U.S. State Department
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton with then-Nigerian Foreign Minister Henry Odein Ajumogobia in Washington, D.C. It's unlikely that any talk of inheritance money came up when the two met in August 2010.
updated 12/5/2011 6:46:07 PM ET 2011-12-05T23:46:07

You've got to hand it to Nigerian email fraudsters — they are nothing if not persistent.

In their latest campaign to fool extraordinarily gullible people into believing that they are due an inheritance, and that a bank in the West African nation is ready to hand over enormous sums of money, no questions asked, Nigerian scammers have begun sending emails that claim to be from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the security firm AppRiver reported.

As a U.S.-government official, Mrs. Clinton, the emails say, endorses the Central Bank of Nigeria in its effort to deposit $10.5 million into the recipient's bank account. To receive the money, the email, which is signed by Clinton, instructs people to contact the Nigerian bank's ATM-Card Department, which will give further information as to how to claim an ATM card that entitles its holder to withdraw $10,000 per day.

The text of the email is not visible at first, but rather it's included as an attached .ZIP file. This is a tactic Nigerian scammers have recently been deploying as a way of subverting anti-spam software designed to detect these types of scams, which are very common, and always promise some sort of multi-million-dollar entitlement from a Nigerian bank or government official.

As a steadfast rule, immediately delete any unsolicited, suspicious-looking email that promises a bundle of money from a Nigerian bank. In fact, anytime you receive an email offer promising money or gifts, ignore it. If someone approached you out of the blue on the street and promised you $10.5 million, you'd naturally think that person was suspicious. The online street should be no different.

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