An epic new Nigerian email scam is asking for $3 million to rescue a stranded astronaut.
The classic ‘Nigerian Prince’ email trick, which attempts to con people out of money with a made-up story about great riches that are only accessible to them with the recipient’s help - and bank details - has been circulating for years, but tricksters have taken it to a new level.
With a plot echoing The Martian, in which Matt Damon’s character is accidentally stranded on Mars, a recent scam email claims to be from the cousin of a Nigerian astronaut who was left behind in space - more than 15 years ago.
The story goes that he travelled to space on a secret mission in 1989 and was later stranded there when the Soviet Union was dissolved.
Apparently, his fellow astronauts returned home aboard the Soyuz spacecraft but his place was taken up with cargo.
Despite this setback, he remains in ‘good humour’, according to the email.
During his time in space, he has supposedly earned around $3 million in flight pay and requires the email recipient’s help in order to transfer the money, for which they’ll receive a general reward.
The email even uses a .gov email address for added authenticity.
Oringially posted on The Anorak, there’s no way to tell if the email has genuinely been circulated as a scam or has simply been made up for a bit of fun, but it’s certainly the most elaborate we’ve seen so far.
Image credit: 20th Century Fox