How to respond to a 419 letter from Nigeria
I didn’t think that there are people in Europe and America still that gullible. One of them recently let go as much as $75, 000.00 (that’s the latest figure EFCC is investigating) because they have been told by a faceless someone from the dark continent of the world that they would get ten percent of $12.5million deposited in an escrow account in Switzerland or wherever. Our perception of you guys is that you are smart asses: you’ve been to the moon, conquered time and space and brought Communism to its knees via the instrumentality of the CIA. So how come an average American or European would just be tenderly led by the nose by this cock-and-bull story about some monies trapped somewhere, and which they need you help them steal by presenting fraudulent papers to the government?
There should be no other answer to this apart from the incidence of pure, undiluted greed on the part of those who respond positively to those letters. Capture this scenario of an American or European whose every dime is taxed. Suddenly from the blues he receives a ‘confidential’ letter from a bogey Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Managing Director that he stands a chance of receiving tax free monies if he helps the bogey official retrieve about $12.5million trapped somewhere as a result of a change in government or on one flimsy reason. Come on now, common sense should let you know that you should report such cases to the police, that is, if you are not greedy or are not interested in stealing. Sometimes I wonder how it is that these people who are conned are conned using the instruments (the internet, mobile phones, fax machines etcetera) that are the products of a lot of years of hardwork and research from Europe and America. How could anybody just tell you who is supposed to be the smart dude that there are a lot of monies to be stolen somewhere and you do not bother to check this out? How come you don’t check the official website of the said company out in this age of the information superhighway; you don’t contact your country’s embassy and you begin to send gift items and money to whomsoever you’ve never known from Grandfather Adam? This is not a far-fetched assertion but for those of you who actually respond to those letters with a mind to steal from Nigeria, I put it to you that you are plain rogues, attempting to reap where you have not sown. Wait, let me rephrase: that, any ways is how those who send those letters see you in the first place. They see the average American or European (who respond to their letters of “urgent business proposal”) as vultures, birds that feed on dead and decaying meat and are ready meat to be fed upon too by far greedier and hungrier vultures. Those who send you these letters have this preconceived, albeit wrong notion that all of the problems of poverty prevalent in Africa were generated by Europe and America. Hosts have read How Europe Underdeveloped Africa and are in a killer mood, ready to get a pound of flesh from you. Then, as you pick up your phone to respond or click send on your computer as response to that ‘confidential letter of urgent business proposal’, you serve yourself as sushi to them.
O how I wish you would just be here to see these fellows who send you these letters of urgent business proposals and who are either the ‘Managing Directors’ of big government parastatals or Chairmen of Contract Review Panels. They are in fact school drop outs, unemployed graduates, homeless tramps and victims of government insensitivity. In a word, I should say that they are layabouts without a visible means of income. You, who respond to their ‘proposals’ for business are their invisible means of very juicy income. You are the reason why some of us cannot conduct legitimate, international businesses involving cash or cashless fund transfers. And I guess you know why this is so. All over the world, it is said Nigerians are fraudsters and I don’t think this is fair an assessment. Nigerians are seen as fraudsters only to the extent that there are more fraudsters in Europe and America, willing to collude with these layabouts to reap where they have not sown. If those of you who collude with them had been successful with the ‘transfer’, the stealing of funds from Nigeria would anybody be saying that Nigerians are fraudulent people? I guess not.
So my friends in the Americas and in Europe, there is this one little formula I have put in place to prevent you from getting seduced and ripped off your hard-earned money. And it is based on the kind of response you give when that scam letter or proposal gets to you.
Number one: do not respond to that letter. Don’t think about it. If you do, I take it you’re a petty rogue and don’t blame anyone if you get your fingers burnt. There is a common saying that if you have to have lunch with the devil, use a very long spoon. Yes but that is what you are doing right now if you respond and when you do respond positively, the devil will have you as lunch. You stand no chance of having the devil for lunch and at the end of the meal with you as meat, you will be the ultimate loser. These scallywags here build mansions and buy choice cars here with your money, so there!
Number two: Respond if you must and type in the three-word phrase in Nigerian pidgin, and in upper case letters: YOU BE TIF! What this means in Nigerian pidgin is that you recognize the proposal for what it actually stands for and you accuse the bogey Chairman of the contract Review Panel of being a petty thief. Chances are that he will never bother you again because either he thinks you know what his game is or that you are a Nigerian and that you know his game. Try it. Type YOU BE TIF as your response and like Mr. Grimwig in Oliver Twist, I will eat my head if you get more correspondence from the so-called Chairman.
Number three: report the proposal to the embassy of your country from where the proposal came from. Ask them to use their sources to investigate the proposal. A long time ago, about 1995 I got a letter from one Environs, an outfit claiming to be Canadian and promising me heaven here on earth. All I did was write to the Canadian Embassy here in Lagos. When they responded I was shocked. The embassy said they had employed every means at their disposal to trace Environs but their efforts didn’t produce any lead. They told me I could continue to communicate with Environs if I wished but I should not under any circumstances offer any financial commitment until I cleared with them. And that was what I did. This was 1995 or thereabouts.
Number four: report the proposal to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The EFCC is a Nigerian economic and financial crimes bulldog or rottweiler that we have a lot of respect for on account of the way they have been able to haul in financial criminals in Nigeria. Very recently, the Body published the names of those we all know as ‘respected’ politicians but who are in fact people of questionable character, in their official website. You could get the EFCC on that website via the search engine Google.