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The Nigerian Wine Scam

I'm so excited. I have been contacted by a mysterious foreign dignitary, or at least the relative of one who is going to help me make some big money without me having to lift a finger. It's also a great deal because I'll be helping some poor unfortunate soul who has had millions wrongfully denied them. Isn't the internet great? We can all help each other and get rich doing it!

What? You don't believe me? But I have this e-mail right here that proves it:

Winemaker Ben Kanobe & CO
Tel/Fax: 234 8032564512 899 4922
E-mail: [email protected]

Yarrow Alder Viogniergraphy:
I am Winemaker Ben Kanobe, a jedi-wienmaker, trained

in the Mosel. I am the personal winemaker to Mr. Gallo

Zinfandel. He was the CEO to a private firm in Nigeria until

30 years ago when he bought a famous winery in Napa,

CALIFORNIA. Here in after shall be referred to as my Lord

Wine. On the August 6, 1997, my boss, Lord Wine, died

from the dreaded phylloxera disease. Since the demise of

my guru, I personally has watched with keen interest to see

his next of kin but all has proved abortive as no one has come
to claim his funds deposit of US$25M, (Twenty Five Million

united states dollars) which was deposited by my late client

with Wine Bank of Napa here in Napa USA.

On this note, I decided to seek for a non-foreigner who
will stand as the Next of kin to claim this funds from
the Wine Bank of Napa where the funds was
deposited, as none of the deceased relative
has come up to claim the deceased funds.
The banking ethics here does not allow such money
to stay more than Nine years, after which the funds
will be forfeited to the US government account as
unclaimedfunds. I will not Fail to bring to your notice
thatthis business is hitch free and that you should not
entertain any fear as all modalities for fund transfer
will be finalized within ten (10) banking days
depending on how fast we can communicate. I have
all necessary legal documents that can be used to
back up any claim we may make.

All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us
see this deal through. I guarantee that this will be
executed under a legitimate arrangement that will
protect you from any breach of the law.

Please reply to my private e-mail:

[email protected]

Best regards,
Winemaker Ben Kanobe

Thanks Jack. That made my day.

Comments (12)

05.17.06 at 11:09 PM

Why do I feel like I need to take a shower? Wazoo, Baby!

Jack wrote:
05.17.06 at 11:10 PM

U think this guy is screwtops? I mean, he doesn't even say he'll cut you in for 20% of the take, unlike his fellow countrymen regularly do. What's up with dat?

Tricia wrote:
05.18.06 at 7:14 AM

Ben Kanobe, as in Obi-Wan?

Steve wrote:
05.18.06 at 8:22 AM

You know you've really on the map when the Nigerians start sending you these offers.
I had one a few years ago that began "Through successful skimming profits from national oil contracts while in my position as oil minister I now have $10 million that I need your help in removing from the country". Needless to say the honest skimmer is still waiting for my assistance!

Alder wrote:
05.18.06 at 8:48 AM

I guess so ! Who knew he was in the wine business.

Jathan wrote:
05.18.06 at 9:41 AM


Put you thinking cap on and get to work. (You can follow in the footsteps of these guys: http://www.419eater.com/)

Bertrand wrote:
05.18.06 at 10:23 AM

This guy should get a reward just for the laugh we had!....

cd wrote:
05.18.06 at 1:10 PM

Mr. Zinfandel who died from phylloxera?! =D that's classic!
these things are getting more and more personalized. i've gotten them with 'next of kin' and the name matches my last name, but damn, nothing tops this one. I'd hate to be the guy who got scammed on this one. I guess it pays to know wine and Star Wars. (oops, no pun intended)

Jean-Louis wrote:
05.18.06 at 1:59 PM

I know you have busy days, but honestly, this is sooooo great, you have to keep it going! With luck, the guy does not even read your blog and could keep it entertaining for a few days. Not that your blog is not entertaining, but this could be a new avenue. And think of all the money sloshing about in the Wine Bank!


Bonnie wrote:
05.18.06 at 7:23 PM

Well, you gotta give it to this guy, he knows his audience! Even managed to spell California right.

Paige wrote:
05.22.06 at 6:44 PM

I'm getting at least three of those sorts of emails per week, all requesting extremely expensive wines to be shipped to Lagos, Nigeria. Very sketchy business, that. For fun, I actually answered one with a shipping quote of something like $7000, to which they said 'no problem'. Yeah, right.

Just as an FYI to any other retailers out there, we have also received a fair number of emails from various individuals requesting large volumes of Roederer Cristal and Dom Perignon to be shipped to U.S. addresses where these products are readily available. Yeah, okay, Cristal is not that available since the rappers started taking baths in it, but Dom P is in practically every corner liquor store.

The emails vary in terms of level of broken English, but some seem quite legit, so be careful!

07.31.08 at 8:20 PM

My parents are Nigerian and the amount of scammers out there that keep giving nigerians a bad name is absolutely ridiculous. but anyway if your ever in Chile check out winetoursvalparaiso we put together some great wine tours around the casablanca and san antonio valleys

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