A new "Nigerian e-mail scam" claims that Terri Irwin, the widow of late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, is dying in a hospital in the U.S. and desperately needs money so "that she can live more." The crudely-written e-mail, from Mrs. Irwin’s "barrister," who calls himself "Antony Edward," actually misspells her name as "Terri Irvin." According to the e-mail , Mrs. Irvin’s "doctors have said…that she has but a limited time to live" and that "all we should think of at the moment is how to raise money for the upkeep of this lovely woman medically."
The e-mail is a follow-up to an earlier message that offered respondents a chance to claim a portion of the Irwin’s "11 million pounds Sterling" fortune. "Edward" now says he cannot deal with these funds because his "utmost concern at this time is to save this woman and make her live for more years." The message says help is needed to pay the hospital’s fees of $45 thousand, and "if you have anything from your heart to contribute, please do so urgently." The e-mail asks for contributions to be sent to a designated bank account in Florida or "through western union payment system which is even more reliable and faster."
Authorities say these types of scams typically originate from con artists in Nigeria and that they defraud people worldwide out of billions of dollars each year. Click here to read the previous blotter item on this story.