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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Heart breaking Uganda scam you must not fall for

This news post is almost 7 years old
 

​Letters written in a child's hand ask for cash for students at St Agnes Nurse Training School in Kampala

A charity is warning people not to be fooled by heart-rending begging scam asking for cash to help poor families in Uganda.

World Vision urged people not to fall for authentic-looking letters asking for cash for students and orphans in the African country.

TFN knows of two healthcare professionals and one charity worker who have received the notes.

The letters are a more sophisticated version of the well-known ‘Nigerian Prince’ email fraud, which asks for people to provide bank account details or even to provide advance cash payments.

However, while that scam relied on people believing they would be given untold riches for parting with their details or money, this version directly taps into people’s good will.

Clearly handwritten in what appears to be a child’s hand, they purport to be from students at St Agnes Nursing Training School in Kampala.

The details vary by letter but they always ask for fees so the student can pass exams.

One version reads: “Our dear father was bitten by a poisonous snake while digging on a fateful day... and he died a few minutes later. Our mother is sick suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure, she has no proper medical care due to lack of money.

“We live in poor and miserable conditions. Sometimes we sleep without food.”

The letter asks for cash to be sent so a nursing course can be completed.

The covering letter which comes as part of the scam
The covering letter which comes as part of the scam

Letters are sent with an official-looking covering letter from a Dr Sarah Najjuko at the school, which, as far as TFN has been able to ascertain, does not exist.

Other versions doing the rounds say that the student’s parents have died of Aids or been killed in civil war.

One recipient, who asked not to be named, said: “You might think I’me being daft, but I was tempted to send money. It looked plausible even on second reading.

“We all know the email scams, but this did seem to be written by a young person. It was sent straight to me at my work as well. I think the scammers are more likely to target healthcare professionals and people in the charity sector as we’re more receptive to this sort of thing.”

World Vision, a Christian charity which operates a well-known "sponsor a child" scheme, says it is aware of and deeply concerned about the bogus letters.

A spokesperson said: "It’s worrying that schemes like ours could become confused with this. It's horrifying that this kind of scam is going on in the name of charity."

He said that donating through World Vision and other charities is the best way for people to go if they want to help.

Through its sponsor a child scheme, there is never direct contact between the donor and the child. The donor never knows the child's address, and the child is never given the donor's address.

He said: "Everything takes place with us as the conduit.”

Have you fallen victim to the scam or received one of these letters? Email Graham Martin and let us know.

 

Comments

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Tanya
almost 2 years ago

My Boss received a letter today. But strangely not handwritten(....) from the Apostles of Jesus Missionaries. He wants 793 € for the last semester. He lost his parents to AIDS and the church is in financial crisis...

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Ben
almost 2 years ago

I just received a handwritten letter from Janet Namayana Naksunia, containing even two fotographs, asking for 130 Euro for a wheel chair for the mother with a destroyed leg and for 1145 Euro for the school dues at Double Cure Nursing Training School + a recommendation letter from Dr. Stecia Nalwoga from the Double Cure Nursing Training School

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Sandra
over 2 years ago

I received today a handwritten letter from St. Jude Tailoring Institute in Kampala, Uganda under the name of "Kathleen Nakamatte" with two further printed fake-papers of St. Peter Catholic Church in Kampala, and a bank account (Commerzbank) in Frankfurt, Germany. They look for 1640 Euros for Tuition fee for a Diploma Course in Garment Production. Where do they get my adress? Its scam.

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RPIN
almost 7 years ago
Hello, I have received a letter from Sarah Najjuko in Kampala Uganda, asking for money to cover the costs of surgery for her and her sister, Stecia Nalwoga, who were burnt during a fire. I have even received shocking pictures of two burnt individuals. The letter starts the same as the one you give example in the website. They tell me to send 1860 pounds and contact her by email. They have even attached a medical file to the letter. Thank you very much for the information in your website. These letters are very sophisticated and I almost believe it. RPIN
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G Wassermann
over 5 years ago
I've also just received a very convincing-looking begging letter from Uganda, purportedly from a young widow who has suffered various tragedies and needs to put her daughter through school. That the letter is handwritten makes it look genuine (after all, who would go to the trouble of writing an avalanche of scamming letters by hand?), but on close inspection my name in the greeting after "Dear" is in a different handwriting than the rest of the letter, and the email addresses also do not fit the names of the people who purportedly own them. I'm sure the body of the letter is printed to look like handwriting (and it is high-quality printing, indeed), but I will not fall for the scam. What I did get out of it are two Ugandan postage stamps (cancelled).
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D Mullins
almost 5 years ago
Received one of these yesterday in the USA.
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Magnus
almost 5 years ago
Today, I received a similar letter but this time from Priest Kizito Steven and Sister Sarah Najjuko who allegedly write on behalf of the St. Bumoozi Busiika Orphanage Home, asking for money for mosquito nets, clothes (with picture of naked children attached), shoes, rosaries and bibles. The letter was sent to me personally at my university school of business address in Sweden. Looks very professional. If only people would give to well-known charities so that these kind of scams were not profitable, diverting money from truly good and important causes...
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Stig
about 3 years ago

The scam continues. I just received a letter with the same text as stated in the main page. However, this time it is from a probably non-existent "N-Praxeda Nursing School", which happens also to have Dr. Sarah Najjuko as principal. Scammers don't appear to be too inventive.

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Grethe
over 2 years ago

Received a letter like this from Nakaumba Rahman today. Fortunately looked this up on line before falling for it. Ah, yes the internet has all our information and so do the scammers. Thanks for keeping us informed

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Danielle
over 1 year ago

I met a young adult man on a religious group on Facebook claiming his parents died in a car accident and him and his siblings were without food. At first i did think it was a scam and said I cannot send food or money, but offered to find food banks near them. I found two and screenshotted them the info. But i’m kinda wondering if that might have been a phishing scam also. Because they said it was currently nighttime there but i looked it up and it was not. Im just not sure what they could have gotten from the screen shots or website links? Anyone know?

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DF0MK
about 5 years ago
I just recieved such a letter yesterday 2019 Feb. 21 but immediatly knew it was not true.
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Jochen Trinckauf
about 2 years ago

Now letters come from Kathleen Nakamatte c/o St Jude Tailoring Institute. Seems to be even the same fake. The given POBox address differs to the offical one showing on the website. I used to give donation to those organizations whom I know.

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Gary King
over 1 year ago

Those citizens of Uganda and Nigeria wo conduct scams are a curse on their own countries, as deserving, God-fearing individuals are immediately suspected of fraud. So I say be discerning and investigate thoroughly and meticulously, by having video chats and asking to view identification documents. But do not automatically assume that everyone in Africa is a scam artist, as this is not true.

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bettina
about 1 year ago

Sorry! I had reported the comment of Ben - but it was a mistake: instead i agree with his post, had received the SAME letter...

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A Gardner-Medwin
5 months ago

Just received a letter, in unformed handwriting, addressed to my late husband, a doctor who had done some work in east Africa, but not in Uganda. It came to our former home address, was for £1495 for fees, and for more for her mother's care after an attack in their home. With 2 photos of the mother. it came with a covering letter from the Double Care Nursing Training School In Bombo Uganda. This name exists, but the principal is Dr. Stecia Nalwoga and the fees would be for Janet Namayana . It is suspiciously like the ones you have published. How do they get hold of personal names of British doctors?

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Geoffrey Hillam
over 4 years ago
I received typed letter today from Kizito Steven with a photo of boy with a large tumour in his neck and a request for £1640 to pay for surgery. The address given was a PO box in Kampala. I'm sure this is scam.
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stephen hickmott
over 2 years ago

Same again. From a fellow who says he has no Nation identity card and send money for his orphans at 2 named orphanages (but not on Ugandan Gov Reg}for medicine and food. Said he went to a catholic school but his writings all are..as god,jesus. .No capital letters is a give away,thats no catholic school .Better to give to fully registered orphanages, a bit of work and you can see whats a scam.(that helps the children more.)

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Mark Smith
about 2 years ago

I think my father, who is a retired doctor, has fallen for this. He has been sending large amounts of money to various people in Uganda who he thinks are nurses and medical students. The latest is using the name Ruth Akia

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Dr Richard Bailey
almost 2 years ago

I've received a very similar letter today from a student nurse requesting over £1000 - cover letter from Dr Stecia Nalwonga, Principal of Double Care Nursing School in Bombo, Uganda

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Andy
almost 2 years ago

I received a hand written letter from "Mbabazi Jane" asking for 1.660 EUR (!) in May 2022. Girl was raped, no father, no mother any more and three brothers/sisters. Needs cash for "diploma course of arts in industrial designing and tailoring" at "St. Jude Tailoring Institute", Kampala and assissted by "Our Lady of lourdes Catholic Parish", Kampala. They send a photograph of "the girl and the grandma".

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Renate
almost 2 years ago

Yesterday I received a letter from Kathleen Nakamatte, asking for 1640 Euro for the Tuition Fee for the St. Jude Tailoring Institute + a letter of recommendation from the St. Peter Catholic Church in Kampala.

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Mary
almost 2 years ago

We have received a letter from a 15 year old girl who wants to start training in catering in the Zukuka Development Programme. “Her parents have died of coronavirus.”

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Tammy
over 1 year ago

Im writing from a small town (population 600) in Newfoundland Canada. I'm in desperate need of advise or for someone to point me in the right direction. My 80 yr old dad and his church friends have been sending money to a man named Musoke J Jafari who claims to have a orphanage called Godly Care Child International. I have done some research trying to find if this place is legit and although they are a Registered chairty that claims to help children better them selves, I cant seem to find out if they are an actual orphanage. I did search them on ngobureau.go.org and they did show up with a physical address of Butalangu ,Nakaseke ,Kinoni ,Kigegge ,Kigegge P.O Box9294,Kampala and it shows sector as education. They also have a website godlycarechildint.org along with a fb page and seem to be legit but they are constantly contacting my dad and his friends telling them that the children are hungry and need food, and saying this small group of people are the only ones who will help them. One lady in my dads group have been sending between $100-$500 every month for the past 2 years and is worried because she dosen't know how she will manage to feed them this winter with the cost of living going up. I see so many red flags when doing research but these people are tugging on the heart strings of my elderly dad and his friends and I need someone to help me find out if this place is doing what they claim they are doing. You can email me directly at tamhoffe@hotmail.com if you have any info for me. Thank you for taking the time to read this .

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drdnikol
about 5 years ago
Today 2.4.2019 in Athens;Greece I recieved that type of letter. Thank you for analyzing so extented in your site. It looks strange to me where do they know me and secondly how a so poor family finds money to sent colour pictures and letter printed and expenses for post office. I was 100% sure for fraud. The question is where do they found my home address? Be careful
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Peter
over 1 year ago

to Ben, 4 month ago: Today I received the same letter at my university addresses in Germany. Thanks for pointing out the fraudulent background

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intleie natalie
almost 2 years ago

I curse these crooks to the Lake of Fire. They will Suicide before they are 49

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