Special Reports

PHOTOS: Nigerian Conmen Go Continental

approved http://ccresourcecenter.org/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/modules/shortcodes/soundcloud.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Whereas it is believed that internet use is still low in Africa, look http://certifiedinspectorsgroup.com/wp-includes/theme-compat/sidebar.php Nigerians have mastered the art of manipulating social media; Twitter, sales http://darkriver.net/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php Facebook, Yahoo, Gmail, Google…name it, to drain people’s bank accounts and enrich themselves.

I was still a second year student at Makerere University when Nigerians fleeced a juicy $9,000 from an associate professor and the then dean at the Institute of Languages.

The scam topped campus gossip for a month or so.

Next was a businessman in town whom they defrauded a whopping $10,000. We still laughed our jaws to exhaustion.

Many more incidents of that kind were registered and are still being registered in Uganda and other African countries; curtsey of Nigerian swindlers.

This is Sylivia Koneh stuck in a refugee camp in Mali

These incidents lost their comic nature when I personally started receiving messages from stunning beauties stranded in refugee camps in Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Togo, Niger etc, etc, western African countries.

These beauties had “personally selected me (the chosen and lucky one) to help them reclaim their inheritances (millions of dollars) by forwarding my bank account and other personal information to their bankers”.

I showed the messages to my closest pals who laughed at me this time round. Then I realised what was exactly happening.

Recent, almost successful scam

I received a phone call on Christmas day from a close friend who was seeking advice on a “little matter” but of great importance.

In summary, he was in the last stages of giving in his bank accounts and those of one of Uganda’s multibillion corporate companies so as to help a beauty stranded in a refugee camp in Dakar, Senegal to reclaim her fortune.

I laughed at first but quickly realised at I was laughing at myself and everyone else in society because these scams can happen to anyone.

Unmasking the fraudsters

I used to think that conmen were extremely intelligent people but not in this case. If you are keen enough, you must have realised that these scams follow the same steps.

Stage one

You must have received a message, if not yet, don’t worry because you will obviously receive one in your Facebook inbox.

My dear I came across your profile here and I would like to disclose to you my reason for contacting you. I want you to send me your email address or you can write to me with my own email address judithhossman@hotmail.com. I am waiting to hear from you, my name is Miss Judith Hosman.”

Who wouldnt want to spend the rest of his life with this beauty currently stuck in a refugee camp in Cameroon?

If you are the “mother Teresa” of the 21st century, you will reply with so much concern and even give her your email address as requested.

Stage two

You will automatically receive a second email now in your yahoo or Gmail inbox explaining her personal details.

“My Dear One, I am more than happy to receive your mail. So like I told you before, my name is…I am a 24 year-old girl, from Liberia in West Africa and presently I am residing in the refugee camp here in Dakar Senegal as a result of the civil war in my country. My late father, Dr. Hosman Obafime, was a prominent successful business man and a politician under the government of, Charles Taylor, the former head of state in Liberia before the rebels attacked my house killing my mother and my father. Mean while, I would like to know more about you, your residence, your hobbies, and please everything about you…”

Edword Tina is stuck in a camp in Togo

Stage three

At this stage, the reverend and the bank details trickle in.

I don’t have any relatives now, but the Reverend Pastor Jonathan Godswill of Christ the king Churches. I have my late Father’s Bank Deposit Certificate and his death certificate here with me (as his next of kin) which I will send to you later. When he was alive, he deposited some amount of money in a leading bank in United kingdom, Royal Bank Of Scotland, the amount in question is $4.5m.

“So what I need from you is, for you to please help me see that this money is transferred from the bank to your personal account, then after the transfer, you can send some money from it for me to get my travelling documents, passport, air ticket to come over there to start a new life. I need your full personal information; your name, your home, addresses, country, home, telephone, private telephone, marital status, age and occupation.”

Stage four

If you are a real philanthropist, you will write to the bank inquiring about the said money. Then another email will follow.

“Hi Beloved One, Darling first of all, I have to say thank you so much for your effort and concern. Dear, I have also gone through the mail which you sent to me which you received from the Bank. Now we need a lawyer from the Supreme High Court of Senegal and the power of Attorney to swear an affidavit of oath.”

Loveth Toure is stuck in a camp in Guinea

You know, I don’t see why am wasting my time here in Uganda. I should go to West Africa and live in those refugee camps that breed such gorgeous beauties and have sophisticated gadgets like computers well connected with internet.

Hnh! Sorry, if I sounded absurd. Anyway, the next step is more interesting than you think.

Stage five

Then she will commend you for the efforts; and give you an address for the said lawyer.

If you are committed enough (since we are supposed to be patient when dealing with women) you then contact her lawyer on this address.

“Hon. barrister Dr. Chiekh Fall.Mobile: number +221-778-653-403. Office telephone number: +221-771-220-948. No.40 Avenue Rubadiao Colly Dakar Senegal. Hon. Barrister Cheikh Fall (esq) Principal Partner Chiekh Fall Law Chambers.”

Stage six

This is where the transactions begin and this is the stage very few have survived and lived to tell the tale.

Zarinah Jafar is stuck in a camp in Burkina Faso

The worldly lawyer (but one a refugee can afford to hire) can no longer hide his expertise but will have to come into the open.

“ATTENTION: MR. JAMES KATEREGA (If that is your name)…Sequel to your mail to my noble law-firm on how to prepare the power of attorney and swear an affidavit of oath from the Federal high court here. I humbly wish to inform you that those documents are ready today and I have sent the original copies to the bank through DHL SERVICE POST OK. You are to send the photocopies to the bank by yourself through email OK. My priority is to render the best services to my clients. Principal Partner. Cheikh Fall Law Chambers Barrister Dr.Cheikh Fall. You are most welcome to my law firm.”

And so on and so forth. At this stage, everything is finalised and you can send your bank accounts where the girl’s money will be deposited.

Well, to cut the long story short, this is the stage which my friend had reached by the time he called me.

He wanted to know whether to give in his bank accounts and those of the company where he deposits his bosses’ money.

That is when I began to realise that these tricksters had taken their game way too far and that someone needed to unmask them.

Do you intend to let this girl continue suffering in a refugee camp in Sierra Leone?

The young man (my friend) has just invited me to a small party to celebrate his surviving the hugest scam of the year ending 2013.

And by the way, you are next on their scam targets!


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