Nigerian 419 scam moves to Scotland

A well established email scam that asks people to look after funds for a Nigerian government official has spawned a copycat message from sources closer to home.

The email pretends to be from Patricia Ferguson, the Scottish Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, and asks people to help move $40m (£21.6m) for a share of the cash.

The email contains links to the Member of the Scottish Parliament’s personal website in an attempt to look genuine, but a security firm has warned that it is designed to steal the victim’s bank details.

“Not only are these scammers sullying the name of Patricia Ferguson, they are trying to take advantage of people’s temptation to earn a small fortune for little effort,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

“Email users should not believe everything they receive via email, and should think before sharing their personal information with others.”

Sophos warned that sharing information with the scammers could lead to demands for money, stolen identities and financial theft.

The well-thumbed email con-trick is known as a 419 scam after the section of the Nigerian penal code that covers this kind of crime.

Okay I am all for imigration and multiculturalism, but this is a tad on the rediculous side. Now we have to come up for a new name for it now it’s here in the UK, the normal name sounds too common.

I just still can’t believe people fall for this type of rubbish, but given Brits lost £1 billion (US equivilent to $1trillion) last year to these things it just goes to show. Have these people never heard of “If it sound to good to be true…”?

I know the US Dollar has fallen in value, but it’s not that bad yet…
£1 billion = $1.84986 billion at present exchange rates.

A billion here, a billion there…pretty soon you’re talking real money…

No it’s the numbers thing like in the data side, and not to do with the actual exchange rate.

The US billion is much SMALLER than the UK billion! In the US, one billion is one thousand million (i.e., it has 9 zeros and equals 1,000,000,000). In the UK, one billion is one million million (i.e., it has 12 zeros and equals 1,000,000,000,000)

??? Would you care to expound on that…?

US Dollar- noun: a politician’s promise to pay nothing on demand. /.

I did but I must have posted it after you. Sorry.

From the oft quoted Wikipedia:
"The original meaning, established in the 15th century, was “a million of a million” = 1 000 000 000 000. This system, known in French as the échelle longue (“long scale”), is still encountered in the United Kingdom, [B]though has been officially replaced by the short scale in government documents, and has been largely abandoned in journalism and finance.[/B] The long scale remains official in most countries where English is not the primary language. 1 000 000 000 is referred to as a trillion in the “short scale” system.

See why numbers can be annoying. Nice little table though it goes into silly numbers.

There’s a variation of this floating around, where someone might send you a ‘personal’ email asking to get to know you (seems normal), BUT the second one will likely bring out the scam, asking you to transfer ~$5 million USD to your account, and to send the person some. It may involve some kind of tragedy (e.g., the person is in a refugee camp), but if you just think, the ‘tragedy’ is faked, and the scam is under the guise of being ‘personal.’ It’s still there to try to sucker you into getting your bank account, so beware… :eek:

Hello Everyone,

I hope I am not intruding at all by writing this thread. If I am, please feel free to have a moderator remove it.

I am in search of stories from victims of 419, Check Washing, Black Currency, and other related fraud cases. I have setup a page of instructions if you are a victim that wishes to share your experience. These stories will be archived in hopes of preventing other people from becoming future victims. Public Education is the key in fighting these kind of scams!

Click Here if you wish to visit the page I have setup to post your story.

If anyone wishes to email me their story instead, you may do so at

Thank you for the forum, I can see myself finding many interesting things to read that your organization has posted.


Why the rest of the world does not take action to isolate Nigeria unless they put a stop to most if not all the scams that are from the country I do not know. Why have a united nation or world trade agreements when you do not use them to stop things like this. I would be willing to bet Nigeria would take action if the rest of the world said they were cutting all internet and phone service to there country if they do not crack down big time on this.

I thought every country new about that scam by now.
I know it’s sad and kind of comical that some people fall
for this. I personally like the one of the canadian lottery.

They still get people like old people whose minds are not what they used to be.

Old being defined as 40-something :stuck_out_tongue:
Or maybe Aussies are just dumber than usual too :stuck_out_tongue: