Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Is this a new variation of the Nigerian email scam or a genuine cry for help from David-Baptiste Chirot?

I received the following email in both my Otoliths & personal accounts. The sender was given as david_chirot at yahoo.
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 now owning a hotel bill of $700 and they wanted me to pay the bill soon 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 back home, I need you to help me with the hotel bill and i will also need $850 to feed and help myself back home so please can you help me with a sum of $1,550 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 had been starving so please understand how urgent i need your help.i have decided not tell my family so that they will not be worried.when I return I will tell them and they will understand.
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.

My first suspicion. I have two email addresses for David, neither of which is a yahoo account. True, it's a reasonably valid sounding D-BC email, but why create a new account with a different providor for this email unless the sender was appropriating the name? But, whether or not it was genuine, I am in no position to assist financially, so I replied, copying David at his gmail account, to say that I was sorry but was unable to help.

An hour later (despite the fact that the 30 minute time window mentioned above was well & truly over when I opened the first email) I received the following reply.
Dear Editor,
Thanks for the mail,I am so happy for your repply am so greatful . i promise you as soon as i get back home i would pay you back.i would like you to send me the money through western union to the hotel mangament because of the problem with the lost of my make the payment with the information below, for i am still lucky cos i have found someone to reas me 800,doller in the next 30 minut so please do not tell any one about this i only trust and confirm in you ,so please any amount you can possibly reas for me now plaese send it now i need to retoun home

Name:clement leleji
Address:Ekko Hotel and Suites Room 6
State: Lagos
Country: Nigeria
Zip Code: 23401

After you have made payment,Send your payment details such as
sender Name:
MTCN 10 Digits:
Test Question:For who?
Amount sent:

Make the payment. Thanks and l hope to hear from you very soon.

David still appears to be continuing posting to his blog & contributing to the Buffalo Poetics list. So, forget suspicion. Make that fact. It's a scam email as far as I'm concerned. A Nigerian scam email, of a never before seen variety, the stranded poet genus. No longer several million dollars appropriated by some now dead relative that needs to be liberated to a foreign bank account once details & a deposit for expenses has been sent, but a low level, possibly generating only a few thousand dollars, Nigerian scam that recognizes that we poets are poor.

(added an hour later)
The first email has arrived again in my personal account, but this time Gmail has classified it as spam. What has happened in the interim to warrant the change in status?

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