Thanks F-Uni. And the artist formerly known as Ygirl (see what I did there NK?) sent a link www.snopes.com/fraud/advancefee/nigeria.asp. Now I know what the Nigeria thing was about, it's a scam!
For the record, I didn't scam anybody, not even the US gov't who sent me the money. But this scam does remind me of an incident when I was living in Manhattan, about 20 years ago.
Walking to a bar along a nearly empty street, I pass a tall, well-dressed black man talking on a pay phone (back when they had pay phones). As I pass, he asks me for some help. He sounds foreign, maybe Dutch, and says he can't find his hotel, can I help him? I try a little; he sounds very upset that his "master" will be mad. (Now I'm thinking the accent is South African.) I'm trying to help him, but there is no such hotel listing. Now a shorter man walks up, and the tall man asks him for help as well. The short man suggests going to the local YMCA for the night, and figuring it out in the morning. The tall man is effusive in his thanks, and pulls out a wad of cash, saying he'll give us each $100 for helping him. The short man looks around nervously and says quietly, "Put that away man, you don't wanna be flashing cash out here." And we're both telling him we don't want his money... but inside I'm thinking, I'm way broke, a C-note would sure be handy!
Anyhow, the shorter man offers to drive us both to the Y in his car, conveniently parked nearby. As we walk to it, the tall man reiterates his desire to give us a green colored thank-you. The shorter man gets in the driver's side, I get in the passenger side, and the taller man is about to sit down behind me... in perfect position to cosh me, noose me, or threaten me with a deadlier weapon.
All the sudden I think, "What the hell am I doing in this car?" So as the tall man sits down, I stand up and walk away, turning a deaf ear to the calls that follow me.
Typical scam scenario, you're offered something for nothing! I believe this is the closest I got to being badly hurt (or at least robbed of a nice leather jacket) in NYC, with the exception of a time I was chased by several men.
Um wtf, I hijacked my own blog...