Most people with email accounts probably received a so-called Nigerian scam at one point. It goes something like this: a rich person/entity needs to transfer money, and if you help them, you will receive a cut of that huge wealth. But first, you're required to put up some initial capital to make this transaction happen.
Of course, the said rich person/entity doesn't exist and the scammers behind the plot are just after the money victims put up to make the non-existent transactions happen.
The scams are commonly referred to as Nigerian scams because it originated in that country and is perpetrated frequently there.
In the wake of the Middle East unrest, scammers are now taking advantage of this situation: they are posing as representatives of the ousted dictators.
Below is the full text of one version of the email involving ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak of Egypt:
From the desk of Mr.Mohammed Hammad, Special adviser to His Excellency, the Ex.President of Egypt, Mohammed Hosni Sayyid Mubarak.
I wish to contact you for a possible business with you based on the present political crisis in Egypt, the conglomerate of His Excellency, Hosni Mubarak is ready to partner with you to help secure the resources of the president since the dissolution of the presidency's office.
We are ready to partner with you and your organisation in providing the necessary assistance We require to a successful end as you will be greatly rewarded.
You can read more about it on this website:
We want to let you know of our intention to expediently commit huge sums of money towards your course on the agreement that you will be of significant assistance to us without malevolence or malice and as soon as we receive your positive response we shall proceed with the arrangement and provide you our terms and conditions. This business deal involves huge cash movement and liquidation of foreign and local investments and your immediate response and utmost confidentiality is greatly appreciated.
Mr. Mohammed Hammad
Below is the full text of one version of the email involving the family of ousted dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia, posted by scamoftheday.com:
My name is Hazzan Gazal Trabelsi, younger brother of Leila Trabelsi, the wife of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, former Tunisian president who was ousted by Tunisians recently. I am presently under house arrest in my Town House in Tunis because of the perceived corruption of the President's family. I was not a member of the government but now suffering persecutions because I am a relative of the President's wife and anyone seen as related to the President's family is presently under arrest.
I have contacted you because I have initiated assylum proceedings on the internet for Canada and I need someone on the outside I can trust to handle this and other matters for me as I do not know how long I am going to have internet access and there is no one I could trust in Tunisia anymore. All my assets in Tunisia and Europe have been seized but I was able to move some assets to China before my arrest.
I am willing to pay you a substantial amount of money for any assistance you render to me. I would appreciate any assistance you could render in this regard. Please indicate by return email if I can rely on you to keep this matter confidential.
Hazzan Gazal Trabelsi