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My Nigerian e-mail nightmare: How I lost $50,000
"It seemed like a great way to make $2mn"

"I received an e-mail from BiddyBob Ogodabi - she seemed in such a sorry predicament. It was all such a shame that her father had just been executed by the ruling junta in Nigeria..."

The Ogodabi e-mail

You do not know me. I am sorry for contacting you at such short notice and in this way but this is of the utmost urgency, isn't it?

My name is BiddyBob Ogodabi, Hi ya!, and I need of your help. My father was a very wealthy man, but he came a cropper with the Nigerian government. He was badly executed by firing squad recently. But before he died he managed to hide $20mn but I need a foreign bank account into which I can transfer the funds so that I can get hold of it, you know how it is!

I will happily give you 10% of the proceeds for this transaction...

"I wanted to help her out in any way that I could."

"And, I'll be honest, the $2mn I was going to make out of it was in the back of my mind too, I'm only human after all."

This was the beginning of an electronically tearstained e-mail we received the other day from a kindly fella who, on trying to do what he felt was the 'right thing', ended up losing $50,000 in a fraud which involved him handing over money because he was asked for it.

"She made getting $2mn sound so easy"

It all began, in May of this year, when our anonymous victim replied to BiddyBob Ogodabi, a person he had never met before in his whole life. Here, he takes up the story:

"Firstly, I was given an African web site to log into. I had to register as a foreign national - this was the first step in getting the funds over into my account. The $1000 "Security search fee" seemed steep but the word security was in there so I thought my $1000 payment was safe, so I paid it."

"A couple of weeks passed and, thankfully, I passed security."

"Like a floppy rag doll in a shower room"

"Then, another problem. The bank told me that, in order to get senior Bank Official approval for this large transfer, I had to guarantee 0.1% of the total transaction value, $20,000. I was told that this payment was normal in Nigeria and was a sign of what they called "my fidelity" to the bank. It seemed like a lot of money, so I had a good think about it. I reasoned that this was the closest I was ever going to get to earning $2mn for doing nothing, and what was $20,000 when you thought of the good I would do and the $2mn at the end..."


"So I arranged a remortgage of my property and the money went through."

"I was then told to wait for instructions and the $20,453,874 would be transferred into my account forthwith. I can't tell you how relieved I was when I received that e-mail."

"I waited and then, horror of horrors, got another e-mail asking for $25,000. Apparently, the Nigerian government (Minister Benjamin Ogodabi) had levied a 'super tax' on the bank in last weeks budget. I had to pay that tax before any money could be transferred into a westerner's bank account."

"By this time I was starting to get cynical. How much more money do they want from me? Are they ripping me off? But my mind kept going back to the plight of this woman, so emotionally described in the first e-mail. She had been through so much, poor woman. Her father had been executed by firing squad in the worst possible way - none of the guns fired properly and he had to be clubbed to death."

"However, I was determined not to be ripped off so I demanded a photograph of Ms Ogodabi before I would go any further. I wanted to look into her eyes to see if she was trustworthy."

"I never had sexual relations with that woman, Ms Ogodabi"

"Well, the picture arrived and she was quite a babe. It was inscribed 'With love from BiddyBob'. Well, I choked up, bit the back of my hand even, and so I re-remortgaged the house and put a further $25,000 into the security deposit and tax account and looked forward to getting further down the road to liberating this $20mn father fund. If anything I felt more determined by the latest set back."

"Read my lips, no new taxes"

"I then got an e-mail from the police in Nigeria. Officer Brad Ogodabi told me that I had been ripped off and that I had lost all my money. I had fallen for the latest scam, popular in Nigerian internet cafes. I was shocked and stunned. But, he said, I might be able to recover some of the funds if I paid $4,000 into a police deposit fund. Well, it had the police name in it so I quickly forwarded the $4,000."

"I then got an e-mail soon after from the FBI saying that Brad Ogodabi wasn't a police officer at all and I had lost everything. I cried. Then I wrote to you. WhadamIgonnado?"


Have you been ripped off by begging e-mail's? Want us to tell you what an idiot you were? Don't bother e-mailing us, losers. Never give money away to anyone you don't know. Other than to us, obviously. If you've just got to send anyone you don't know money, then send it to us. After we have bought a nice house, a nice car, sorted our pension fund and then bought a few holiday properties, we will give generously to charity. Just click on the paypal logo below and away we go...


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