Woman Taken for $400K in Nigerian Email Scam


Sweet Home, Oregon. Janella Spears, a registered nurse by trade, fell victim to one of the oldest tricks on the internet by responding to one of the millions of emails that have long since been outed as scams in the press, and on network television in expose' segments. Everyone with an email account by now has surely seen one of these emails promising large sums of money in exchange for "upfront money" to help free or shift funds around by a citizen, long lost relative, or government official in a politically corrupt and war torn nation. You would think that by now it has become so old-hat that such an email would just be discarded without a second thought or maybe a quick read for a laugh at the audacity of such a ploy.

Spears received an email promising her $20.5 million if she would help a long lost relative named J.B.Spears with a little upfront money. "That's what got me to believe it," Spears said. The upfront money of $100 seemed minimal considering the great financial rewards she would reap later.

The scammer responded with official (fake) looking documents and certificates from the Bank of Nigeria, even including documents from the United Nations all claiming that the her payment was "guaranteed."

And as these scammers normally do, the amount of upfront money was increased to $8,300 with a return promised of $26.6 million. Spears complied and sent the money.


Of course this was not the end of the requests for more money. As the scam continued, she received promises of even greater amounts of money, accompanied by more official looking documents which included numerous misspellings, in return for additional funds. The scammers went so far as to include fake letters from the President of Nigeria, FBI Director Mueller, and President Bush. The scammers claimed in the letters that terrorists would get the money if she did not comply by sending additional money. Spears continued sending funds even at her own financial peril which included spending her husband's retirement account funds, mortgaging her (paid off) home and taking a lien on the family car title.

Over more than two year Spears sent tens, then hundreds of thousands of dollars, despite those around her including law enforcement officials, her family, and bank officials telling her to cease as this was surely a scam.

An undercover investigator that worked the case attributed her continued compliance in these requests for money to greed that had blinded Spears to the reality of the situation. The agent went so far as to say this was the worst case like this he had ever seen. He (the agent) said people become so obsessed with trying to reach the end of this process and receive the promised payout in order to dig themselves out the dire financial position they have put themselves into that they descend into a "vicious cycle of sending money in hopes the false promise will turn out to be real"

Finally Spears has gone public with her story in the hope it might educate and warn others of these scams. She estimates it will take several years or more to dig herself out of the debt she incurred in pursuit of this non-existent "pot of Nigerian gold".
Via:  KATU
Tags:  Email, Mail, scam, CAM, AI, AM, K
Comments
ice_73 6 years ago

wow, thats stupid. i want to feel sorry for her, but i cant... i can understand sending in the money once, heck twice... i could even understand 3x but sending money for two years! with all those bad spelling mistakes? you gotta blame it on her....

amdcrankitup 6 years ago

I dont understand people falling for these scams but I do feel sorry for them. Its just unfortunate that it happens.

3vi1 6 years ago

I don't even feel sorry for her. These scams all start with a promise: Money for nothing. The only reason they work is greed on the part of the 'victims'.

bob_on_the_cob 6 years ago

I read about one of these were a women stole tons of money from her work to give to one of these scammers. She said she intended on returning it when she got her millions. I don't understand how someone can believe this crap. My girlfriend fell for one. It was a craigslist ad for a house. Rent to own. The "owner" had moved to africa for a job and wanted to sell the house. Jen did the application and was approved lol. That's when she told me about it. I looked at the email and was like why don't you drive by that house. She did and people lived in it.

Grahf 6 years ago

Looks like we should get in the booming scamming business.

3vi1 6 years ago

[quote user="Grahf"]

Looks like we should get in the booming scamming business.

[/quote]

I agree.  Send me $3500 and I'll process your application.

Der Meister 6 years ago

AHAHAHA, really some people ar so dumb. I wonder how they make it through the day...

3vi1 6 years ago

Send me $450 and I'll tell you.

recoveringknowitall 6 years ago

Scams suck!

Multi level marketing(pyramid schemes)FTW!!! lol

3vi1 6 years ago

[quote user="recoveringknowitall"]

Scams suck!

Multi level marketing(pyramid schemes)FTW!!! lol

[/quote]

I find your ideas interesting and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

nelsoncp21 6 years ago

 Agreed that was her own stupidity. I am actually getting sick of these scams and I wish that something would be done about it. I wish I was actually computer savy enough to respond to 1 with an attachment telling them my info was in the attachment and when they opened it it crashed they're stupid computers so they couldn't send anymore. I have received 4 of these types of scam mails in the past week alone. I have never even responded to 1 of them. I did however report 1 cause I could easily see someone falling for this creative one. It was addressed as if it was from fedex with a tracking # talking about a package that had been sent to me but held up in litigation and for $200 I could get it. Look like the email actually came from fedex. of course that was the short version of the email but needless to say I felt obligated to report it to fedex. I hope they fry these fools.

3vi1 6 years ago

Nigerian 419 scams have've been around for more than the 12 years I've been on the internet. When you see a scam, report it to the FBI: http://www.fbi.gov/majcases/fraud/fraudschemes.htm#nigerian as I've always done. Hopefully, I've saved more than a couple of suckered souls.

ice_73 6 years ago

i cant understand why the un wont just go and kick these scamers ass! 

recoveringknowitall 6 years ago

I was scammed once. When I found out that the cake was a lie, I was ready to unleash some serious nerd rage!!!

Crisis Causer 6 years ago

[quote user="recoveringknowitall"]

I was scammed once. When I found out that the cake was a lie, I was ready to unleash some serious nerd rage!!!

[/quote]

Heheh.  But it wasn't really a lie, you just couldn't get to it.

As for this woman... I can see her being old and foolish and gullible for the first ONE.  But she's really clueless if she kept sending hundreds of thousands.  Eek.

 

 

3vi1 6 years ago

LOL... great Portal reference!

3vi1 6 years ago

lol... she's lucky to have you man!

rafamrc 6 years ago

Yah, i feel sorry for the poor woman, it was her greed to get something the easy way.

I feel sorry for a country too, living a financial scam, it was their greed too, how come nobody noticed before it hapenned, just like this poor lady. =P

Dev 6 years ago

You get what you pay for and she paid for her stupidity.

recoveringknowitall 6 years ago

Conning ppl is an art form hence the term con artist. :)

Seriously though, it's a shame ppl get taken... even if it's due to their own gullability.

tanka12345 6 years ago

Thats sad losing $400,000, she could've got loads of new computers or one ultimate one! It's actually quite easy to identify a scam, but it's even easier to spot if it's an e-mail from Nigeria.

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