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Nigerian Black Money eMail Scams: Gambling at it’s Riskiest

20 January 2011 by Devon Chappell

The Nigerian Black Money Scam...It's Black Money, literally!

The Nigerian Black Money Scam...It's Black Money, literally!

If you’re no stranger to the internet, it’s very likely you’ve heard of a Nigerian email scam before. If you’re no stranger to the Online Casino Suite Gambling Forum, you may have very well come across some scams firsthand. And not that you would actually fall for one of these (I mean, c’mon, you read the OCS Blog – you must have higher than average intelligence), let’s just say our forum was besieged with an army of “phishers” looking to perpetuate the old bait-and-switch not too long ago.

It didn’t take long for the scammers to get wind that our forum community smelled something phishy. And while I would never advise anyone from doing so, some of our more fearless members toyed around with the shysters on the threads, taking care to sufficiently lead them on, poke some fun at and even threat! Eventually, we had to delete the posts just in case some unlucky fool would actually go for the bait. As of today, the posts have pretty much ceased, except for the occasional straggler tossing in a line with some chum.

Now, for anyone who doesn’t know what a Nigerian email scam is, it primarily comes in the form of an unsolicited email from a stranger. It’s usually someone claiming to have access to a large sum of money – often in the millions – which for a variety of reasons, is being held in a frozen account that only YOU have the ability to receive funds from. Everything from inheritances to government disbursements has been used as a ploy. All they need is your account number and the money is all yours! It sounds too good to be true because it is.

There is also the black money scam, in which the perps claim to actually have the money – typically an inheritance from a person with no living relatives – but that the money had to be coated with a special black solution in order to smuggle it out of the country – usually somewhere in Africa. That’s where the victim comes in. In order to “clean” the money, the victim is told they will need an even more special (and costly) solution that the perps will sell (this is the money that gets stolen).

In preparation, the scammer actually cuts out a suitcase-sized amount of black “bills” that are, in actuality, black construction paper the size of U.S. paper currency. At the drop-off, the scammer pulls out a few real $100 bills from the suitcase, which are indeed coated with a thin layer of Elmer’s glue and a black iodine ink that he washes off with the “special” solution (crushed up Vitamin C tablets in water!) during a demonstration for the victim. Money is exchanged for the rest of the solution, and the victim doesn’t realize it’s a scam until attempting to wash off the remaining construction paper money.

It seems crazy, I know – and yet, one scammer who was caught red-handed in an ABC Television sting operation, and who later showed how the scam is perpetrated, said he was able to steal over $100,000 from twenty different victims. The likes of a U.S. Congressman (which doesn’t say much, really) and a prominent California heart surgeon were both taken by Nigerian black money scams, the surgeon losing his entire live savings.

Many people can see straight through the distinctly toned emails, often worded in a grandiose style. While the vast majority of the emails are flat-out laughable, in actuality, some of them actually sound feasible. Well, at least I can see how they might sound feasible to someone who is naive or mentally challenged. The jackpot email actually is the most “buyable” if you ask me. It’s basically an email from a fictitious lottery sweepstakes that says your name has been chosen to win a multi-million jackpot. You may not have remembered entering into the draw, but then again, they said your name and/or email was automatically entered, and there you are biting your nails and saying, I guess anything’s possible. Yes, it’s possible that your bank account will be wiped out before you can say Nigerian email scam.

In the case of the OCS forum, scammers were leaving forum posts and sometimes Private Messaging forum members to ask if they would lend their help in receiving funds from a jackpot won at an online casino. They would say things like “Casino Europe just texted me that I won $300,500.54 playing the real money slots online. How can I get my money?” I know, pretty lame. The idea was to get people to offer help – to the point of getting them to use a private bank account to receive the fund transfer.

Fidelis Oselu Okukpujie

Fidelis Oselu Okukpujie

Harrison Doe

Harrison Doe

As for the black money scam, in which an actual hand-off exchange is made, authorities are having some success at catching the bad guys. This is precisely what went down at a recent bust earlier this month in Las Vegas, in which two men were nabbed by Las Vegas Police after meeting with an undercover detective. The two men, convicted criminal, 26-year-old Fidelis Oselu Okukpujie, who is originally from Nigeria and a resident of Phoenix, and 23-year-old Harrison Doe, who is originally from Liberia and a resident of Minnesota, were arrested after attempting to take $200,000 in exchange for millions in “black” money.

In another case back in early 2009, two men were found murdered, execution style, in the New York, Queens home of professional football player, Jonathan Vilma. Vitamin C tablets and black construction paper bills were found at the crime scene, and Jonathan Vilma’s cousin was being sought as a prime suspect in the case. Needless to say, Nigerian black money email scams are a different kind of gamble than what we like to do here at Online Casino Suite. We like gambling online for real money, not putting our lives at risk.

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