We here at IveTriedThat.com are not afraid to try anything or help anyone. So, when a 21 year old girl from Addis Ababa emails us looking for help to transfer 21 million dollars to a foreign account, you can bet we stepped right up to help.

I’d heard about the Nigerian Scam before, so when I received the email below, I recognized it immediately. But, having too much time on my hands, I thought it might be fun to mess with the petty criminals who run such things.

Check here to follow my (not so) informative review of a typical Nigerian scam.

READ THIS NEXT: How to build a full-time income online with no experience

Join the Discussion

  • Lori

    I was also a victim of what I now believe to be a Nigerian scam. I was contacted by Rev. David Jeremiah.In exchange for prayers,I was asked to help support the Good Samaritan Orphanage in Nigeria. I was then contacted by a representative of the orphanage,never gave hid name,on behalf of a woman named Uwagboe Faith and asked to accept 2million dollars that one of the orphan’ s father had left him and invest the money. All certificates of transfer and feed were to be paid at my expense. After sending them a total of $800 plus a couple donations,they said a document was missing and would cost another $800. I didn’t have it and then was threatened with a money laundering charge by someone claiming to be from the FIN. Supposedly a diplomat bringing the money was detained by Homeland Security at the airport and I was to pay $800 for the document to free him.After the initial $800, I didn’t have enough for the regular donation to the orphanage and got an email from their representative saying because I didn’t send the donation,2 kids froze to death for lack of blankets. They must have thought I didn’t have weather on my phone. It was 85ºin Nigeria that day!There was also a lawyer named Demi Falana involved who purportedly helped pay costs that I owe him for. Needless to say,I never received any money or got mine back.

  • Andrew

    Well done Steve! I have just finished reading the emails back and forth and I must say you did an excellent job of winding this scammer up! Brilliant.

  • Sosad (Greg Parker)
    Sosad (Greg Parker)

    No probs. You can contact me on hugelyfree@hotmail.com
    If, for any reason you don’t believe I am genuine with my claims and somehow believe I am on here for a mudslinging match I want to let you know you may very well be just a commentator for Nigerian scammers only…. Not that you could do anything anyway but your willingness to help with your thoughts and comments is welcomed by myself and others on here.
    I have written off what I lost to being scammed. Stopped all contact with scammers and now starting again from scratch.

  • okeke

    Sosad why the insult? Just because you lost 80000 euros doesn’t mean it’s the end of the of the world or your life. I wrote an article on Nigerian scams which was published on this website some months back. Did you read it? let’s not start any mudslinging on Joe’s website. I would like to have your email address so I can contact you.

  • Sosad (Greg )
    Sosad (Greg )

    ‘OKEKE’ believe me I was indeed scammed out of over $80,000 Australian. If you don’t bloody believe me give me your personal email address and I will prove to you I was. You can’t help me anyway and thats obvious. My views of “ALL NIGERIANS” now is that they are a black race of arseholes and scamers.

    ‘Careful’ this goes for you to you dick head.

    If you want to know which email address was the main scammer who ripped my life apart it was jenny_james1984@hotmail.com Send an email to this arsehole scammer and ask them if they know of me ( hugelyfree from Perth Australia ) and if you get an honest reply (which I never did from the start of being scammed….fukit)….then you will know 100% for sure I am telling the truth.

  • careful

    Watch it okeke. The one that supposedly lost $80 000.00 may be a scammer that is after your blood. Wise thing you did there.

  • okeke

    Sosad, I am not sure i can do that. I think tne efcc would rather want the victim himself to provide the details of the scammers email address.Alright,I am willing to help,but pls know that I am just an ordinary Nigerian.I have never done such before.So I cant promise you something positive will come out of this.But let’s all keep our fingers crossed.

  • SoSad

    okeke, would you be interested in helping me provide the true EFCC with details of the persons email address who scammed me out of over $80,000 Australian. It happened a while ago and they are still asking for money. This time I have requested they open a bank account and give me the details, just hope they oblige….yeah I want this wanker bigtime. I have nothing against Nigerians ok, I go to church with them here and they are all cool people here anyway.

    okeke, if you post back on here and say you can help me I will subscribe so that I can give you my email address, we can take it from there. Hope you can help me, fingers crossed.

  • okeke

    They can,but my advice is not to go to the police. They are a corrupt lot. Dont be surprised if the police tells Jane to pay them before they can help her.Or they might even collect the money after getting it back from the scammer and share among themselves! No they are INEFFICIENT! The western union should give the recipient’s information to EFCC

  • okeke

    well, Jane if you are still bitter about losing your money,you can contact the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC). It’s the agency with the power to catch scammers in Nigeria.You can do a google on the agency or go to http://www.efccnigeria.org. If you still have the email address of the scammer, perhaps you can renew contact with the scammer and scam bait him.The EFCC might be able to trace the ip address of the scammer and apprehend him. The scammer is probably living in Lagos State(the scam capital of Nigeria). So here’s the Lagos State phone number of the agency +234 1 2624189. Their email address is info@efccnigeria.org. Good luck in catching your scammer and getting back your money. Hey, I am just trying to be a good samaritan.

    • Joe

      Okeke, couldn’t the Western Union office that processed the payment give the recipient’s information to the police?

  • okeke

    And to answer your question,it is almost impossible to recover such money.Am sorry Jane but you have to kiss that money bye-bye for good.

  • okeke

    Jane,19000 dollars at the ongoing exchange rate in Nigeria is about 2,000,000 naira.Did you count the zeros after the “2”? You have made the scammer a millionaire

  • Jane Felix
    Jane Felix

    This Edward Smith claimed to be a Senator and demanded over various occassions over $19,000.00 from me for a Inheritance and I want to get it all back.

    Can you please help me to get it back?



    • Joe

      Jane, are you saying you sent Edward Smith $19,000?

  • okeke

    yes I am a Nigerian.It is not easy to resist joining a lot of my friends here in Nigeria who have made it big by defrauding gullible westerners.Like i said before in this forum,some of these scammers are high school boys.When i have the time,i will do a piece on this Nigerian scam issue.

  • sdkid

    I get at least 10 scam emails a day and I like to play with them.I get one that says that someone has applied and payed for the expenses and they want to know if I authorized it. I tell them that I don’t even know the person but since they seem to know how to get the funds and have the funds to pay them let them have the funds. Also please give me their phone number and email address so I can contact them and maybe they will give me some of my funds to me. LOL Never got an email address or phone number back. LOL

  • Joel

    I get several of those emails as well, I just keep on hitting the “report phishing scam” button hoping it actually does something. I almost got taken a UK lottery scam as well. The first email they sent me they only asked me for my name and address, so I happily replied thinking I won like 2 or 3 million dollars. Then the second email they sent they asked for my bank account info., my drivers license number and my occupation. I thought that was a little weird. That’s when the thought crossed my mind to do some research, and sure enough there was the UK lottery on a list of scams along with hundreds of others. It’s just sad and pathetic how they get peoples hopes up and then rob them blind.

  • Keri

    Just got this one right after I left my first message……….The UK is another place of horrors………yikes…..

    BATCH NUMBER:065/088/XY24
    TICKET NUMBER:023-1111-790-458
    OUR REF: 27349/46

    This Email is to inform you that you emerged a winner of £2,000,000.00
    on our online draws which was played on the 27TH March,2008.For
    further Information about your Winnings,contact our Lottery Fiduciary
    Agent with the following contact Address.

    Name;Mr Michael Taylor
    E-mail Address:- michaeltaylor2008@live.com

    Sir. Richard K. Lloyd
    Co-ordinator(Online Promo Programme

  • Keri

    I get hundreds of these e-mails, it is almost sickening that people can be this ruthless in their endeavors……….I can’t and will not read one more of these things. Oh by the way, I have won about 15-20 lotteries too!! Problem there is these are all scams from Nigeria, never give out personal information too these people. One day they will get caught!! Lets hope!!

  • thatgirl

    Around $3500.00. I finally said enough and cut them off.

  • Joe

    @ thatgirl: How much did you lose the first time?

  • thatgirl

    I receive at least two scams a day. I don’t understand how they get my email address. I was taken by the first one, but not since. Some of the stories they tell are so sad. but you can’t let that effect your decision.

  • Annette Albanese
    Annette Albanese

    I have just received a new scam letter to my email which reads:

    Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 10:25:07 +0100
    From: “SCAM_COMPENSATION” Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert



    REF/PAYMENTS CODE: ECB/06654 $150,000 USD.

    This is to bring to your notice that we are delegated from the UNITED
    NATIONS in Central Bank to pay 150 victims of scam $150,000 USD (One
    Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars Only each).You are listed and
    for this
    payment as one of the scammed victims to be paid this amount, get back
    this office as soon as possible for the immediate payments of your
    $150,000 USD compensations funds.

    On this faithful recommendations, want you to know that during the last
    U.N. meetings held at Abuja, Nigeria, it was alarming on the money lost
    by various individuals to the scams artists operating in syndicates all
    over the world today. In other to compensate victims, the UNITED
    Body is now paying 150 victims $150,000 USD each in accordance with the
    UNITED NATIONS recommendations. Due to the corrupt and inefficient
    Banking Systems in Nigeria, the payments are to be paid by Central Bank
    Nigeria as corresponding paying bank under funding assistance by

    Benefactor of this compensation award will have to be first cleared and
    recommended for payment by ECO BANK PLC.

    According to the number of applicants at hand, 114 Beneficiaries has
    paid, over a half of the victims are from the United States, we still
    have an outstanding of 36 scam victims left to be paid. Other victims
    not been contacted can submit their application as well for scrutiny
    possible consideration.

    We shall feed you with further modalities as soon as we get response
    you on how you intend receiving your compensation payment.

    Send a copy of your response and payment code to our remittance

    ECB/06654 $150,000 USD.
    Email: ecobankplc_nig444@yahoo.co.uk

    Yours Faithfully,
    Mrs. May Udoh

  • Yuki

    Here’s the other one:


    Direct line +27-73-99-58-110.

    My name is PAUL DEMANGO, the first son of the late JAMES DEMANGO. I will be 19years old on the 15th December 2007: my father J.C. DEMANGO is a great farmer in Zimbabwe. It might be a surprise for you to receive this letter from me and most especially where. I got your contact information from Global Trade Agent under the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industrial in Pretoria.
    During the current crisis against the farmers in Zimbabwe by the supporters of President Robert Mugabe to claim all white owned farms in the country, he ordered all white farmers to surrender their farms to his party members and his supporters, my father was the only black farmer that opposed the president actions towards the white farms
    My father was at the same time killed on the process of fighting back the invaders. After two months I lost my mother and the president gave order to confiscate all our properties including the farmland. After the incident, my younger brother and I decided to move out of Zimbabwe to South Africa for the safety of our lives.

    My late father told me on his bedside about a finance company, in which all the relevant documents (depository agreement) was handed over to me by him to go ahead and transfer this money out of the country for investment.

    The total amount is US$4.2million (Four Million Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) was lodged into the security company in a metal box and the contained box was not made known to the security company, rather it was declared to them as gold and precious metals. Due to our president status in South Africa and the nature by which we entered South Africa we do not reserve the right to operate or maintain a foreign dominated account as refugees. For your kindness I agree to give you 30%, 10% is set aside for expenses incur during the process of this transaction. Please I need your advice as an elderly person. Please contact me with the above telephone number and Email address.Therefore, to enable the immediate transfer of this fund to you as arranged, give me your private telephone and fax number for easy and effective communication and location where in the money will be remitted.
    This transaction is 100% risk free.

    I wait to hear from you as soon as possible.

    Yours Faithful,
    Paul Demango

  • Yuki

    Hey, I just got two emails similar to the nigerian scam:

    From: Mrs. Monica Tema
    Please get back to me in this email address{ mrsmonicatema33@yahoo.fr }

    person from Sierra-Leone. I am married to Dr Ebenezer Tema who worked with
    Sierra Leonian Embassy in South Africa for nine years before he died in
    the year 2001. We were married for eleven years without a child. He died
    after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. Before his death we
    were both born again Christians and we lived happilly. Since his death, I
    decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which
    the Bible is really against.

    When my late husband was alive he secured $15Million (Fifteen Million U.S.
    Dollars) with financial institution here in Cote D’Ivoire. Presently, this
    money is still with the financial institution. Recently, my Doctor told me
    that from all the test conducted on my health, I am not going to last
    long, expecially, due to my cancer and stroke. But what disturbs
    me most now is stroke.

    Having known my condition, I decided to donate this fund to churches or
    Christian individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to
    instruct. I want a church or individual that will use this money to fund
    churches, Orphanages and Widows. Also, the propagation of the work of God,
    building and maintaining the house of God through this money, is very

    The Bible made us to understand that Blessed is the hand that giveth. I
    took this decision because I don’t have any child that will inherit this
    money and my husband relatives are not Christians. I don?t want my
    husband’s hard earned money to be misused by unbelievers, for their own
    selfish interest and in an ungodly manner. I am not afraid of death hence
    I know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the bossom of the
    Lord. Exodus 14 VS 14 says that the lord will fight my case and I shall
    hold my peace.

    I don’t need any telephone communication in this regard because of my
    health, and because of the presence of my husband’s relatives around me
    sometimes. I don’t want them to know about this development, but I know
    that With God all things are possible.

    As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the
    Financial institution in Ivory coast. I will also give you all information
    regarding the deposit of this money. I will also issue you a letter of
    authority that will empower you as the original- beneficiary of this fund.
    I want you and your church to always pray for me because God work in
    misterious ways. My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy
    Christian. Who ever that wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit
    and truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life.

    Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for a church or
    christian individual for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will
    act accordingly as I stated herein. Hoping to hear from you soon.

    Remain blessed in the name of the Lord.

    Yours in Christ,
    Mrs Monica Tema

  • okeke

    Here’s one of the ways they do this:they write the mail.sometimes they use logos or pictures of organisations or even government institutions.(i have seen one sent out by a guy,with the picture of nigerian federal house of assembly).then,with the help of an e-mail extractor,they send to as many e-mails addresses as possible.then they they wait for at least one positive response to their mail…

  • okeke

    The scammers who engage in this are called the YAHOO-YAHOO MEN.Thats what we call them here.their intended victims are called MARGAS.i have a friend who is into it.But he lives in another state in nigeria and the last time i heard fron him was in 2006.theres a website a friend showed me were all about nigerian scams are exposed.I cant recall the name now but theres another i know of:www.safefromscams.co.uk.when you get there click on e-mail scams,then go down to nigerian advance fee fraud.Anyway i will see what i can do about arranging an interview,but i cant make any promises.

  • Joe

    Okeke, if so many people are doing it, it must be a pretty successful tactic. Do you have any idea how often it works?

  • okeke

    I am a nigerian and i know that mail came from nigeria.I know because i browse from a cyber cafe,and as I write this,there are people sending similar scam mails like the one above right now.You wont believe the ages of people who send such scam mails:from teenagers to adults in their 40s.Its that bad here.

  • Rachel

    Of course not but I enjoyed being inventive !

  • Joe

    That’s funny, Rachel. Did you get a response? It wouldn’t surprise me if you did. One thing I’ve learned about these scammers is that they are not the sharpest tools in the shed.

  • Rachel

    I once replied to one of these as The Princess Leah and said that my father had died and that I needed access to funds he had in Nigeria and if they helped me, I might be inclined to help them.

  • Joe

    It’s a hoot, Linda. Maybe you could get the scammer to send you a photo of something stupid, like him/her holding a sign that says, “Sca Mmers Rotinh Ell,” which as you know, is Creole for “My mother was a hound dog.”

  • Linda

    OMG!!! I just sat here and read the entire Nigerian Scam, I always wondered how it worked, ususally when I get those type of emails, I reply back with KISS MY AZZ!!! but you know what I am going to do the wild goose chase thing it seemed fun… lol

  • Joe

    Hi Corinne,
    So I take it you didn’t help out the little old lady? You are cold! Yes, deleting it is the best choice. But sending them some fake numbers and launching a wild goose chase is more fun. :)

  • Corinne Edwards
    Corinne Edwards

    Never mind just the Nigerians – this has taken on so many variations.

    I got one from a little old lady from England who sells her embroidery in the US and needs help to collect her money. It was heartbreaking!

    There is just one RULE.

    If they want anything from you like ANY of your personal information or bank account.

    Delete it!


  • joe

    Yes, it’s unfortunate that the name “Nigerian scam” tarnishes an entire people. Miss Angela claimed to be Ethiopian, not Nigerian. Thanks for stopping by.

  • ebele

    …very interesting. Thanks for taking this as far as you did. Was insightful.

    I’m Nigerian. Unfortunately, there are a small percentage of people that are giving Nigerians a big bad name – this is how stereotypes are created because before you know it (if this hasn’t happened already), every Nigerian will be tarnished with the same brush.

    I refuse to claim these people as my own. I ain’t defending them either.

    And I don’t believe that some of these scammers are actually Nigerian at all.

    Nigerians are beauty-full, passionate, hard-working, creative and resourceful people. And everything in-between. There isn’t one type of Nigerian. For we, like the rest of the human race, are as varied as we are many.

    Over and out.


  • Joe

    Wow, it looks like William Cussans is a bit smarter than my Miss Angela. That’s pretty elaborate. You might have to be extra careful to “play” him.

  • TJ

    Ha, I just got another one in email:

    From: “Mr Williams Cussans.”

    From: Mr. William Cussans, Investment management, Smith & Williamson
    Private Banking Services
    25 Moorgate
    EC2R 6AY
    United Kingdom.

    Dear Friend,

    I am Mr. William Cussans, the accounting officer-in charge of the
    investment section of the above named Finance house. I have decided to
    contact you on a business Transaction that requires confidentiality,
    and transparency, where both of us have a lot to benefit, during my
    investigation and auditing in the Accounts section, I came across a
    sum of money belonging to a deceased person. Though I know that contact
    this nature will make any one apprehensive and worried, I am assuring
    that everything has been taken care of, and you have nothing to fear at
    all and i would be very glad if you would allow me bring you to a
    picture of what is on ground, what we intend to do and how we intend to

    This enquiry involves a client who shares your surname. It was brought
    my knowledge that the aforementioned client died intestate and
    no next of kin to the title over investments made. We came to know of
    via the London. Global. Database.Center (L.G.D.C.) Hence i am making
    contact. The essence of this communication with you is to request that
    provide me with information on 2 KEY issues.

    1. Are you aware of any investment of considerable value made by such a
    person with any Private Bankers?
    2 Can you establish beyond reasonable doubt your eligibility to assume
    status of next of kin to the deceased?

    He died in an air crash along with his wife on the 31st October 1999 in
    Egyptian airline boeing 990 with other passengers on board. You can
    confirm this fact from the website which was aired by the BBC WORLD
    Since his death, none of his relatives or associates have come forward
    lay claims to his funds as next-of-kin, and on my own i have made
    concerted effort to locate any of his relatives but all proved
    Based on the ethics and policies of the bank,it would be declared
    unclaimed and taken to the treasury of the bank as capital base of the
    bank, because already the account has been tagged dormant because it
    exceeded the normal functional number of years.

    We cannot release the funds from his account unless someone applies for
    or lays claim as the next-of-kin to the deceased as indicated in our
    banking guidelines. Upon this discovery, I now seek your permission and
    assistance to present you and have you stand as a next of kin to the
    deceased,so that the funds can be released and transfer to you, as all
    documentations will be carefully worked out by me for it to be released
    your favor as the beneficiary’s next of kin, if not the members of the
    board of directors will utilise it for their personal aggrandisement.
    Because after six years as this is the fifth year going it will be
    back to the bank treasury as unclaimed bills and shared amongst the
    directors of the bank, so it is on this note i decided to seek for whom
    his name shall be used as the next of kin/beneficiary rather than allow
    the bank directors to share it amongst themselves at the end of the

    It may interest you to know that I have secured from the probate
    commission an order of mandamus to locate any of the deceased
    beneficiaries. Please acknowledge receipt of this message in acceptance
    our mutual business endeavour by furnishing me with the following
    information if you are interested.

    1. A beneficiary name, in order for me to prepare the documents for
    transfer in your name.
    2. Direct Telephone and fax numbers…For our personal contact and for
    easy communication between both of us.

    Upon your acceptance I shall send you my identity for more
    and trust in each other as i shall trust you not to elope at

    If this proposal is acceptable by you, please endeavor to contact me
    immediately. Do not take undue advantage of the trust I have bestowed
    you, I await your urgent response. Contact me via this email address
    please: mr_william_001@yahoo.co.uk

    Do note that my email address at the bank is monitored and contact
    never be through that email.

    William Cussans.

  • TJ

    Wow…this is just wrong.

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