Yahoo Boys (and Girls), Here Are 10 Tips For Executing The Perfect Email Scam
I’m personally tired of all the 419 letters that clog up my inbox daily, spam filter notwithstanding, so in the interest of helping my beloved Nigeria develop the one industry it seems to excel in, here are 10 tips to help the budding (and professional) scammers get their game to the next level (and no, having a tortoise given to you by Baba in the village under your computer is NOT one of them)…
Incidentally, when you get caught, and you will get caught, don’t say you learnt it here, as this is for entertainment purposes only…
Without further ado, here we go…
1. Get your encodÃ³ng right
Successful scams are about creating a cadence of credibility, something that will inspire your
victim business partner / client victim to send you money; and when you can’t even get the encoding of your message right, well, you’re showing you really don’t want that money, or do you?
In the above example I’m being offered $500, but what the heck are the intonations above the ‘o’ , the ‘n’, the ‘a’ the other ‘a’ and the ‘g’? I mean, is this Yoruba, Spanish, Turkish or what?
2. Exclamation points / Exaggerated Headers !!! – lose them!!!
I understand that exclamation points are designed to create a sense of urgency and make people take action faster, but seriously, who writes like this when it comes to serious stuff? I mean, I don’t even know what you’re trying to draw me into here, but the combo exaggerated header / exclamation points were enough to turn me off before I even bothered to get into the gist of the message. Quite frankly, they simply make you look ultra desperate, and desperation as well all know, doesn’t help your cause.
I strongly suggest, you take it down a notch, you want your
victims future business partners to actually like you, right?
Which brings us to the next, No, No:
3. PLEASE STOP SHOUTING
A successful scam requires you to build trust and confidence, things that cannot be accomplished by you screaming at the victim during your very first encounter. If you choose to scream, you will start what could be a potentially beneficial relationship on the wrong note:
Dear Yahoo Boys (and girls) please learn to nurture the relationship, take it slow, don’t rush it, you want to develop a relationship, not scare them off… When you shout like this especially for a mere $45 that you need to receive to release U$10.5 Million, well…
4. Know your target audience
This is Chinese (Not sure if Mandarin or Cantonese). I speak English, of the Nigerian / American / British variety. It’s hard to scam someone when they can’t even understand the thrust of your message, talk less of responding to it in a favorable way.
I know you’re trying to make some money, and you really don’t know or care where the money comes from, but spamming people who can’t even begin to understand the message you’re sending is a blatant waste of time and effort. Can’t be that hard to target Chinese spam to people with email providers of Chinese origin. Don’t get me wrong, you get major props, who would have thought an email message in Chinese could originate from MTN Nigeria? Definitely not I.
5. Avoid attachments
Boy oh boy, how do I get this one across without offending you… DO NOT send out attachments in your initial letter, NO MATTER WHAT. With Trojans and the like out there today, most email providers warn recipients about the letters as soon as they hit the inbox. Consequently, the possibility of your attachment being opened is significantly reduced, even if the header is one that talks about a mouth watering juicy offer…
I mean , it’s not every day that the United Nations Organization, sorry “THE UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION” (BTW See Point #3) sends me an email about an irrevocable payment order, but still…
Just remember, as stated earlier, email providers and anti-virus companies exist to stop emails like these in their tracks… ‘Nuff said…
6. Branding – use it
I know this makes me sound anal-retentive and like a stickler for detail, but believe you me, branding is important. You don’t want to carry out your activities pretending to be a large enterprise while using logos, templates and email addresses that indicate you to be an amateur:
Google is free to use anywhere in the world, so is Google images, do a quick search for ‘United Nations Letterhead’, cut it and paste it in your email and voila, you’re all legit. A little polish goes a long, long way…
Which brings us to #7:
7. Paragraphs exist for a reason, use them.
I know that education in Nigeria has basically collapsed, but yet and still, in the rest of the world, the rules of the English language still apply. One of those rules pertains to the use of paragraphs when putting sentences of together.
It’s a major turn-off for me to read a letter purporting to give me access to
all the riches in the world millions of dollars written with syntax that even a 10 year old ought to do better than…
Why not put some of your riches to good use? Correspondence courses are inexpensive compared to the new Range Rover you have your eye on, heck , even before you hit it big, you can go to numerous places online to learn the basic rules of writing in the English language.
Which brings me to #8
8. Good Grammar = Success, Bad Grammar = Failure
Checking for proper grammar is something anyone who has completed JSS3 ought to be able to do, a multi-gazillion company such as the one you claim to represent must surely employ at least one person who has completed JSS 3, no?
I mean, how can Virgin Mobile ‘Roll out US$200,000,000.00′ but not have
500 Naira $50 to pay someone to spell check the press release touting this roll out?
Tell you what, why not grab a FREE copy of OpenOffice, or a pirated copy of Microsoft Word (since the more illegal it is the more you like it), hit F7, and watch as the program automatically fixes all your grammatical mistakes. Two minutes of extra work and a lifetime of extra credibility is gained.
9. Be consistent with your geographical details
I know it can be a bit difficult to keep up, but to send money via Western Union to Lagos, Nigeria in order to resolve an
a scam issue with the FBI HQ in Washington D.C, well it seems a bit crazy…
Challenge is you’re in Lagos, not DC, so what to do? How about getting a mole to infiltrate the Accounts Receivable Department of the FBI in DC, so when your $98 comes in, they can send it to you via other channels, or better yet, pretend you’re in the EFCC, heck a bricklayer successfuly pretended to be an EFCC agent for 8 years…
10. BIG COLORFUL FONTS
In life, the best way to get noticed is to be loud and vulgar, but you’re trying to get money from your
victims future clients, not be the clown at a birthday party for a bunch of 7 year olds. Consequently, the large fonts method is a surefire way to waste bandwidth and not reel them in .
Rule of thumb to go with here, if it looks absurd on the computer screen, it’s probably not a good idea.
I want you to know that the above 10 tips apply if you really want to work hard at being a scammer, truth is, you can always take the easy way out, by becoming a contractor or a politician.
As a contractor, all you have to do is inflate a contract and then under-deliver or not deliver at all, do this a few times and you’ll be a true big-boy or big girl with millions of dollars in your account.
As a politician, it’s even simpler, when you’re approached to influence the decision making process, make sure you have on a big agbada, name your price, and just put the money in it (remember, if you run out of space, you can always put it in your cap too). Currency of choise in this case is the US$…
Here’s wishing you all the best.