New Type of Scam from Nigeria

Here’s a new type of scam that I came across yesterday. I received an email from what looked like an artist that I listed in an art directory that I look after. I was suspicious immediately, but they did a lot of things right, which could have fooled those that are new to the internet (or much more trusting of people than I am).

Linda Blondheim paintings

The artist (Linda Blondheim) was using a Hotmail email address, which was hacked and stolen by scammers in Nigeria. The scammers then set out to scam her friends and contacts using her Hotmail email address, asking for money as she was stranded in Africa and needed $2300 to get back home.

It’s easily one of the cleverest scams I have received from the idiots. I was familiar with the name of the artist and they were using her real email address, but the mention of “Nigeria” and “Money” in the same email gave the scammers away. Legitimate businesses in Nigeria (if there is such a thing) must have a lot of problems dealing with international clients/customers as these scammers have given the whole country such a bad name worldwide. I know it’s wrong to generalise, but I wouldn’t deal with anyone from Nigeria as I don’t trust them.. and for good reason.

Here’s the email that I received..

Subject: Reply Soon…From Linda

How are you doing today? I am sorry i didn’t inform you about my traveling to Africa for a program called “Empowering Youth to Fight Racism, HIV/AIDS, Poverty and Lack of Education, the program is taking place in three major countries in Africa which is Ghana , South Africa and Nigeria . It as been a very sad and bad moment for me, the present condition that i found myself is very hard for me to explain.

I am really stranded in Nigeria because I forgot my little bag in the Taxi where my money, passport, documents and other valuable things were kept on my way to the Hotel am staying, I am facing a hard time here because i have no money on me. I am owing an hotel bill of $1050 and they want me to pay the bill before checking out,Else they will have to seize my bag and hand me over to the Hotel Management.

I need this help from you urgently to help me get back home, I need you to help me with the hotel bill and i will also need $1250 to feed and help myself back home so please can you help me with a sum of $2300 to sort out my problems here? I need this help so much and on time because i am in a terrible and tight situation here, I don’t even have money to feed myself for a day which means i have been starving so please understand how urgent i need your help.

I am sending you this e-mail from the city Library and I only have 30 min, I will appreciate what so ever you can afford to send me for now and I promise to pay back your money as soon as i return home so please let me know on time so that i can forward you the details you need to transfer the money through Money Gram or Western Union.Hope to hear from you.love,Linda

Advantages to Visiting Linda Blondheim’s Studio

Patron Club members receive excellent pricing on in studio and web site purchases.
Gift wrapping and gift cards are complimentary to patrons.
Delivery of larger paintings to Lake City, Gainesville, and Ocala areas free of charge.
Studio gift certificates for new patron referrals.
Commissions welcomed.
Enjoy a cup of coffee and visit with a professional established painter just minutes from Gainesville.

Email: lindablondheim12@hotmail.com
Web site: www.lindablondheim.com
Blog: http://lindablondheimartnotes.blogspot.com/

Note: The email above was Linda Blondheim’s real email address used for this scam, but she has since changed it. See her website or blog above for her new contact information.

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.

Comments

  1. I have received this exact same email from a woman who belonged to the same ‘Health support group’ as myself, it went to everyone in the group. Fortunately the moderators were on to it quickly, but it really plays on your natural instinct which is to help someone out of a ‘jam’. A nastily clever scam, thanks for bringing it to our attention :)

  2. This is the reason I’m dubious of selling cheap laptops to Nigerian schools, and I shall remain dubious until the Nigerian government clamps down on scammers. Why should the West help train the next generation of scammers?

    If you search for the two main banks in Nigeria, you’ll find lots of entries warning you about scams. It’s not the fault of the banks, but the scammers who use them to channel funds.

    My main e-mail address has also been hacked, so I occasionally receive offers of Viagra from myself! I know how the bastards got my address, and as Nikki has pointed out, it was done via a social networking group. I was invited to join Hi5. (That’s where I met Jafabrit in an artists group.) I didn’t like the site and didn’t visit it unless I received an e-mail. The scammers send you an e-mail with a photo of an attractive young woman who wants to be your friend. It seems churlish to reject her; but as soon as you’ve replied accepting her offer of friendship the scammers have your e-mail address and your list of contacts at Hi5. (Sorry if I’ve sent you any Viagra offers, Jafabrit!)

    Tip: check your social networking sites at the McAfee site advisor:
    http://www.siteadvisor.com/

    That gave me my first warning about Hi5. If you join as an advisor, you can post your complaints about dodgy websites. Worth doing.

    A few days ago I received my first phishing scam from .kr, which I assume is korea (north or south). It bore the Abbey logo and wanted to check my details – usual stuff -, but I do have an Abbey account.

    Tip: right click on the apparently genuine link it offers you, copy shortcut and paste it into Notepad. Then you’ll see the real link hidden under the false link. That’s how I know the real link was to .kr. I’m damned sure Abbey’s head office isn’t in korea!

  3. ah Ha, so it was you coxsoft lol!

    Joking aside, linda must have been horrified.

    the social network Hi5 must have been a while ago Coxsoft, I don’t even remember it. Clever trickery, yikes.

  4. I’m happy to let them have laptops in Nigeria Ian, just take the bloody Internet off them!!!..lol

    And yeah I contacted Linda and she wasn’t too impressed with what they are doing with her email. She has a notice up on her website and blog warning people that she’s not stranded in Africa and doesnt need money sent to her.

  5. awful!
    I guess any one in real distress would go to their embassy first!
    But I could see how this could catch someone off guard….

  6. Grumpy Guy from the LBC says:

    Help! I am stranded in LA, send money quick so I can get to a South Seas island and drinks with lil umbrellas!
    (wonder how many would send a lump of coal)

  7. DF from the LBC says:

    So that last guy wasnt a joke, he was a scammer you deleted? Or, I guess he was a joke. Have fun, off on my third anniversary of wedded bliss, a movable feast of continuous honeymoon. Wine country of Paso Robles, will drink to your health Dion. And Arts rennaisance. Rebirth.

    ACDE!

  8. If it was a joke, I dodnt get it. I went to his site and all I saw was ads and begging for money, so I only hung around for about 2 seconds.

    I thought he was trying to be funny, but after visiting his site I thought he might have been serious.

    I dont think much about the comments that I delete though or I would spend all day on them. So I probably do delete some ligitimate comments, but that’s life ;-)

    A link to a crappy site increases the chances of the comment being deleted by about 98% though.

    Enjoy the trip.. and wine.. and the celebration of three years!

  9. Hi,
    This is the real Linda Blondheim. I was HORRIFIED that these scammers stole my hotmail address list and hacked into the account. Be assured that I would never ask anyone over the Internet to send me money. I had to change my email to another address and lost my entire address book at hotmail. I’m so sorry if anyone was inconvenienced by these scammers, trying to destroy my reputation.
    Sincrely,
    Linda Blondheim- NEVER been to Africa!!

  10. I wouldnt take it personally Linda. Theyre just scammers doing what scammers do.. they don’t care about whos reputation theyre destroying, theyre just thinking of the money.

    Hopefully nobody fell for the scam.

    Dion

  11. I have this girl on tagged her name is Rihanna A, that hit on me as being interested, went through quite a few paragraphs and quite a few messages back and forth. Now on the third message she had wrote, that she is interested in me and that we had stuff in common, then she proceeded to say her father worked in a Nigerian oil company. She also said that her and her mom grew up in Ireland and she passed away to. After her parents death she found out that her father left some fund with a security company in Africa. She said she bought a round ticket to get a hold of the fund, said she was told by the management of the security company that the fund cannot be released until it reaches maturity, its still gonna take some time. She said after a few weeks with no success she decided to leave, along the line she was robbed by a gang of armed robbers, all her belongings was taken away. She said she must come back when it matures, “with really bad grammar by the way” after getting a hold of her fund she is gonna start her own business and find her love. She hopes I could be the one yada yada she is willing to leave now before her ticket expires, she only has to pay her outstanding hotel bill, all she needs is up to $320 to get everything sorted out. The manager warned her that the money must be paid now. She just has to free her mind in confiding in me, she needs my help, she is really willing to get out of there and come meet me. She is willing to give me the flight detail as soon as the hotel bill gets paid, maybe even be able to pick her up at the airport she can’t wait to meet me soon. the funny thing is this girl is beautiful would be able to sucker a lot of guys into doing this. I wouldn’t do this because I just not that type of guy to trust like that, I wasn’t born yesterday lol. This is a good one and will get quite a few people I’m sure. My spidey senses were tingling and just figured I would get this out there as scam I feel.

  12. Part 2…

    When i went through your profile i really liked it, and found both of us %99 compatible,the only %1 missing is that right now is you to come and make it %100 complete’ Talking about what i do for living, i work in an orphanages Home{CHARITY HOME} due to what happen in my life, never have the chance to be with my dad,mum and my brothers. i work not cus of the money but to make the little once happy in life. Hope you find a way in your heart to accept me for whom i am and where am coming from Right now am not home.am stocked,some where in Africa b’cos right now i am sad over here i have no body to help me b’cos i have been a victim of love and i don’t wanna be one again ,if u wanna know what happened to me, why i am a victim of love please mail me back, because i am not in Barcrlona(Spain) right now i am in a hotel in Africa Nigeria because of a sad day of my life and i need a matured Man who will help me and love me for the rest of my life…Well As For School I Dropped Out Due To Lack Of Finance….i Hope That Will Never Scare You Off ME? and talking about how i end up in Nigeria, and i want to use that means to thanks you so much for your concern about my Predicament, Well I will like you to help me out of this mess I got myself into, I really don’t want to tell anyone about this because it’s a shameful thing for me to say out but i will tell u briefly. I met a guy on internet for the past 2 yrs and he told me he love me and I fell for him, he later invite me to come down to his country, his from Africa, I went down to Africa to pay him visit, all this am telling u happened recently, i mean last year December,when I got to Africa, he took me to an hotel where we both lodge ‘different” rooms, after that day I ask him to take me to his house to meet his family, he told me not yet, I never knew he had a plan, I don’t know what got into me to made me trust him enough to leave my stuffs with him, he ran away with all my stuff and all I’ve gotten down here, Have been here for some times and have not been able to pay my bills, the hotel management has seized my passport and my return ticket, they said I need to pay the bills am owing before it will be giving back to me, here I’m.. there is nothing I can do, am just so fed up and I don’t like the way am being treated down here,

    I tried to make use of my credit card from here to transfer money and pay my hotel bills, but the card can not be used, as am talking to you i have about 10,000 Euro in my credit card but can’t make use of it.

    And i tried to make use of western union online transfer, but the result that came to me was that the area am trying to send money is not approved by the western union, and through that my card was blocked, that is why i seek for your help, as soon as i get back to Barcelona i will pay you back am sure of that, even come to you if you don’t mind. to show your care towards my problem.

    Also sent photos of a blond girl

  13. Part 3…

    The name used on Tagged is Naomi D

    on email is:- Debby Naomi Javis (debbyj012@hotmail.com)

  14. Speaking of Tagged, another similar scam:-

    Its my very great pleasure to chat with a man like you. I want you to know first before anything that i am a very God fearing person but i don’t criticize other people’s or religion and i have tried as much as possible never to allow my relationship with God to affect my private life in any way whatsoever. I am sure that God willing if we will meet at all, This are some other things i still think you need to know about me. For me,i like going to beaches in my Bikini,watch movies,shows and musical concerts and sometime go for dinner and taste a little coffee or wine from a small window and attend church services. i am also the kind of woman that will be waiting at your door step whenever you are back either from work or anywhere, and i also love cuddling on the couch with the man i love watching TV. I want you to know that when i am set ,am set and nothing can change me so i don’t beat about the bush i allow my feelings and mind to be known fast,b’cos its very awful when someone hurt another good feelings. i was born in the year 1982 which means am 28 yrs old, and will clock 29 this very yr by August. my weight, is 57, am slime, my dad is from Barcelona Spain, as i said before, While Mum is from Tarragona,,,it was on September 11, 2001 i lost my dad, when he got involved in the world disaster that happens in the World Trade Center (WTC), where him and mum went to visit one of mum’s brother who works in that building. According to one the police officers, she said as soon as they entered into the building, a plane came into the place and pool down the building. including my 2 other brothers. After dad died, i moved out of Barcrlona {Spain} to U.S.A to get some of my late days property, so that i can be in charge, and i return back to Barcrlona in less than two months.

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