Nigerian Slain Over E-Mail Scam


February 26, 2003, 02:06 AM
Article on Wired (,1284,57760,00.html?tw=wn_ascii)

A notorious e-mail scam has resulted in the murder of a Nigerian diplomat in the Czech Republic.

Fifty-year-old Michael Lekara Wayid, Nigeria's consul in the Czech Republic, was shot dead by an unidentified 72-year-old Czech at the Nigerian Embassy in Prague on Wednesday.

According to police reports, the suspect was a victim of the 419 scam, a thriving industry that employs thousands of people around the world. The scammers successfully manage to extort money from thousands of victims by promising them compensation for assistance in moving funds from foreign countries to banks in the United States.

The criminals typically make their money by extracting ever-escalating sums of money for bribes, bank fees and the like from their "business partners," that is, the folks they scam. But according to early reports in Nigerian and Czech newspapers, the gunman's bank account was drained after he gave the account number and other personal details to someone posing as a senior Nigerian official.

It is not known whether the suspect was contacted by e-mail or other means. The 419 scams were carried out by postal mail until the advent of e-mail, but, according to FBI reports, most 419 scams are now conducted, at least in the early stages, by e-mail.

According Nigerian newspaper reports, the suspect arrived at the embassy and said he needed to discuss a business matter. He was referred to Wayid. Soon afterward, an embassy receptionist heard raised voices followed by shots and went to investigate.

The receptionist was then reportedly shot in the hand, but managed to flee and call embassy security, who detained the suspect until police arrived.

The suspect was arrested and is now hospitalized at Prague's Central Military Hospital after collapsing at the scene. The receptionist is also being treated at the same hospital. Both are expected to recover.

Nigerian newspaper This Day reports that the shooter had visited the embassy "regularly over the past year" in an attempt to recover the money he had lost.

"This is the first time such a thing has happened to Nigeria in any of our embassies abroad.... The Czech ambassador to Nigeria has been summoned," said Dubem Onyia, Nigeria’s minister of state for foreign affairs, in a statement.

Onyia said that in light of the incident, security at Nigeria’s foreign offices would be reviewed.
Pretty sad state of affairs, and kinda surprising. Though, who hasn't gotten those stupid emails?:(

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February 26, 2003, 02:29 AM
Sounds good to me. 'Hey, you have criminals in your country that have stolen from me. Lock them up and recover my money. No? So you are in on it? BANG!'

February 26, 2003, 08:40 AM
I have seen this scam in various flavors in snail mail, fax, and e-mail.
I have gotten the e-mail version adddressed to webmaster@"my employers company name" (webmaster is me)
to me@my employers company name
and to 3 accounts of people who are no longer employed here.

Wonder if they have the e-mail version of the old "war-games autodialer" that sends out email to "any name we might think is valid @ employers company name" type thingy working ? ?

Thre was a case recently here in Ohio where someone at a law firm had 'wire transfered' several million dollars to Nigeria, and guess how much they got back? Need a hint? OK, less than zero

Law firm didn't know this was going on, and didn't find out untill a settlement check to client bounced. Person making wire transfers was NOT authorized by the firm to make wire transfers, bank didn't question said transfers or person, either.

February 26, 2003, 09:10 AM
OMG. Do you mean that this is a scam? I can't believe it! The widow of Mbeke Eating Dirt is really trying to steal my money? The email addressed to me seemed so honest! They refered to me as a trusted friend, a successful business man...that's me! I hope I can get my $10,000 dollars back!

Jeff Thomas
February 26, 2003, 09:46 AM
Jeff OTMG makes a point.

While none of us would endorse this kind of violent response, I would not be at all surprised if there is some culpability on the part of the Nigerian government in such fraud.

Quite a few years ago, I was the victim of true identity fraud. More common now (partly due to the insane movement towards even more use of SSN's, legally required), it involved a Nigerian national(s) using my SSN and name to acquire my gold MasterCard number, but in the name of his alias. Before it was over, I got to chat about this with local LEO's, CA LEO's, and the Secret Service (they investigate such fraud). I was told a number of times that fraud is a cottage industry in Nigeria, and they actually have "schools" there to properly instruct their criminals. Scummy country.

Those goofy Nigerian emails are so transparently fraudulent, it is sad to realize that some people fall for them. However, to Jeff's point ... if the Nigerian government is as lax as they appear in policing fraud, I would say it is not a bad thing for them to find out those chickens can come home to roost.

Regards from TX

February 26, 2003, 11:00 AM

February 26, 2003, 11:13 AM
While none of us would endorse this kind of violent response, Anybody stupid enough to fall for the scam in this day and age is stupid enough to extract vengeance with a gun.:rolleyes:

TFL Survivor

February 26, 2003, 11:27 AM
Sounds good to me. 'Hey, you have criminals in your country that have stolen from me. Lock them up and recover my money. No? So you are in on it? BANG!'

Whoa, easy there! Some scam artist with an American passport bilks gullible [Eastern European / Southeast Asian / whomever] suckers, and some flack from the Department of State deserves a bullet?

Yes, national governments have a responsibility to prevent their citizens from committing fraud internationally. Their diplomatic legations should be responsive to allegations of fraud and other crimes. But, no, the guy stamping passports is not likely to be in cahoots with "Michael Abe" or whomever. Even if he was, fraud is not a capital offense in most parts of the world.

Vengeance (especially mis-targeted vengeance) is not justice.

February 26, 2003, 11:36 AM
quote --
DEAR SIR/MADAM, I am Mr.Audu Adeja. Bank Manager of Zenith Bank of Nigeria, Lagos Branch. I have urgent and very confidential business proposition for you. On June 6, 1997, a FOREIGN Oil consultant/contractor with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Barry Kelly made a numbered time (Fixed) Deposit for twelve calendar months, valued at US$25,000,000.00 (Twenty- five Million Dollars) in my branch. Upon maturity, I sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but got no reply. After a month, we sent a reminder and finally we discovered from his contract employers, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation that Mr. Barry Kelly died from an automobile accident. On further investigation, I found out that he died without making a WILL, and all attempts to trace his next of kin was fruitless. I therefore made further investigation and discovered that Mr. Barry Kelly did not declare any kin or relations in all his official documents, including his Bank Deposit paperwork in my Bank. This sum of US$25,000,000.00 is still sitting in my Bank and the interest is being rolled over with the principal sum at the end of each year. No one will ever come forward to claim it. According to Nigerian Law, at the expiration of 6 (five) years, the money will revert to the ownership of the Nigerian Government if nobody applies to claim the fund. …

February 26, 2003, 11:38 AM
Consequently, my proposal is that I will like you as an Foreigner to stand in as the next of kin to Mr. Barry Kelly so that the fruits of this old mans labor will not get into the hands of some corrupt government officials. This is simple, I will like you to provide immediately your full names and address so that the Attorney will prepare the necessary documents and affidavits, which will put you in place as the next of kin. We shall employ the service of two Attorneys for drafting and notarization of the WILL and to obtain the necessary documents and letter of robate/administration in your favor for the transfer. A bank account in any part of the world, which you will provide, will then facilitate the transfer of this money to you as the beneficiary/next of kin. The money will be paid into your account for us to share in the ratio of 60% for me and 40% for you. There is no risk at all as all the paperwork for this transaction will be done by the Attorney and my position as the Branch Manager guarantees the successful execution of this transaction. If you are interested, please reply immediately via the private email address below. Upon your response, I shall then provide you with more details and relevant documents that will help you understand the transaction. Please observe utmost confidentiality, and rest assured that this transaction would be most profitable for both of us because I shall require your assistance to invest my share in your country. Awaiting your urgent reply via my email: (
Thanks and regards.
MR.Audu Adeja
-- unquote

February 26, 2003, 11:55 AM
Discovery Channel had something on about scams a few years ago, including the Nigerian 419. Around half of Nigeria's economic activity is generated through scams.

February 26, 2003, 12:48 PM
Not only is this scam pretty obvious, it is an invitation to participate in something that, even if true, is unethical. I have no sympathy for the 'victims' of this particular scam.

February 26, 2003, 01:30 PM
The Nigerian Scam, also known as the 419 Scam, is extremely widespread. Middle Eastern royal family members have been victimes as well as less wealthy persons.

Not only is it a scam, but laundering money is a serious federal offense in the US. Theoretically, even agreeing to help these idiots is a felony.

Whenever I get 419 scam emails I fire up a yahoo or hotmail email account and send the most absolutely scathing and nasty reponse possible. I've gotten some really hilarious (and furious) replies back.

There are web sites devoted to busting these morons. Here is one of em.

Mike Irwin
February 26, 2003, 01:34 PM
They're branching out in their letters, too.

I've gotten them purporting to be from Nigeria, South Africa, and several other African nations.

February 26, 2003, 01:42 PM
heres another:

This letter may come to you as a surprise due to the fact that we have not yet met. The
message could be strange but reel if you pay some attention to it. I could have notified
you about it at least for the sake of your integrity. Please accept my sincere apologies.
In bringing this message of goodwill to you, I have to say that I have no intentions of
causing you any pains.

I am Ms. Nnengi savimbi, daughter of the late rebel leader Jonas savimbi of Angola who
was killed on the 22nd of febuary 2002 . I managed to get your contact details
through "The World Business Journal", a journal of the Johannesburg Chamber of
Commerce in South Africa in the time I was desperately looking for a trustworthy person
to assist me in this confidential business.

My late father, Jonas savimbi was able to deposit a large sum of money in differnt banks
in europe My father is presently death and the movement of his family members
(including me) is restricted. We are forbidden to either travel abroad or out of our
localities. Presently, the US$8,500,000.00 EIGHT, MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS my
father transfered to Netherlands is safe and is in a security firm. Before you can get
access to it i have to give you the password I am therefore soliciting your help to have
this money transfered into your account. before my government get wind of this
fund .You know my father was a rebel leader in Angola before his death My reason for
doing this is because it will be difficult for the Angolan government to trace my father's
money to an individual's account, especially when such an individual has no elationship ,I
decided to keep that money for my family use. At present the money is kept in a
Security Company in nertherland.

I am currently and temporarily living in Angola with my husband my brother has a
refugee status'in The Netherlands. Moreover the political climate in Angola at the
moment being so sensitive and unstable.With this password and information I will send to
you, and power of attorney to the security firm, When you are ready i will give you the
information needed before you can get access to the fund you will then proceed to
Netherlands where the US$8,500,000.00 EIGHT, MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS will
be given to you as payment. Alternatively, you can have the fund transferred into any
account that suits you.

Yours sincerely,

Sandra Savimbi


February 26, 2003, 03:04 PM
Man, for awhile I was getting an "offer" at least once a week.
I just forwarded them to the Secret Service/FBI! :D
I don't know that it will do any good,but I haven't got one lately!


February 26, 2003, 03:18 PM
Oh dear!

Please, someone help that poor woman. Please send her some money.

BTW, cash only. No checks.

Please hurry.

4v50 Gary
February 26, 2003, 03:38 PM
Years ago I started receiving these "scam" notices. I called the FBI and they said they were aware of it and weren't interested. Ho-hum.

Sometimes I even email the scammers back and ask them to deposit $5 million in our local American Red Cross. When I get a call from the Red Cross that the money was deposited on my behalf (as if I ever needed a writeoff that big), I'll give them my account #. Funny, but I've never received a call from the Red Cross. Still waiting...

BTW, not to be racist, but I've worked with several Nigerians and found that within their culture, lying is quite acceptable. I'll take a Liberian as a coworker first.

February 26, 2003, 04:34 PM
Personally, I find it can be quite amusing to mess with these people.
When one of them started emailing me, I corresponded with him, but talked about stuff that had absolutely nothing to do with the scam.
Then I spell-checked his letter (poorly, I'd hate to actually have helped these nitwits) and sent it back.

Then I asked if they could send me goats and chickens instead of money.

It's quite amusing, you can almost feel them getting all perplexed through the email.:evil: :evil:

February 26, 2003, 06:49 PM
I must really be on someones' list. I have gotten as many as 3 a day. :(
My biggest problem is how to spend all this money I'm about to receive. :rolleyes:

February 26, 2003, 07:33 PM
THANK GOD!!! Maybe now I will stop getting those damned e-mails from them.


Standing Wolf
February 26, 2003, 08:39 PM
Oh, gosh! I sure hope my investment will be all right!

February 26, 2003, 09:32 PM
Please help me out by taking some money! Yeah right! This kind of thing happens to me every day. :neener:

These kind of scams only work because of the greed and stupidity of the mark. Stupidity SHOULD cost you something. Everybody wants something for nothing.

February 26, 2003, 10:57 PM
I received a similar scam e-mail a few months ago. It sounded too good an offer to be true so I did a web search on it and found out about the scam. I even read that some scam victims traveled to Nigeria to meet their "contact" and were robbed.

February 26, 2003, 11:13 PM
Still a better ROI than Enron. :D

February 26, 2003, 11:28 PM
If you get any of these messages, just forward them to:

they DO try to run these guys down.

February 27, 2003, 12:31 AM
Watching the local New York news at 11 tonight (satellites are wonderful things!) I saw that they have made a major bust there for the Nigerian scam. Actually ran one out of NY and suckered some dumb guy in Fla. Who got smart and helped the cops reel them in. Of course he lost $17,500 before he got smart. Ouch!

February 27, 2003, 03:14 AM
I gotta agree with those who have no pity for the victims of these frauds. It stuns me to think there are people out there who could believe that crap. I've received the bogus e-mails are they are so blatantly fake that the people who fall for it don't deserve to keep their money. I'll admit though, the 'Burlap Bag Boy' story sounds real enough. That kid 's got my sympathy ...

Dan Morris
February 27, 2003, 07:39 AM
LOL, I still cannot believe people fall for this BS!

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