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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Nigerian Scammers target Sikh Community (and everyone else in between)

Well it was only a matter of time before this internet scam would target the Sikh community. Recently I got an email from an individual who I did not know, who informed me that a huge inheritance was awaiting for my withdrawal. The emailer also thought that I was part of some Sikh Gurudwara management board (ha!). Here’s a snapshot of the email below:

Mr. Muna Gborie, I presume?
Mr. Muna Gborie, I presume?

Now I’m sure you’ve seen many types of these emails in your inbox as well, hopefully it is picked up by your email spam blocker. These “I want to give you a bajillion dollars, so contact me right away” emails are all part of large of fraudulent email scam operation based out of Nigeria.

Known as Nigerian Letter scam (or 419 – link1, link2), individuals in Nigeria run intricate email extraction systems in order to find your email. From there, they send a bombardment of emails to you, and any body else they find, promising millions of dollars if you contact them back. To make the emails interesting, these individuals act as they are some type of rich king/queen/ambassador/billion dollar widow who can only trust you to hold their money in secret. In return, they will cut you a portion of the wealth… so long as you provide your bank account and some upfront money to take care of “administrative items.”

Recently ABC News show 20/20 did a special on these Nigerian scammers and all the people they have caused harm to. Most of the people were individuals who allowed their greed to take over them to fall into this scam. However, one group surprised me.

As you’ll see in the documentary, these scammers targeted a Christian church in New Jersey and twisted their spin a bit to state. The scammers disguised themselves as fellow Christians and stated that since they admired the Church’s work, they wished to pay off their mortgage in full. The scammers would go on to say that they wished to give the Church even more money to help promote their future projects.

Regrettably, this Church gave into this fraud and lost thousands of dollars, all because they trusted these “God-fearing people" in disguise.

And now, as seen in the email above, these Nigerian email scammers are targeting Sikhs and their Gurudwara establishments as well in the same manner.

So check out this video below as it is well worth the watch. This is good information for you, whether you watch it as an individual or as someone who may be affiliated with any type of organization.

20/20 investigation on Nigerian Email Scammers
20/20 investigation on Nigerian Email Scammers

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