...because Africa is apparently lousy with wealthy orphans!
I get 7 or 8 of these Nigerian Scams a week, and they get progressively better with the advance of time. They all follow the same predictable pattern, though. The first clue is that it seems all these poor-little-rich-girls have masculine first names.
A young woman in (insert Third-world shithole here) has just finished her prayers. This, I find amazing because to guess from all the outcry about African overpopulation, you get the idea that any girl who has the time to pray is probably even too ugly for an African man to do the nasty with. This, after all, is how one usually achieves the sort of overpopulation common to the poorest nations of Africa. Why, the problems attendant to all that uninterrupted fucking going on over there are so serious that American Stimulus dollars had to be spent to deal with the horrific consequences.
Anyway, the point is that we apparently have the only praying virgin on the African continent writing us e-mails, and this new one happens to be in an extremely acute emotional state, as we shall soon see.
Anyways, you'll find that this chaste and pious young thing is the recently-orphaned daughter of Minister X of the Ministry of XY&Z. It doesn't even matter which Ministry Daddy worked for; the Ministries and Names and Countries in these scams are interchangeable. Daddy is always killed in a plane crash (of which there seem to be an awful lot in Africa), and just so you understand that a) yes, they do have airplanes in Africa, and b) yes, they sometimes do, indeed crash, a hyperlink is included to a news story on the crash in question, or at least to a crash.
Being an African Minister for Anything is a job as dangerous as New York City Gypsy Cab driver, 'twould seem. If I were ever appointed (because they don't have real elections in Africa, no matter what Jimmy Carter says, it would have to be an appointment from this week's tin pot dictator) to, say, Minister for Lint Collection in Ivory Coast, I would positively demand that the first condition under which I would take this job is no fucking flying.
Because all African Government ministers die in plane crashes, these days. Not like the good old days when they used to get shot to pieces in front of the Ministry of Juicy Yellow Fruits building, or catch Ebola touring the rain forest, or get the "bad" oyster while overindulging in the midst of their starving citizens. But I digress...
So now this orphaned waif, all alone in the world, always makes an incredible discovery; it's usually "I looked in my father's briefcase and found...", which leads one to ask "must have been some damned good luck that Dad didn't have his briefcase with him when the plane crashed, huh?". Always, serendipity takes a hand in the course of a young orphan's life, and she finds out that she's fabulously wealthy.
Because Daddy provided for her, probably by siphoning off Western Aid meant to feed hungry AIDS victims (you find one every seven feet or so over there), and bring some solace to the victims of Civil War and religious persecution, drought, and whatever fifteen-thousand plagues strike Africa this month because heaven forbid anyone ever takes a fucking vitamin over there, washes properly, or learns what soap is, or the proper rules of basic sanitation -- you'd have to stop fucking long enough to do that -- and depositing his gains in that Cayman Islands of Africa, Burkina Faso.
Upon discovering her new-found bounty, the young girl travels to Burkina Faso to speak personally with the bank manager, who tells her that, unfortunately, her father has left instructions that the money he left for her not be released because of bureaucratic mix ups, improper documentation, a requirement for marriage, etc. I gather that Holocaust victims were given similar, heart-wrenching treatment by Swiss Banks, post-war. Whereupon our damsel-in-distress does what any young girl who can't get access to her multi-million-dollar inheritance does.
Write anonymous e-mails to complete strangers on the internet, seeking their help usually with the hint of a marriage of convenience. Once the intended victim is caught on this hook, the predictable happens: she'll need a secure bank account in the States to transfer the funds to; can she use yours? If so, what is the account number? She'll need a valid address; what is yours? Phone number? A few weeks later: The Bank in Burkina Faso cannot transfer the funds without your Social Secuity number. What is it? And then when she's, amazingly, been granted a visa to come fulfill her pledge to you, she can't afford a plane ticket. What is your credit card number, so that she may purchase one?
Oh, and they all have evil uncles out to kill them, too.
What's really amazing is;
a) there's someone in Africa who has enough time between starving to death, or dying of a preventable disease, to write these things, and
b)Someone always falls for this scam. Someone must, or it would have stopped a very long time ago.
Wrote about it last week, here. This week's is almost the same exact letter (hyperlinks removed for security):
I am writing this mail to you with tears and sorrow from my heart. With due respect trust and humanity, I appeal to you to exercise a little patience and read through my letter I feel quite safe dealing with you in this important business having gone through your remarkable profile, honestly I am writing this email to you with pains, tears and sorrow from my heart, I will really like to have a good relationship with you and I have a special reason why I decided to contact you, I decided to contact you due to the urgency of my situation, My name is Miss. Nathaniel Kipkalya Kones, 24yrs old female and I held from Kenya in West Africa.
My father was the former Kenyan road Minister. He and Assistant Minister of Home Affairs Lorna Laboso had been on board the Cessna 210, which was headed to Kericho and crashed in a remote area called Kajong'a, in western Kenya . The plane crashed on the Tuesday 10th, June, 2008. You can read more about the crash through the below (hyperlink removed for safety).
After the burial of my father, my stepmother and uncle conspired and sold my father's property to an Italian Expert rate which the shared the money among themselves and live nothing for me. One faithful morning, I opened my father's briefcase and found out the documents which he have deposited huge amount of money in one of the banks in Burkina Faso with my name as the next of kin. I travelled to Burkina Faso to withdraw the money for a better life so that I can take care of myself and start a new life, on my arrival, the Bank Director whom I met in person told me that my father's instructions to the bank is that the money would only be release to me when I am married or present a trustee who will help me and invest the money overseas. I am in search of an honest and reliable person who will help me and stand as my trustee so that I will present him to the Bank for transfer of the money to his bank account overseas. I have chosen to contact you after my prayers and I believe that you will not betray my trust.
But rather take me as your own sister or daughter. Though you may wonder why I am so soon revealing myself to you without knowing you, well I will say that my mind convinced ed me that you may be the true person to help me. More so, I will like to disclose much to you if you can help me to relocate to your country because my stepmother has threatened to assonate me. The amount is ($12.8 USD) Million United State Dollars and I have confirmed from the bank in Burkina Faso on my arrival.
You will also help me to place the money in a more profitable business venture in your Country. However, you will help by recommending a nice University in your country so that I can complete my studies. It is my intention to compensate you with 30% of the total money for your services and the balance shall be my capital in your establishment. As soon as I receive your positive response showing your interest I will put things into action immediately. In the light of the above, I shall appreciate an urgent message indicating your ability and willingness to handle this transaction sincerely.
Awaiting your urgent and positive response. Please do keep this only to your self for now until the bank has transferred the fund. I beg you not to disclose it till I come over because I am afraid of my wicked stepmother who has threatened to kill me and have the money alone, I thank God Today that am out from my country (KENYA) but now In (Burkina Faso) where my father deposited these money with my name as the next of Kin. I have the documents for the claims.
Miss Nathaniel Kipkalya Kones