Someone thinks we're dumber than we are...
January 25, 2008

Today, I got an e-mail about a scam repayment program the Nigerian government is offering. The problem--the e-mail explained in very broken English--is that many Nigerian con artists (in the e-mail called 'hoodlums') have been taking money from foreigners in various e-mail scams. Primarly Americans were affected, it reported, with 60% of the thefts based in that area. The Nigerian government is so ashamed that it is now offering $100,000 to each victim. Apparently, I was named as a victim by one of those people arrested in connectino with the scam, and now I can receive compensation by simply forwarding my bank details to the gmail address from whence the message came.

...

On the one hand, this scam is genius. The people who have been frauded are probably very sore about it, and I can imagine some stupid old rich woman saying "Well, finally they'll get what's coming to them and I'll get what's coming to me!" After all, anyone who receives this message and responds has likely proven a capable victim once. Why not twice? It's just... insulting. Are people really so stupid that this newest scam will work? Unfortunately, there's a good chance the answer is "Yes."

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Genj Genj - January 25, 2008 (05:33 AM)
I wonder what legitimate Nigerian businesses do when they need to contact someone overseas.
honestgamer honestgamer - January 25, 2008 (06:15 AM)
They probably hop a plane, land here in the US, find their intended business associate and hold them captive at gunpoint... just to distinguish themselves from Nigerian hoodlums.
jerec jerec - January 25, 2008 (07:48 AM)
That is brilliant.
MartinG MartinG - January 25, 2008 (09:22 AM)
Unfortunately, e-mails are so cheap that only one person out of thousands and thousands has to fall for the trick to make it cost effective :(

It reminds me of Homer's "Happy Man" phone scam.
sashanan sashanan - January 25, 2008 (11:18 PM)
Repeat scamming past victims is probably the exact intention, Jason. One of the purposes of mass spamming is to harvest conductive addresses. Which is one reason why responding to Nigerian scams even if it's only to mess with them is a bad idea - even as you send your first reply, they're already sharing your address with anybody who'll pay a dime for it.
wayne_steed wayne_steed - January 26, 2008 (01:53 PM)
Man, I hate scam emails. That's about 15-20% of the email I get.

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