Would you like to receive 6.75 million dollars just for helping an official release funds tied up by the death of the depositor? That is the promise of one version of the Nigerian Scam.
You are probably familiar with the Nigerian Scam. If not, Snopes has an excellent and thorough description of it.
Text of the Chastain Nigerian Scam Email
A Second (First) Chastain Nigerian Scam Email
Barrister Luke Robertson Scam
Collins Wood Scam
The Snopes introduction:
Scam: A wealthy foreigner who needs help moving millions of dollars from his homeland promises a hefty percentage of this fortune as a reward for assisting him.
Status: Real fraud which costs its victim anywhere from a few thousand dollars up to hundreds of thousands.
We have received many Nigerian Scam emails, as perhaps you have. They do not all purport to come from Nigeria. But on June 20, 2007, we received our first Nigerian Scam email customized to Chastains. I am sure many of you received it as well. The text is given below. We copied and pasted it, so there are no changes to the text except that we eliminated part of the contact information so we are not responsible for trapping anyone who cannot resist responding to such an offer, and we have highlighted the Chastain connections.
Note the problems of spelling, capitalization, and grammar, which are surprising from a professional with an English name. This is typical of this scam.
Since posting this first document, we continue to receive Nigerian scams addressed specifically to Chastains. We will post them here.
S.A Thompson & Associate
xx xxxxxx rd Apapa
Direct Line: +xxx-xxx-xxxxxxx
This Letter might come as a surprise to you, especially since we have never met or discussed before. Basically, the message might sound strange, but it is in fact, very real. If only you care to know, The truth is that I should have notified you first through a more confidential means even if it is at least to respect your integrity, please accept my humble apologies if I had caught you unawares. I frankly do not mean any harm in passing my goodwill message.
I am Barrister Sam Thompson. A solicitor at law. I am the personal attorney to Mr. Mark Chastain, a foreigner who is an expertrate with Nigerian Oil development.
My Client Mr. Mark, and whole family wife and 2 kids died in bomb blast in Lagos Nigeria on Sunday, 2 february 2003. take a look at the bellow website for you perusal.
My Client deposited the sum of $15m with a finance company for himself without a written or oral "will" attached to his properties and deposited fund, with the hope of transferring it to his country as soon as he is on leave. Since his death I have made several enquiries to locate any of my clients extended relatives this has also proved unsuccessful.
After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to trace his last name over the Internet, to locate any member of his family hence I contacted you. I contacted you to assist in repatriating the money and property left behind by my client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the Finance Company where this huge deposit were lodged articularly, the finance company where the deceased had the deposit valued at about $15million dollars has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have his deposited Fund confiscated within the next ten official working days.
Since i have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 2 years now, I am seeking for your consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased so that the proceeds of this fund valued at $15million dollars can be Claim by you.
On your wiliness to assist me i have agreed on this sharing ratio 50% to me and 45% to you, while 5% is mapped out for any expenses or tax as may be required my your government. we have to obtain all necessary legal documents that can be used to back up any claim we are making.
All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.
Please get in touch with me by email also forward your full names and address, your private telephone and fax number, age,sex and occupation for the transition of the required documents.
upon the receipt of your response i will advice you on how to contact the Bank directly before the fund gets confiscated.
Barrister Sam Thompson
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Four months after posting the Nigerian Scam above, I discovered a scam email we received on February 18, 2006. I filed it for future reference and forgot it. So in fact, this is the first scam we received customized to Chastains. Again, the text is unaltered except for highlighting the Chastain connections and masking the contact information.
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
I know that this mail will come to you as surprise since we have not met nor known each other before but I would like you to treat it like a blood brother affair and with utmost urgency it requires. I am Barrister FEMI FALANA, a solicitor at law. I am the personal and family attorney to late Mr Smith Chastain, a national of your country, who used to work with MOBIL OIL PRODUCING CO LIMITED. Here in after shall be referred to as my client. On the 21st of December, 2002, my client, his wife and their only daughter were involved in a plane crash. All occupants of the plane unfortunately lost there lives. Since then I have made several enquiries to your embassy here to locate any of my clients extended relatives, but this has also proved unsuccessful.
After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to contact you to assist in repartrating the fund valued at US$7.5million left behind by my client before it gets confisicated as it has been unserviciable since the death of my client.The AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (ADB), where this huge amount were deposited. has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin to my late or have the account confisicated within the next 2 months. For the fact that I have been unsuccesfull in locating the relatives forover 2 years now, I seek the consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased, as It does not necessary matter if you are either related by blood or not hence I contacted you, "so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to your account and both of us can share it on 50% each.
I have all necessary information and legal documents needed to back you up for claim. All I require from you is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through. Also I am aware of international monitoring of movement of large scale amount since after the september 11 terrorist attact on the United States and and as a lawyer, all the necessary documents that will exononerate the fund from money laundering, drug or Terrorist related will be provided. I guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. Please get in touch with me strictly through this secure mail address for more details (email@example.com).
From: Barrister Luke Robertson
I am Barrister Luke Robertson,an Attorney at law, and the Personal lawyer to Engineer W.A.Chastain,a citizen of your country who used to work as research and production technology in Shell oil company of Togo,Hereinafter shall be referred to as my client.
On the 21st of April,2003,my client,his wife and their two children were involved in a car accident along Karra-Sokode expressway while arriving from a Holiday to Lome.All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their lives. Since then,I have made several inquiries to locate any of my clients extended relatives and this has also proved unsuccessful.
I am contacting you to assist me in claiming the sum of US$14.2 million, which the deceased deposited with a bank in lome-Togo for safekeeping.
The BANK has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin of my late client or have the deposit with them declared an "bandoned Property"through the laid down legal procedures within one Month.
Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over one year now,I therefore,seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased since you have the same name so that the proceed of this deposit valued at US$14.2 million can be released to you, and I and you can share the money at an agreed proportion.You will be required to provide a safe account or open a new account where the mentioned fund will be transfered.
Upon your acceptance to this proposal,the information of the bank will be furnished to you so that you establish a contact with them and inform them of your readiness to claim the deposit with them.
Every secret information relating to the deposit will be given to you which you shall use to identify yourself as the next of kin of my late client.Please contact me as soon as possible.send your personal telephone and fax numbers
Barrister Luke Robertson(Esq)
I got to know of you in search for a reputable and reliable person to assist me in an urgent need requiring utmost trust and confidentiality. I am Mr. Collins Wood, the financial adviser to my Late client.He used to bank with us here at Union Bank Plc. He worked with Addax oil as a contractor . I am writing this letter to ask for your support and co-operation to carry out this business opportunity in my department.
We discovered an abandoned sum of US$8.615million in the account of Mr. Chastain our foreign customer who died along with his entire family of a wife and three children in April, 2006 in a plane crash.
Since we heard of his death, we have been expecting his next of kin to come over and put claims for his money as the heir, because we can not release the fund from his account unless someone applies for the claims as the next of kin to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines.
Until his untimely death his name was Kevin J. Chastain.
Unfortunately, neither their family member nor distant relatives has ever appeared to claim the fund. Upon this discovery, I and other officials in my department have agreed to make a deal with you and release the fund into your account as the heir of the money, since no one came for it or discovered the maintained account with our Bank otherwise the fund will be returned to the bank's treasury as unclaimed fund.
After the successful completion of this transaction,one of my colleagues and I will come to your country and mind our percentage.
It is from our share we intend import medical equipments into my country as a way of recycling the fund. To commence this transaction, we require you to immediately indicate your interest by a return e-mail at this my private address (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com) Then enclose your private contacts telephone and fax numbers, your full name to enable us file letter of claim to the appropriate department in the Ministry for necessary approvals before the transfer can be made easily.
Please, this transaction must be kept strictly confidential because of it's nature.
I await your immediate response.
Mr. Collins Wood.