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Fighting Racism, HIV/AIDS, and Poverty?
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Fighting Racism, HIV/AIDS, and Poverty?

Recently most of the letters from Nigeria scammers went into the junk mail folder or recyle bin directly, but this one went thru since it was from someone I knew. It takes few phone calls and emails to figure out that this was yet another scam. I wish I had googled it first before contacting all my friends who also received the same email.

When I first saw this email, my first reaction was, no way! What an Astronomy Professor has to do with fighting racism, HIV/AIDS, and Poverty? But ok, who knows. I knew he had a wide scope of interests in the Social Science area, so may be he turned into this after his retirment! However, since English was not the first option should he have to write me, I really didn’t think that it was him. My biggest concern wasn’t he was really stucked in Lagos, Nigeria, but I just wanted to let him know that someone has got into his address book or his parted laptop.

If you wonder what I’m talking about, just google the title and you will find various reports of these Nigeria letters. In that way, you would not be surprised in the future if you receive an email from someone you know saying:

Hello, How are you doing today? I am sorry i didn’t inform you about my traveling to West Africa, Nigeria for a program called “Empowering Youth to Fight Racism, HIV/AIDS, Poverty and Lack of Education, the program is taking place in three major countries in Africa , South Africa,Ghana and Nigeria, i am schedule to use 5 days here. It as been a very sad and bad moment for me, the present condition that i found myself is very hard for me to explain.

You will find various reports from many victims of this scam in the search result. The search result of “” from X-Originating-IP: [] from the email header as well as ‘whois’ service all pointed this site to Nigeria.

{ 30 comments… add one }
  • drt October 30, 2007, 12:20 am

    This is a quote from an email I just received. I have talked to Dr. Hidayat over the phone and I will update the story in the near future.

    This is the real Bambang Hidayat, A former Director of the Bosscha Observatory, member of the IAU.
    You may have received a letter from a hackler who, on “my behalf” sent request for money to Nigeria.
    Please ignore it.
    I have never went down to Africa, and never lost anything. As a matter of fact I have never left my home country during the last month.
    My documents and addresses on bhidayat04(at)yahoo.com, and bhidayat99(at)hotmail.com have been stolen by someone. Do not respond any mail from those two adresses. Please help me to inform friends whom you might consider having received the hoax mail.
    Please answer these mail in colloquial English (and refer to my first name known to you), but preferably either in Dutch, German or in my own language (you know that). For the moment I am using a new email adress:hidayatbambang (at) yahoo.com.
    Thank you so much,Bambang.

  • Doctor Whom November 19, 2007, 7:50 pm

    I just got one of those. Many things were suspect, starting with the “fact” that a born and raised Anglo-Texan would write in non-idiomatic English.

  • lily November 21, 2007, 2:20 pm

    funny i just got this one i first i was like poor thing but then i read it again and said to myself this sounds kind og bogus – so i goggles the title and sure enough it was a hoax.
    see the letter i got

    How are you doing today? I am sorry that i have to inform you that i traveled to Africa for a program called “Empowering Youth to Fight Racism,HIV/AIDS, Poverty and Lack of Education, the program is taking place in three major countries in Africa which is Ghana , South Africa and Nigeria .It as been a very sad and bad moment for me, the present condition that i found myself is very hard for me to explain. I am really stranded in Nigeria because I forgot my little bag in the Taxi where my money, passport,documents and other valuable things were kept on my way to the Hotel am staying, I am facing a hard time here because i have no money on me. I am now owning a hotel bill of $800 and they wanted me to pay the bill soon else they will have to seize my bag and hand me over to the Hotel Management., I need this help from you urgently to help me back home, I need you to help me with the hotel bill and i will also need $1100 to feed and help myself back home so please can you help me with a sum of $2000 to sort out my problems here? I need this help so much and on time because i am in a terrible and tight situation here, I don’t even have money to feed myself for a day which means i had been starving so please understand how urgent i needed your help.

    I am sending you this e-mail from the city Library and I only have 30 min, I will appreciate what so ever you can afford to send me for now and I promise to pay back your money as soon as i return home so please let me know on time so that i can forward you the details you need to transfer the money through Western Union.
    Please i want this to be between me and you because when the time comes i would tell you the essence of this because if i do now it would be no more a secret.and do me a favor don’t talk about this on phone at all unless i call you about it just send me emails and don’t talk about it on phone.

    Best Regards,

  • Rhonda F March 10, 2008, 8:55 pm

    I just GOT scammed, too!! It was through my Yahoo…I’ve reported it to: Yahoo, Western Union. Will report it to the Embassy of Nigeria and to the Federal Trade Commission…

    Let me know what ELSE happens…


  • Judy March 12, 2008, 6:04 am

    I had forwarded on to me the other day a message from someone I know, that someone was using my email address, birdy454@yahoo.com.au but the thing was they are also using my name, stating they are in Africa and to please send money as they are stranded and can’t pay the hotel bill. Not only can I not get into my email address anymore, but I can’t get into my blog either, had to rejoin all the groups I was with, and get new email address. But the real issue is they are using MY name to try and extort money. The password I had over a year is changed, to get a new one? my info has been changed also, so can’t. I just hope they get caught, and soon.

  • Xina, Nature's Parlour July 11, 2008, 3:56 pm


    Was this situation ever resolved? I’ve just received an email like this from my friend and I responded to it asking her for a phone number I could contact her on. I sincerely hope that I don’t lose my email address and blog – that would be a nightmare!!

  • Xina, Nature's Parlour July 11, 2008, 4:00 pm

    What happened with this? I’ve just responded to one I got from my “friend”. It was this hoax and I’m very worried that I’ll lose my email and blog, this would be disaster for me and my business.

    I’m very interested to know if Yahoo are protecting their account holders.

  • Christine July 13, 2008, 10:50 am

    I just received the same email from a friend i hadn’t heard from in years. Was immediately suspicious but like the rest of you wanted to help him out. Thankfully I decided to google the conference he was talking about and voila got into this site. So thanks for the warning. Can anyone tell me who to report this to? The person left a physical address in the UK, as part of his email.

  • Shima July 21, 2008, 1:20 am

    I just receive the same email that everybody had it.Lucky i call my friend which from his email address and he told me that the whole email address of him have been block and he have to create new email address so everybody pls beware of this.

  • Azhar Ali July 23, 2008, 7:35 am

    Well friends, they hacked my fathers account and I then I did some scambaiting with the hacker. He/she sent me all the details where to send the money.

    I sent all the conversation to Yahoo but yahoo is insisting on asking my security question etc but that might have also been changed by Hacker!

    Guess Yahoo should take this issue a little more seriously!


  • Ulashima August 12, 2008, 2:44 pm

    Mine hails from Asia. A friend I know during my days in Japan sent our mailing list this very e-mail. The continent was changed into Asia and the countries were Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. I was so upset and worried about her kids back in Korea but then before I try to do anything, I wanted to try googling the whole “Empowering Youth to Fight Racism, HIV/AIDS, Poverty and Lack of Education” thing and here it is.

    Now I’m warning the folks in the mailing list.

  • lisl September 11, 2008, 3:03 pm

    I got one of these, too! It was from a hacked email account from my son’s English teacher!! The poor grammar and demanding tone of the email gave it away! When she discovered the scam, she was horrified, not only by the demands for money, but by the grammatical errors… too funny!

  • Milad November 30, 2008, 2:09 pm

    GOD i cannot believe it my account is stolen too.
    Now i cannot access my email and the guy is sending the same “Fighting Racism, HIV/AIDS, and Poverty” email to my friend….
    Dose anybody have any idea about how can i recover or delete my account?

  • mrB December 30, 2008, 6:33 am

    Just recieved this from a friend who was away in their own (european) country – googled it and checked the details….has the same strange english which shows its a fake ( this friend makes their own subtle errors as a non native speaker of english).

    It came from their email, so I assume they have been hacked or spoofed….

  • Dancy January 23, 2009, 7:41 am

    I’ve just got a similar email a couple of hours ago, how can I prevent the scammer doing this to friends on my list??

  • Dana February 11, 2009, 1:33 pm

    The same thing JUST happened to my dad’s email!!! We called the police who referred us to a website to file a complaint.. recol.ca if you’re in Canada. All of you who had this happen to you should do the same.. Just as a precaution in case the whole email fraud gets investigated and the police think you have something to do with it.

  • Patty February 16, 2009, 9:08 am

    Feb 16, 2009

    I was surprised when I received this email from a woman that I had some work done by only once. I’m on her mailing address. I’ve not heard of this new scam b4. I will be contacting her today to let her know someone got into her address book so she can forward this information to her other clients. I was initially alarmed but my first reaction was to contact her. Next was to check out the agency that she went to Nigeria with. I doubt she would have traveled alone and couldn’t understand why the agency wouldn’t have been contacted…..instead of her having to contact family and clients. I’m glad I found this website…it’s saved me from wasting a lot of my time.

  • Yan February 17, 2009, 9:23 am

    Thank you very much. I got the same mail and was really worrying about my friend. However, it was less likely for my friend to take part such a program so I feel suspicious and search if there is such a program. Fortunately I encountered your blog. It was not North Africa but Malaysia, seems quite international, isn’t it. I quoted the whole article here. I still wondering how can they send mail from my friend’s hotmail address!

    ” I am in a hurry writing you this message, i don’t have much time on the pc here, so i have to brief you my present situation which requires your urgent response. Actually, I had a trip to Malaysia for a program called “Empowering Youth to Fight Racism, HIV/AIDS, Poverty and Lack of Education, the program is taking place in three major countries in Asia which are Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. But unfortunately for me, my little bag where my money, passport, document’s and other valuable things got stolen at the hotel where i lodged due to a robbery incident that happened in the hotel. I have been so restless since last night, the present condition that i found myself is very hard for me to explain, I am really stranded here because i have been without any money, i am even owing the hotel here as well, moreover the Hotel’s telephone lines here got disconnected by the robbers and they are trying to get them fixed back. I have access to only emails at the library because they also took my cell phone which i have all my contacts. I am now owing a hotel bill of $1,200 and they wanted me to pay the bill soon. I need this help from you urgently to help me back home, I need you to help me with the hotel bill and i will also need $1,000 to feed and help myself back home. So please can you help me with a sum of $2,200 USD to sort out my problems here. I am sending you this email from the city Library, I will appreciate what so ever you can afford to send me for now and I promise to pay back your money as soon as i return home. So please use the details of one of the hotel managers below to send the money to me through Western Union money transfer because that is the only way i could be able to get it fast and leave since he has a valid ID to pick up the money for me from the western union office here. These are the details below….

    Name: Jerry Kingson
    Address: 29B Jalan Loke Yew, Bandar Melaka, Malaysia
    Text question: To whom
    Answer: ******** ( my friend’s name, omit here) “

  • Jason D Anderson March 8, 2009, 3:12 pm

    This just barely happened to me to. I am making it my mission in life now to destroy all of these people. Don’t mess with cowboys, it really pisses them off. I WILL FIND YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • Noga April 21, 2009, 12:52 pm

    I got it too – instead of Nigeria – it is England, which is my country! Scary…

  • colon detox July 29, 2009, 2:20 am

    i wonder when are we going to have the cure for HIV/AIDS ? we are living on an age with very high technology but still we have not found a cure for this disease.

  • Damita September 30, 2009, 12:08 pm

    I started talking to a man I met on a dating web site called POF. He said that he was a chemical engineer from Oklahoma City Oklahoma, and this is the city I lived in. What I find strange about this scenario is that I was the person that initiated the initial contact. This man who called himself Jason Carter owner of PHX Oil & Gas e-mailed and instant messaged me for a total of 100 hours or more over a 3 week period. He proclaimed his love for me and explained that he was rich and most women wanted him for his money. He also claimed that he did not want to meet in person because he wanted to get to know me on a personal and not a physical level. This was intriguing to me so I complied.
    We spoke for 3 days prior to he going to work on a job out of the country in Holland. Once he got to his job on the rig in Holland, there was a snag and he claimed he needed money to pay for the shipping of a chemical. He did not ask me for the money but I baited him and offered. He of course told me not he did not want my money but I then insisted. He gave me the information for a bank transfer which when I searched the company it came up as a fraud. The company name was Lester Lin Co. LTD., which was affiliated with a fraud out of Nigeria. I then lied and told him that the bank would not allow me to send money because the company was under investigation. He said that that was all right and that he knew something like this would happen. He then asked if I could send this money though Western Union and I told him I would send it through Moneygram. At this point, I knew it was a fraud and I was just interested in seeing what other names and information I could get out of him and low and behold, when I got the time to search the name Jerry Kingson came up in another fraud. Jerry Kingson is the name he gave me to send the 4000 in shipping cost to in the Country of Malaysia. Through his name is how I ended up here on this site. What gets me is for him to think that I am that stupid as to just send money to a man I never met because he is telling me what I want to hear. I told him the reason I could not send him money is because my attorney advised me that with the present focus on terrorism activities within the (US) United States it was not in my best interest to send money out of the country. I figured that was the end of it and I would never hear from him again but as I am writing this e-mail to you he has e-mailed me still proclaiming his love for me and telling me he is sorting his problem out himself. He says he will be back in the US soon and we will be together. He is not Nigerian I think he is form the UK and the reason I say that is that some of my girls from Africa said his accent is not Nigerian. He also told me he was born in Oklahoma but raised in England this is the reason for his accent.
    I guess the reason I did not get defrauded is because I am so frugal that I just do not give up money unless it is totally necessary and I do not have any problems finding a man. The reason I got on the dating site is because it is free and I do not date at my job or go to bars. I have never been a victim of circumstance so for all those women that have been victims this is for you one victory at a time.

  • Jake Cullen March 1, 2010, 12:35 pm

    HIV is a disease that is still incurable today. We should always practice safe sex and also educate our people how to avoid the spread of this disease.

  • Samantha November 24, 2010, 11:11 am

    I was so excited when I found a rental property that was perfect for me and my boyfriend and I emailed the person on the ad. SHe said that they were away for 2 or 3 years for a big Empowering youth to Fight Racism and what not. I was really excited, it was perfect. I decided to google the “programme” and this is what I found. Dissapointing to say the least. and I am pissed off that I wasted my time on it.

  • Nhom Mua Chung November 6, 2011, 7:33 pm

    Hi there! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to take a look. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Superb blog and terrific design.

  • Brandon December 11, 2011, 1:40 am


    I replied to the same craigslist ad as you. It was WAYY to good to be true. unfortunately, I did not google the programme until after I gave the guy some of my information.

    I am afraid it is too late for me, but want to know what I can do to prevent any damages. I already changed the password of the email I was using, but I hop that it wasn’t too late. I guess I will find out if he hijacked my account within the next couple days.

    What a disappointment. Good luck in your search.

  • Katie April 25, 2012, 8:38 am

    They have started using the UK, Spain, and Germany now for locations. :/

    Huge disappointment.

  • Ryan June 26, 2012, 3:38 pm

    They are now using this “organization” to do rental property scams. They post an ad on Craigslist saying they have a house or duplex for rent (very cheap), and they want you to fill out an application and send them rent money and security deposit and they will arrange to have the keys mailed to you, as they are already out of the country. Total scam.

  • drt June 26, 2012, 3:44 pm

    Interesting. How can you send money without checking the rental property first?

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