Monday, September 3, 2012

Something Smells Phishy

Over the course of time that we have had email we have received quite a few phishing scams that I always promptly deleted. Everything from fake Paypal and bank account alerts which I knew were not legitimate because when the first arrived in my inbox we didn't have an account at either place, to an assortment of inheritance letters with horrible spelling telling me of distant relatives that I knew didn't exist claiming they passed away in Nigeria in either a plane crash or an assortment of other causes.

Today I received one a little different:

Greetings in Jesus name,

 May this letter find you blessed in Christ. I am writing from West Africa and it is a blessing getting to you in the other part of the world. It is my prayer that you become a friend of me and the local church here. I got your email when I searching online and got into the web site and I know that it is God’s arrangement. I need not silver or gold but the word of God only!

By His grace I am a Believer bought and washed by the Blood of Jesus Christ. I am married with three children. I am a pastor of a small local church non denominational or affiliated to anybody. The church was founded in 2006 and now has about 30 members. I gave my life to Christ in 1987 when I was still in the high school at Zaria. A campus fellowship student by name Johnson was my roommate at school and his life of faithfulness unto Christ and his prayer and teaching me the Bible led me to Christ. This Brother told me then that he sensed that God was going to use me for His cause. I was never ready to hear that because my dream or thought was never in the ministry but to finish my studies and get a nice job. Five years after school and already working I started having the stronger urge and sensing that God was calling me but I kept on putting it off my heart because my job and life was sweet to me and I felt I needed nothing else. One day a guest speaker was ministering in our church and he singled me out in a crowd of over a hundred people and told me that God has called me to the ministry and cannot hide. After he left I told my pastor that I have accepted and my pastor and other elders of the church prayed with me. I immediately joined and headed the evangelical outreach of the church and I saw many coming to Christ in the outreach. I let go of my job in 2005 and returned to Edo my State. I joined a small local church and was assisting the pastor as the second pastor. In January 13th 2007 a pastor of a little church of about five families in my area walked up to me telling me that he is leaving the state to his home state where the Lord has asked him to go and start the work. He said he has been praying for over a month that the Lord has asked him to tell me to take over the little church he founded 2006. I have not had relationship with this pastor before now so it amazed me. He asked me to pray to ask the Lord. I did prayed and without wasting time I knew the Lord ask me to hold that little church and that was how I became the pastor of this church called Victory Chapel. The church is a growing church and we meet at a temporary rented building. We are not earthly rich but rich in Christ, riches that will last for eternity.

 2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”. The reason why I am writing is to appeal for your assistance in the area of a Study Bible which will be of help to me in my research and study of the bible as well as lesson preparation as a pastor, also bibles for others. These Bibles are very expensive here. I need a Dakes Annotated Reference Bible or a Thompson Chain reference Bible either one of the two. If you cannot get any of these please send me any study Bible which you know has study helps and aids. I would prefer a King James Version. Bibles cost much here as they are imported not printed here. There are many in our local church who do not have bibles and cannot afford to buy. I want to specifically make a request for the elderly ones who cannot work and earn money to buy for themselves. There are 12 of such ones in our church and they are very devoted. Please on their behalf I request that you send them 12 Bibles the very big letters or super large print would be preferable for them because of their sight. Thank you for considering this request. And as you help to meet this kingdom need the Lord will bless you finance abundantly. If you send the bibles through post office a registered postage the bibles will get to us safely. I was told at the post office that express mail international postage or insured mail is safer.

My home and postal address is (Edited to remove address.) Please write when you get my mail. I do not have full access to internet but I can check at least three times weekly. Ecclesiastes 11:1 "Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days" God bless you and your family as you labour for His Cause

In His Service,

John Izierielkor:

(Edited to remove contact info)

So what do you think? It is different from any I have ever received before since they're not asking for any money and their spelling is surprisingly good. But somehow I'm still getting a phishy vibe from it.

Have you received an email like this? And if you did were you tempted to send Bibles?


  1. It looks like it is a scam:

  2. My step-dad was an evangelist and spent time in Nigera. The Nigerians feel that God would have us give to them because we have so much. And that we would know in our hearts it is the right thing to do. Nigerians feel no remorse in scamming Americans. This is a scam. I did meet some wonderful Nigerian people but they go through the right channels to legally get money for their people through the church and other organizations.

  3. Had a similar one that made me suspicious, so I didnt do anything.
    I suspect that the next request would have been for money.

  4. I received one almost exactly like this -- I can't be certain because I did not respond. I prayed about it. I was Friended by a lady in the Philippines who works with street children. She asked for any used Bibles, not expensive Dakes Annotated, and I've followed her for a couple of years, watching how she's put donated Bibles to work. It's the expensiveness and specific Bibles -- who would purchase and pay shipping when they could simply send money to purchase a dozen? How many would send a check or transfer funds - leading to more contacts. I do believe this is a phishing scam, but I prayed God would use this someway for His glory.

  5. I would stay away from it. I got much the same thing.

  6. I get them all the time too. I try to keep my Gmail folder cleaner by only using it for business. Yahoo is the one that is running over with spam. I've been a mystery shopper since my children were little, and it gets to me when I get those spam messages, for people that don't know may fall for it.

  7. I did some internet checking and found this link you may find helpful-I learned from it and agree with the others-looks like a scam to me-run! Here is the link-

  8. ...Be wise as serpents, and innocent as doves. (Matt. 10:16)

  9. Definitely a scam. I've been to Kenya several times on mission trips. There are many who do not have Bibles themselves. Typically, the churches there work hard to try to get their members at least one Bible per house. In all my trips and time in Kenya, I think I've been asked maybe twice about Bibles. And they were standing right beside me. I keep in contact with several people over there and they never ask for Bibles through an email and these are people I know personally and who I've stayed in there homes. They would never even think of asking for those expensive Bibles! They're so grateful to even have the cheapest Bible. I would definitely stay far away!

  10. Sounds like they are finding blogs by using search words most church going folks regularly use then emailing from there to tug the heartstrings for donations.
    My husband says he has a Dakes bible (He has many in his study.) but wouldn't recommend it because he thinks Dakes has some strange ideas concerning the book of Revelation. Just saying.

  11. Sounds like phishing to me. I never trust anything coming from Nigeria.

  12. I have received to date, 4 similar emails, each slightly different. This is a scam. I"m not sure what is behind it but I'm thinking that they may come back to you later on asking for money for something or another. They might even sell the bibles, who knows.

  13. so far i have been lucky enough not to receive an e-mail like this. i do believe it is a scam because if it wasn't why would waste his time looking for lists of people to mass send phishing scam to. when if he is who he says he is and a pastor as claimed. would he not have gone to the Gideon Bible Society they give Bibles to those in need for as little as $0.05 per Bible. not to mention how many in his congregation can even read. just a thought.


Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love hearing your thoughts.