Understanding The Internet

As with all useful commodities, there will be people who will take advantage to try and fill their pockets with wealth. The 'Net' is no exception. There are cyberspace thieves, who will take advantage of the power of it to gain wealth.

Lately, for some reason, the drilling world has been plagued with what can be called, "The Nigerian Scam." The scammers have in the past used e-mail to get their message across. Just recently there has been news as to the scammers using telephones and fax numbers.

To make the drilling public more aware of the scam, below are two e-mails. Read them and take note of the contents, because you may receive one with somewhat different contents but with the same message of trying to obtain your bank account number.

=============================== From: kudi ajao Subject: Re: BUSINESS PROPOSAL (STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL)


It is my great pleasure in writing you this letter on behalf of myself and y colleagues.

Your particulars were given to me by a member of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) who was at the Federal Government Delegation to your country during a trade exhibition. I have decided to seek a confidential cooperation with you in the execution of the deal described hereunder for the benefit of all parties and hope you will keep it as top secret because of the nature of this business.

Within the Ministry of Petroleum Resources where I work as a Director, Project Implementation and with the cooperation of four other top officials, we have in our possession as overdue payment bills totaling Fourteen Million, Five Hundred Thousand U.S Dollars (US$14,500,000.00) which we want to transfer abroad with assistance and cooperation of a foreign company/individual to receive the said fund on our behalf or a reliable foreign non-company account to receive such funds. Moreso, we are handicapped in the circumstances as he Nigerian Civil Service Code of Conduct does not allow us civil servant to operate offshore account hence your importance in the whole transaction.

The amount represents the balance of the total contract value executed on behalf of my Ministry by a foreign contracting firm which we the officials over-invoiced deliberately. Though the actual contract cost have been paid to the original contractor, leaving the balance in the tune of the said amount which we have in principles gotten approval to remit by Telegraphic Transfer (T.T) to a foreign bank account you will provide by filing in an application through the Federal Ministry of Justice for the transfer of rights and priviledges of the former contractor to you.

Since the new civilian government of my country is determined to pay every foreign contractor all debts owed so as to maintain good relationship with foreign government and non-government financial agencies, therefore we have decided to include our bills for approvals with the cooperation of some official for the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). We are seeking your assistance in providing a vital account or any virgin bank account into which we can remit this money by acting as our main partner and trustee. This we can do by swapping of account and changing of beneficiary and other forms of documentation upon application for claim to reflect the payment and approvals to be secured on behalf of you. These processes being pre-arranged with the principal trustee of the original contractor and with the consent of the original contractor.

I have the authority of my partners involved to propose that should you be willing to assist us in the transaction your share of the sum will be 30% of the US$14.5 million, 60% for us and 10% for taxation and miscelleneous expenses.

The business itself is based on trust and it is 100% safe on your part provided you treat it with utmost secrecy and confidentiality. Also your area of specialization is not a hindrance to the successful execution of this transaction. I have reposed my confidence in you and hope that you will not disappoint me. Call me on my direct Tel#.234-1-774-8043 to enable us discuss to indicate your willingness in assisting us.

Thanks for your cooperation.

Yours faithfully,

Dr. George Dike.

=============================== Attention: President/CEO


Dear Sir,

This letter may surprise you but you do not need to worry. I am a senior official of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

Some years ago various contracts were awarded to some foreign contractors ranging from supply of Aircraft parts to the renovation of various airports including their being equipped with Instrument Landing System (ILS). These contracts have long been completed and the foreign contractors duly paid but the total sum of Thirty Nine Million United States dollars (US$39,000,000.00) with which we over inflated these contracts has remained unpaid only because we need a foreign account to pay it into.

The major reason I am contacting you is that the only way to successfully get this money from my country is through telegraphic transfer into a foreign account yet as civil servants we are forbidden by Nigerian law to operate foreign accounts!

Thus if you provide us with your account or that of your company, you will officially demand the payment of the above mentioned amount having presumably done a contract for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria sometime in the past. Once all required documents, approval for which we shall secure on behalf of your company, are presented to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), where the money is currently being lodged, it will transfer the sum of $39,000,000.00 into your account.

Once we get confirmation from you, my colleagues and I will travel to your country to collect our share which we hope to invest in your country depending on the opportunities we see.

We have agreed among ourselves that:

1. We shall retain 65%;

2. You, the owner of the account, get 30%;

3. 5% is to be set aside to defray expenses that may be incurred by both sides in the course of the transaction.

Should my terms be acceptable to you, contact me immediately through this email address joeono123@yahoo.com stating:

1. Your name, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address;

2. Your Bank, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address;

3. Your account number.

Once I get above mentioned information, the business will be over in seven working days provided you send me other supporting documents when requested. It is worthy of note that this business is risk free as all the documents to be sent by you will be destroyed once you confirm to us that you have received the money in your account. It must be noted that your present business does not have to be related to aircraft handling before you can do this business.

In case you are not interested in this transaction let me know so that my search for a foreign partner across the globe will continue. Please treat as strictly


Best Regards,

Joe Ono

=============================== Interesting e-mails to receive. It's like finding a winning lottery ticket. Not so, instead it may cause more problems than you wish for. Suppose the e-mail message was true, you would be involved in a fraudulent act against the Nigerian authorities by receiving money you are not entitled to.

It appears the reason for the scam is to obtain your bank account information with intentions of removing some of your funds. It would be safer to delete the e-mail and forget about the pot of gold it offers.

Better yet, report receiving e-mails of this kind. Both of these e-mails have been reported. Both have been forwarded to the Consulate General of Nigeria by e-mail. The e-mail address is info@nigeria-consulate-atl.org and their Web site is at http://nigeria-consulate-atl.org/. To take it one step further, both were also e-mailed to Nigeria News at nigeria@nigerianews.net. The Web site for the Nigeria News is at http://nigerianews.net/. Also both have been forwarded to the e-mail account providers so action can be taken.

There may be pots of gold at the end of rainbows, but think twice about e-mail rainbows.