a random email from a man claiming to be Prince Joe Eboh, chairman of a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Eboh said he needed to get money out of Nigeria and was offering to transfer $US25 million to Mike's account if he would send his bank details. Mike was promised $6.25 million if he helped.
Mike sent an email back, calling himself Father Hector and saying he would love to help but he could only have business dealings with members of his religious order, the Holy Church of the Order of the Red Breast. Eboh said, of course, he would convert. Mike sent him details on how to paint a red circle over his breast to join.
Eboh duly sent Mike a picture of himself with painted breast and signed a membership form vowing not to covet his neighbour's ass, to never listen to hip-hop and to honour the words of church guru Shiver Metimbers. Eboh pleaded for $18,000 to register the church in Nigeria so he could transfer the $25 million.
Mike hit back, saying that under church rules he had to pay a clearance fee of $80 before he could withdraw $18,000. As a monk he had no money and asked Eboh for it.
Surprisingly, Eboh sent Mike the money by courier, which cost him $49. Eboh was down $129. He then got a message from church elder Father Mike Myers saying Father Hector had run off with $18,000 in church funds. Father Hector sent a last email telling Eboh he had lost the money investing in a business exporting snow to Siberia and run off to join a circus.
Mike said the scamster was caught by the same thing that trapped his victims: greed.
"It's greed that makes this scam work," Mike said from his Manchester home. "The prince was desperate to get $18,000 and the scammer was scammed by his own greed."
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