Nurse loses $400,000 to Nigerian email scammers

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

If you’ve got an email account then chances are that you’ve received one of those emails. You know the kind.

“Dear friend.. blah blah blah.. tragic situation.. rhubarb rhubarb.. need to move umpteen million dollars.. yada yada.. please contact us as soon as possible..”

Most people, I suspect, simply delete them and think nothing more of it. But millions of the messages (known as 419 scams after the relevant section of the Nigerian penal code from where many originate) are sent every day because occasionally they manage to hook a victim.

Take for instance the astonishing story of Janella Spears from Sweet Home, Oregon.

Spears, a registered nurse and reverend, was stung over the course of two years for a grand total of $400,000, in the mistaken belief that she would receive over $20 million supposedly left by her long-lost grandfather after his death.


Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Bluesky, or drop him an email.