Of Emails From A 419 Princess

I remember creating my first email address close to two decades ago… The sign up procedure was brutal, requiring you to complete more fields than when you fill out an application for the Green Card Form I-551. After successfully opening my first email address I even started a side hustle where I assisted people open theirs, it helped pay for “time” in the internet cafes.

internet cafe

Back then one could only access The Internet in an internet café and the fairly affordable ones had atrociously slow speeds that it could take up to thirty minutes to simply log into your email, open and reply one email. Email servers where a bit strange, if you did not log into your account for a certain period, say 45 days your email address would be temporarily deactivated with all your emails deleted and after about 90 days without login activity the account would be permanently deactivated.

After losing the first couple of email addresses, I vowed to always check my emails at least once a month, not that there was anything to check really, the inbox mostly consisted of internet jokes and chain letters of the variety that not forwarding this messages would result in bad things happening to you.

chain letter

I also joined a social network called Friendster, its defunct now but it used to be lit as you would say these days, eventhough the conversations would take days or months subject to internet café visits. I got a message from a stranger with a hot profile and a HOT email address asking me to email them. I did woner why someone would ask me to email them instead of simply messaging me via Friendster, but I was young, so I emailed.

hotmail

They replied within seconds, it was exhilarating, having that you have mail screen pop up while you are there than having to wait three months for a response from someone. If anything, I was the one who was holding up the conversation going days without having had an opportunity to check my email. I made a point to check my email more frequently even of it meant sacrificing my lunch money for a couple of days so I could pay for a 30 minute internet session at an internet café because I knew there would be an email from A Nigerian African Princess.

She was fun to chat to, even though she had a tragic story to share, over the course of email correspondence she had wrote to me about how she was an orphaned princess seeking refuge at a convent. Her entire family had been slaughtered during a rebellion led by rebel warlords. A priest had saved her from massacre by hiding her at a local convent. After sometime she had confided that she thought I was a kind and decent person and that she felt she could trust me, there was something she wanted to talk to me about.

The priest who had been assisting her would also help us set up a telephonic date using the telephone at the rectory, I was to call at a particular time and ask the priest to fetch her and they would call me back. This was before mobile phones were common so I had to find a Phone Shop to make and receive the call from my African Princess. The appointed time arrived, I called and briefly spoke to the priest then gave him the number for the phone-shop landline, so they could call back.

Seconds later the phone rang, the priest said a few words then told me to hold for my caller handing over the phone to the princess. After the priest’s West African Accent voice and halting English, the princess’ voice was like honey poured over silk, her trilling laughter was melodic, it was amazing that she could still laugh even as death stalked her. Her father had been a crazy rich warlord; which was part of the reason he had been killed and she as the sole surviving heir to his multibillion-dollar estate had a target on her back unless…

…Unless, she could find a country to seek asylum, maybe gain citizenship,.. by marriage and in the meantime she couldn’t access her family’s finances because they were being monitored which is why she needed to transfer them to an international account where someone could manage on her behalf, for a 25% cut. Sweet sounding deal, 25% of multi-billion dollar oil fortune is a lot of money and imagine marrying a princess, even if it was for convenience. In the meanwhile, she needed me to wire the priest a bit of money for her upkeep, she would reimburse it, with interest of course, when she wired through the millions.. I said I would think it over and asked that she email the details.

The only thing that saved me from wiring the money was that I didn’t have any on me and then the universe and life conspired to keep me away from an internet café and the internet for over 45 days. By the time I next logged into my email address, my inbox had been cleared. While I was retrieving the princess’ number from my Friendster inbox one a whim I decided to search for it on Yahoo Searh (this was before Google) The email address was listed on a site for Advance Fee Scams

scam artist

An advance-fee scam is a form of fraud that typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, in return for a small up-front payment, which the fraudster requires in order to obtain the large sum.

This type of scam is also known as a 419 scam The ‘419’ part of the name comes from the section of Nigeria’s Cyber Law Criminal Code which outlaws the practice. Although these scams now happen everywhere in the world the practice was made common by Nigerian Con Artists known as Yahoo-yahoo or Yahoo Boys who specialise in Dot Com Cons and all sorts of online fraudulent behaviour…

Stay Aware

~B

PS I am an African Prince of sorts, my bloodline has royalty in it, that is why I celebrate the magic and mystery of my ancestry..

15 Comments

  1. Oh African Prince! I’m so happy you were delayed and couldn’t wire any money. Oh dear, what a brilliant scam. So sad, that there are those that play off of our compassion, needs for wealth and all that goes in to our “selfs” being gullible. A guardian angel saved you, at least one way to look it as I have a friend who may have been scammed and gave away thousands of dollars to a so called friend.

    My best friend who owns Gracie had a neighbor selling their house back in 2007 right before the housing crash. They were selling their house for over $800,000 dollars, the neighbor that is and they were moving back east to Georgia. They asked my girlfriend and hubby if they could borrow $80,000 and they would pay them back when the house sold. My friend and her hubby, good Christians as they are took out a second mortgage on their house, used $20,000 for a down payment on a new truck and gave $80,000 to their neighbor friends! What? Were? They? Thinking? They never saw a penny of that money.

    The market fell as they were trying to sell that house, I think it went into foreclosure. They tried to litigate to get payment of that money but super difficult across state lines. My girlfriend made it her mission to just work extra shifts at work and throw every extra dollars she could to eventually pay off completely that second mortgage. Holy smokes!! I was in shock because first I’d never borrow that much money from my family let alone a friend… I think of those so called neighbor friends as scammers. They won! Got a nice down payment and left them high and dry! How do people sleep at night???

    Had to share since this popped up in my mind as you share all these close calls and scammers. I think it’s good for people to read too! Be smart, be aware and be careful!! ❤️ Thank you for sharing B!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess the kindness in us sets us up to be perfect candidates for falling for scams, well that and greed lol.
      We believe what people tell us, but shouldnt we ?????
      Always in hindsight you want to ask but what were you thinking, I guess you are thinking you are thinking you are helping out… But $80000, yikes

      We gotta stay aware
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beaton, Wow! Interesting post. This brings back memories. I just never messed with e-mail until I got my first home computer in 1999. The internet was dial-up and SOOO SLOW. I did not subscribe to things like I do these days and order goods on the internet, which gets me subscribed automatically. I unsubscribed to a few just yesterday. I am glad you did not get taken!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hahahahahaha also what was up with that strange noise those dial up modems did when they where connecting.
      Just today I unsubscribed to an unsolicited newsletter from an organisation that hadnt even had the decency to tell me my pitch had been rejected only the successful candidate will be contacted *sigh* but they added me to their newsletter mailing list.

      To be honest I cant really say I wasnt taken, just happenstance maybe a guardian spirit intervened ^_^
      ~B

      Like

    1. Its apparently a very big industry and network involving bankers and IT specialists and some of the Advance Fee Scams are Romance scams and I think those ones are the pits, someone will make you fall in love with them and then ask for plane tickets to come visit or even suddenly have a family emergency and need some money and when you give them … boom.
      Makes you wonder
      ~B

      Like

  3. My Uncle has seen a lot 😂😂😂
    This was emo at some point then got funny real quick …I had a similar experience on the app “2go” just before “mxit” happened..
    but the person just wanted me to send a few pictures then I’d get money 🤦🏾‍♀️🤦🏾‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Its like trips down memory lane …. I like the idea of having some of the things I have experienced written down and accessible.
      My niece was laughing hysterically when I told her how at her age I was playing with wire model toy cars and had wait for TV to start broadcasting and here she was on YouTube with a tablet watching whatever she wanted on demand hahaha she didnt believe me in her reality the internet has always been there
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

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