Should I Help This Client Through My Award Booking Service?

Many readers know that I help people book award tickets. It’s a great business, and I’m able to make it possible for folks to use their points in a way they never imagined — often it’s honeymoons, major anniversaries, sometimes it’s trips abroad to adopt a child. Every trip is special in its own way.

My partner and I have redeemed upwards of a billion miles at the ‘low’ or ‘saver’ level for premium cabin international awards.

As you can imagine, I get lots of requests Here’s one I’d love your feedback on. Should I help?

My name is Mr.boby and i will like to book Ticket I would like to make some Flight reservation for my client can you booked for my client Now?

Lagos Nigeria …….To……. Turkish Istanbul

Name……AKINTEYE SUNDAY OLAWALE 8/06/13 return date 11/06/13

Name……KAREEM YUSUFU TUNDE 8/06/13 return date 11/06/13

Name……OJO MUSILIU ADEBAYO. 8/06/13 return date 11/06/13

Name……ADEKUNLE OLALEKAN AYO 8/06/13 return date 11/06/13

Kindly get back to me there quotation my mode of pay will be credit card.

i will be waiting to read your email soonest,

Thank you

It doesn’t sound like they have any miles, though, so I’ll probably just have to send them to a travel agent.

Or maybe the trip’s originating in Lagos is a giveaway. What do you think?

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @Gary I am always wary about Nigerian e-mail scams with the words credit card, western union, money wire. A few times they have sent me a check that looked real and wanted me to cash it and then wire some of the money to Western Union, but to keep 80% of the amount as a finder’s fee.

  2. ROFLMAO…How dumb are people replying here? Its a 419 scam! Yeah everyone should be worried thatGary is going to publish your name on the internet if you ask him to help with a real booking! Seriously???

  3. All of the people that think the request was potentially real should be on alert as they are susceptible to falling for this type of scam.

  4. That’s hilarious!! And yeah I’m surprised too how many ppl on here would think for a moment it’s real.

  5. @bored russian–no semi ‘you being racist’ jab here. i clearly stated i asked gary for help with a lagos booking in the past AND HE GAVE ME HELPFUL INFO. what are YOU trying to say?

    what i’m actually saying is that there are legitimate business proposals that come from nigerians everyday–and that this request originating in lagos should not have been enough for him to assume its a scam. so everyone in lagos who wants to book miles are con artists? i have to explain myself because i’m nigerian? or was it me throwing in that muslim bit that really got you going?

  6. Are you trying to tell me the folks selling “Rolax” watches on the streets in NYC are actually peddling fakes? Or you are just saying that because most of them are black?

    @ ma’am It’s clearly not a matter of racism, nor Nigeriophobia, since when you contacted Gary with a legitimate request he was quite helpful. But this type of obvious fraud, that people in the travel industry get quite frequently, based on the comments above, does not deserve any respect. And as David G said, anyone who gives it the benefit of the doubt is so naive they are just waiting to be taken.

    By the way, did you just drop this very valuable ring? No? Well, I don’t have time to sell it to a jeweler, so I’ll let you have it for a vary low price. 😀

  7. “obviously a scam, but you should still remove the names”

    Because obvious scammers, using made up names, deserve anonymity? Names have been withheld to protect the fictitious guilty. ROTFL

  8. Robert: I am very interested in the ring. Let’s discuss it at an authentic tea ceremony in Beijing. My good friend has a special rate for Ney Yowkrers!

  9. Der, how dare you not assume that eloquently written email is not a legitimate client? You should hello him, and if he sends you a check for more than the total you should write him the balance, because clearly this is legit. Now all your clients will leave you, because they’ll’ve worried that if they send you poorly written non mile related scams you might publish them, clearly you have a responsibly to redact all the names and protect the criminals.
    In seriousness, i used to audit financial institutions, including their suspicious activity reports. If you knew how many reports I’ve read involving little old ladies dipping into their 401k to help their friend in Nigeria until a quick acting teller talks some sense into them, nobody here would come to their defense. Those people are scum… Assuming that since we have money in the US it’s a victimless crime, when they only ever seem too reel in poor and indigent. There are nice legitimate people in Nigeria, I’ve met several great students in grad school… they write well and don’t email random strangers. Anyone claiming he is racist because he won’t sell this man tickets is an idiot… A fool and their money are soon parted

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