INSIDE IOWA STATE
August 31, 2001
Watch for get-rich bank scam
by Debra Gibson
As if the federal tax refund wasn't enough of a summer bonus, now $7 million
can be yours.
All you need to do is provide Dr. Sam Dadu of Lagos, Nigeria, with your bank
account and routing numbers and poof, you've got cash. And lots of it,
thanks to your willingness to squirrel away the $21.5 million Dadu and his
buddies at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation have scammed from a
This get-rich-quick invitation is being sent via e-mail, U.S. mail and fax
machines around the ISU campus and the nation. Should this bogus offer pop
up on your computer screen, heed the advice of DPS Captain Rob Bowers:
delete it, don't respond.
"The best thing you can do with a message like this is get rid of it," Bowers
advises. "There are lots of variations on this scheme being e-mailed,
including one that asks you to send $10,000 to secure a surety bond for the
money's transfer. Other times, the information you provide allows these
people to clean out your bank accounts."
Unlike many e-mail "urban legends" being circulated around the nation, this
particular ruse is an actual attempt to steal funds from innocent victims,
Bowers said. During the 10 years the swindle has been circulating, some
individuals have actually traveled to Nigeria to close the non-existent
According to Jerry Stewart, interim DPS director, campus law enforcement
officials have talked with FBI representatives over the years concerning the
Nigerian plot, which by now has spun off into several "copycat" versions.
Though neither he nor Bowers is aware of any Iowa State employees or
students having cooperated with the perpetrators of this plan, both want to
keep it that way.
"There are lots of e-mail scams out there," Bowers said,"and we're suggesting
you delete them all. And even if it's a 'feel-good, send this to five friends
and Bill Gates will mail you $5', none of those ever happen. The worst thing
we can do with this spam is to keep sending it to other people."
Contact DPS officials at 4-4428 if you receive such requests, or forward the
e-mails to Stewart at
email@example.com; Bowers at
firstname.lastname@example.org or Gene Deisinger, DPS special operations manager,
For more information on e-mail scams, check out the Federal Trade
Commission's "Dirty Dozen" list at
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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