The Irish must be truly blessed with good fortune lately. Just a while ago it was British Prime Minister David Cameron emailing them with a notification they are owed millions by their treasury, but now an exiled elderly Irish lady on her deathbed is about to leave her late husband’s millions to some lucky person in Ireland. Or at least that is what the latest scam mail says.
Various phishing emails haven’t been breaking news for quite a while already, but the persistence and ingenuity with which the scammers are coming up with new angles each time is nonetheless fascinating. In the old days the spam was very generic, unselectively sent to millions globally. But since, the cybercriminals have learned the advantages of personalisation and targetted attacks. Ireland has become the target of many such attacks in the last couple of years, with the scam’s story somehow involving Ireland or the Irish, sometimes Irish banks, or even Irish language.
Here is the full text of the latest spam email:
I am Mrs. Esther Boateng, from republic of Ireland, born in the state of Ohio USA. I am legally married to Mr. John Boateng, a South Africa citizen born brought up in Switzerland,I live in Switzerland with my husband for 32 years before we move down to South Africa in 1985 after my husband retirement in 1974, I am 71 years old by the grace of god, I am a new Christian convert, suffering from long time cancer of the breast.
All indication from my doctor that my conditions is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious that I wouldn’t live more than two months, according to my doctors and in all indication regards to medical analysis.
This is because the cancer disease has gotten to a very bad stage that no hope for me to be a living person again. My dear husband was involved with the January 2000 Kenya airways plane crashed as you can see on the news line web site.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/662 )40 years period of marriage life, still we could not produce any child, my late husband was very wealthy and after his death, I inherited some part of his business and money in the bank.
The doctors has advised me that I may not live for more than one months and 2 weeks and warn me to decease from thinking over who is going to inherit me, today I have decided to donate contribute to the less privileges, charity and orphanage homes.
I made this decision after listing to the news line about 100 years old woman who secretly donate her fortune upon her death,
I choose you after viewing your profile and I have confident in you because I have prayed. I am willing to donate the sum of$10.5million U.S Dollars, to the less privileged.
Please I want you to note that this fund is still in the bank where my husband deposited it. I am going to advice my lawyer to change my last will to your name and file in an application for the transfer of the money in your name.
lastly, I honestly pray that this money when transferred will be used for the said purpose even though I am late then or alive, because I have come to find out that wealth acquisition without God is vanity according to the wisest king in israeling Solomon, and I made the promise to God that the fund will be use to help the needy and the less privilege.
May the grace of our lord the love of god and the fellowship of god be with you and your family, please further discussion contact me with my email address: email@example.com
I await urgent reply.
Mrs. Esther Boateng
But even while the email is written in an obviously poor English, with several contextual nonsenses, the scammers already score a little victory as soon as anyone replies. Someone takes the bait and once they get working on a victim, they make sure they can’t easily wiggle off the hook. These Advance Fee Frauds are often referred to as Nigerian scams or 419s (from the section of the Nigerian Criminal Code dealing with obtaining property by false pretences), though in reality the same type of lo-tech scam long ago ceased to be a uniquely African enterprise, as they are initiated by cybergangs from all over the world.
For more information on these sort of scams see our April Report.