Thursday, February 28, 2013

Why I Don't Like Nigeria

If your e-mail address is in my contacts list, you probably got an e-mail like this yesterday:

I'm writing this with tears in my eyes, I am sorry that i did not inform you about my trip to Manila, Philippines. I and my family came down here to Manila, Philippines for a short vacation and we were mugged at a gun point last night at the park of the hotel where we lodged, all cash,credit cards and cell phones were stolen from us. We have been to the embassy and the police here but they are not helping issues at all, our flight leaves in less than 24hrs from now and we having problems settling the hotel bills.
The hotel manager won't let us leave until we settle the hotel bills, right now we are freaked out, All i need from you now is just a loan to pay for the hotel bills and to get our flight back to the next 24 Hours. I promise to pay the money back to you as soon as we get back home because the hotel manager won't let us leave until i pay for the hotel bills...
I need your help.

It may have my name on it, but it was not from me.  After some searching, I discovered that someone in Nigeria hacked into my e-mail account and sent that message to everyone in my address book.  All 200 of them.  And my old playgroup.  That's around 500 more people.  And my neighborhood's yahoo group.  That's around 2000 more people.

2700 people got this from me yesterday.  I am so embarrassed.

I spent several hours yesterday changing passwords, asking my e-mail provider to restore my contacts list so that I could send out a warning/apology e-mail and fielding phone calls, texts and FB messages.  At one point, I was talking to someone on my home phone about it when my cell phone rang with someone else.  To top it off, the little boy next door chose that exact moment to ring the doorbell and ask if the kids could play.  That's when I lost it.

Twenty four hours later, I'm pretty much laughing about it because what else am I going to do, but I'm still ticked at the jerk who broke into my account and sent out that trash.

The least he could have done was use proper grammar.  "I and my family"?  Lower case i instead of upper case?  Sheesh.

I did learn a few things from it all, though:

1.  People really do care about us.  One of Ryan's brothers called and left a panicked message on our answering machine because he was worried.  Several more people expressed concern via text and FB messaging, too.  I found this quite heart-warming.

2.  There are people who know me so well that they knew I would not take my kids out of school to go on an international vacation and that even in a panic, I would use the correct grammar when communicating with them (both true, btw).  I found this pretty funny.

3.  I had way too many people in my contacts list.  I spent time this morning deleting and organizing it, so at least something good came out of it all.

So if you see something similar from one of your friends or family members in your in-box, delete it immediately.  And then crack jokes about how they got back from the Philippines so quickly the next time you see them because after all is said and done, they might as well laugh about it.


  1. Ugh. I did get the email from you. I knew right away that it wasn't real, but they did try awfully hard to make it look that way. What a mess for you to deal with. I'm sure people were concerned. Crazy. Glad that you're getting it all sorted out. You'll be able to laugh more about it next week or better yet, next month. ;)

  2. The grammar problems were an instant giveaway :)