Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Almighty Buck The Internet Government The Courts News

A Day in the Life of a Nigerian Scammer 196

Posted by Zonk
from the lots-of-badly-typed-email dept.
prostoalex writes "The media made a Nigerian scammer's career look too easy. Get online, introduce yourself as a corrupt government official willing to take the money out of the country, and wait for the wire transfers from victims to start rolling in. So, the Associated Press takes us through a day in life of Nigerian scammer. It's a life that takes place in Internet cafes with aged screens and free Webmail accounts. However, by the end of the article the AP talks about some people who have made a good career out of it - three cars, two houses. That is, until the next crackdown comes along."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

A Day in the Life of a Nigerian Scammer

Comments Filter:
  • DEAR SIR (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 06, 2005 @08:24PM (#13260934)

    URGENT ASSISTANCE - FROM USA
    IMMEDIATE ATTENTION NEEDED: HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL
    FROM: GEORGE WALKER BUSH 202.456.1414 / 202.456.1111 FAX: 202.456.2461

    DEAR SIR / MADAM,

    I AM GEORGE WALKER BUSH, SON OF THE FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
    STATES OF AMERICA GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH, AND CURRENTLY SERVING AS
    PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THIS LETTER MIGHT SURPRISE
    YOU BECAUSE WE HAVE NOT MET NEITHER IN PERSON NOR BY CORRESPONDENCE. I
    CAME TO KNOW OF YOU IN MY SEARCH FOR A RELIABLE AND REPUTABLE PERSON TO
    HANDLE A VERY CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS TRANSACTION, WHICH INVOLVES THE
    TRANSFER OF A HUGE SUM OF MONEY TO AN ACCOUNT REQUIRING MAXIMUM
    CONFIDENCE.

    I AM WRITING YOU IN ABSOLUTE CONFIDENCE PRIMARILY TO SEEK YOUR
    ASSISTANCE IN ACQUIRING OIL FUNDS THAT ARE PRESENTLY TRAPPED IN THE
    REPUBLIC OF IRAQ. MY PARTNERS AND I SOLICIT YOUR ASSISTANCE IN
    COMPLETING A TRANSACTION BEGUN BY MY FATHER, WHO HAS LONG BEEN ACTIVELY
    ENGAGED IN THE EXTRACTION OF PETROLEUM IN THE UNITED STATES OF
    AMERICA,AND BRAVELY SERVED HIS COUNTRY AS DIRECTOR OF THE UNITED STATES
    CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY.IN THE DECADE OF THE NINETEEN-EIGHTIES, MY
    FATHER, THEN VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, SOUGHT TO
    WORK WITH THE GOOD OFFICES OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF IRAQ TO
    REGAIN LOST OIL REVENUE SOURCES IN THE NEIGHBORING ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF
    IRAN. THIS UNSUCCESSFUL VENTURE WAS SOON FOLLOWED BY A FALLING-OUT WITH
    HIS IRAQI PARTNER, WHO SOUGHT TO ACQUIRE ADDITIONAL OIL REVENUE SOURCES
    IN THE NEIGHBORING EMIRATE OF KUWAIT, A WHOLLY-OWNED U.S.-BRITISH
    SUBSIDIARY.

    MY FATHER RE-SECURED THE PETROLEUM ASSETS OF KUWAIT IN 1991 AT A COST OF
    SIXTY-ONE BILLION U.S. DOLLARS ($61,000,000,000). OUT OF THAT
    COST,THIRTY-SIX BILLION DOLLARS ($36,000,000,000) WERE SUPPLIED BY HIS
    PARTNERS IN THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA AND OTHER PERSIAN GULF
    MONARCHIES, AND SIXTEEN BILLION DOLLARS ($16,000,000,000) BY GERMAN AND
    JAPANESE PARTNERS. BUT MY FATHER'S FORMER IRAQI BUSINESS PARTNER
    REMAINED IN CONTROL OF THE REPUBLIC OF IRAQ AND ITS PETROLEUM RESERVES.

    MY FAMILY IS CALLING FOR YOUR URGENT ASSISTANCE IN FUNDING THE REMOVAL
    OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF IRAQ AND ACQUIRING THE PETROLEUM
    ASSETS OF HIS COUNTRY, AS COMPENSATION FOR THE COSTS OF REMOVING HIM
    FROM POWER. UNFORTUNATELY, OUR PARTNERS FROM 1991 ARE NOT WILLING TO
    SHOULDER THE BURDEN OF THIS NEW VENTURE, WHICH IN ITS UPCOMING PHASE MAY
    COST THE SUM OF 100 BILLION TO 200 BILLION DOLLARS ($100,000,000,000
    -$200,000,000,000), BOTH IN THE INITIAL ACQUISITION AND IN LONG-TERM
    MANAGEMENT. WITHOUT THE FUNDS FROM OUR 1991 PARTNERS, WE WOULD NOT BE
    ABLE TO ACQUIRE THE OIL REVENUE TRAPPED WITHIN IRAQ. THAT IS WHY MY
    FAMILY AND OUR COLLEAGUES ARE URGENTLY SEEKING YOUR GRACIOUS
    ASSISTANCE. OUR DISTINGUISHED COLLEAGUES IN THIS BUSINESS TRANSACTION
    INCLUDE THE SITTING VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
    RICHARD CHENEY,WHO IS AN ORIGINAL PARTNER IN THE IRAQ VENTURE AND FORMER
    HEAD OF THE HALLIBURTON OIL COMPANY, AND CONDOLEEZA RICE, WHOSE
    PROFESSIONAL DEDICATION TO THE VENTURE WAS DEMONSTRATED IN THE NAMING OF
    A CHEVRON OIL TANKER AFTER HER. I WOULD BESEECH YOU TO TRANSFER A SUM
    EQUALING TEN TO TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT (10-25 %) OF YOUR YEARLY INCOME TO
    OUR ACCOUNT TO AID IN THIS IMPORTANT VENTURE. THE INTERNAL REVENUE
    SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WILL FUNCTION AS OUR TRUSTED
    INTERMEDIARY. I PROPOSE THAT YOU MAKE THIS TRANSFER BEFORE THE FIFTEENTH
    (15TH) OF THE MONTH OF APRIL. I KNOW THAT A TRANSACTION OF THIS
    MAGNITUDE WOULD MAKE ANYONE APPREHENSIVE AND WORRIED. BUT I AM ASSURING
    YOU THAT ALL WILL BE WELL AT THE END OF THE DAY. A BOLD STEP TAKEN SHALL
    NOT BE REGRETTED, I ASSURE YOU. PLEASE DO BE INFORMED THAT THIS BUSINESS
    TRANSACTION IS 100% LEGAL. IF
  • Anyone (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HUADPE (903765) on Saturday August 06, 2005 @08:26PM (#13260950) Homepage
    Anyone who would open an e-mail with the subject line "Congratulation! You Are Our Lucky Winner!" and then proceed to send that person $5000 sight unseen deserves it.
    • I'm out of mod points, but I agree. Most of the time it's greed that causes people to go blind and send money, failing to notice the obvious scam.

      These scams have been around for years and generations, and people should know better than to send lots of money to strangers when promised mountains of gold.

      It's not compassion that causes people to send money. My mother is one of the most compassionate people I know (although it's true! I might have a slight bias) she would give her last penny to help someon

    • Re:Anyone (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ultranova (717540)

      Anyone who would open an e-mail with the subject line "Congratulation! You Are Our Lucky Winner!" and then proceed to send that person $5000 sight unseen deserves it.

      No, he doesn't. Being stupid doesn't make one deserving of being cheated, any more than being small and weak makes one deserving of being mugged.

      People who fall for Nigerian scams, on the other hand, tend to know that they are dealing with criminals - either the email is fake, in which case they're dealing with a con-man, or the email is

      • "No, he doesn't. "

        According to Darwin he does.

        • According to Darwin he does.

          Incorrect. Darwin said that the stupid/slow/weak get eaten, not that they deserve or should get eaten. Darwin simply made observations about how nature works; he didn't comment on whether this is the way it should work.

          Furthermore, helping weaker members of one's species is an observed phenomenon in nature. For example, dolphins [sandiegozoo.org] will help their sick and injured.

          The final nail to the coffin of social darwinism is the simple fact that humans are perfectly capable of defying

    • Old people find it utterly incomprehensible that their grandkids can send them a letter through the computer, free of charge, and instantaneously. Is it such a stretch that someone from Nigeria is offering to send them money through the computer? Not if you're already floored by e-mail to begin with. As far as they're concerned, that box on their desk nothing short of pure magic.

      To someone who's grown up with computers, e-mail is boring, old technology. That someone from Nigeria wants to send you mone

  • Blog of a scammer (Score:5, Interesting)

    by saskboy (600063) on Saturday August 06, 2005 @08:27PM (#13260958) Homepage Journal
    Does anyone know of a blog site written by a scammer? That would be quite the reading. I guess the P-P-P-Powerbook blogsite is sort of the other side of that, but what about the scammer's perspective? Blogging can't be considered serious journalism until the other side is given a chance to defend their actions.

    [yes I'm kidding]
  • *goes to sign up for scammer night classes*
  • Capitalism... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by creimer (824291) on Saturday August 06, 2005 @08:28PM (#13260968) Homepage
    It's nice to know that the American Dream has reached the far corners of the world. So is Uncle Sam getting his cut of the loot?
    • .... yes because crime only happens to capitlistic societies.

      Go read some ayn rynd or something, you're trolling is becoming even more non-sensical, time to go back to your roots boy.
    • It's nice to know that the American Dream has reached the far corners of the world. So is Uncle Sam getting his cut of the loot?

      How is ripping people off and being a parasite the American Dream? The American Dream is success through work, and the liberty to pursue and enjoy it. There's nothing in the capitalist ethos that supports fraud and theft. That's the domain of people who would rather deceive than work, or would rather force others to work for them (which is to say, communists and other would-be s
      • Ok, the problem I have with your post is this:

        Tell me how many people have made lots of money by being totally honest and hard working? How many of them would rather work than pay some poor schlub minimum wage to do it?

        How many legitimate companies engage in borderline fraud and borderline theft? How many lobbyists have hard work and the good of the people in mind? This country is headed for the shitter and people don't seem to realize that greed drives 90% of this nation.....
        • Capitalism is an ideology which appreciates that greed is an integral part of human nature and that there is no practical way that this can be changed. In stead, capitalism seeks to harness personal greed to benefit society to the maximum extent possible. It is therefore not particularly surprising if a nation that bases its economic system on capitalism is dominated by greed.
          It is not clear, however, that there exists a desirable alternative. Nations that have experimented with systems that attempt to supp
        • I don't know that I have "made lots of money," but I own my house (two-story, log construction) and the 25 acres it sits on outright; no mortgage, and I paid cash for all of it from the proceeds of my engineering consulting business.

          When I bid a job (clients were mega corps. such as Motorola, Texas Instruments, Datapoint, etc.), the bid was the price even if my costs or time exceeded the bid amount. I never invoiced for more than the bid amount.

          Conversely, if my costs/time were less than the estimate on the
      • Consider the insurance companies that have their corporation paperwork registered in the Caribbeans for the purpose of not paying U.S. taxes on their profits. These companies effectively defraud the U.S. government of tax revenue by pretending (legally) to be a foreign company. Some would consider this "hard work", and certainly most CEOs have "the liberty to pursue and enjoy it". Depending on whether you're at the top or bottom, this may or may not be the American dream.

        BTW, People who engaged in fraud
        • I don't think you'll find, in my comments or in the concepts touched on, any support for companies that derive their income from the US market, and depend upon a stable US economy (and the US rule of law, which is a big part of maintaining it), but which conduct themselves in a way to avoid paying appropriate taxes. If a US-based company has to pay taxes on incoming, any company benefitting from doing business with US citizens living in the US should be having to pay the same premium, no question.
      • Re:Capitalism... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Planesdragon (210349) <slashdot@castl e s t e e l s t o ne.us> on Sunday August 07, 2005 @02:54AM (#13262561) Homepage Journal
        The American Dream is success through work, and the liberty to pursue and enjoy it. There's nothing in the capitalist ethos that supports fraud and theft.

        Wrong on both counts.

        1: The American Dream is to achieve sufficient success to provide, on your own and being beholden to none, for the whole of your nuclear family until your children are all grown.

        Most of those characterised as "living the American Dream" are not, in literal fact, workers. They are businessmen, investors, and executives--who, while they doubtless provide a significant benefit to society, are arguably "parasites" from a strictly "work" point of view. (as in, their contribution to society depends on the physical or mental efforts of others.)

        2: Capitalism sure as hell encourages fraud and theft. There IS no "capitalist ethos." There is, instead, a clear recognition by capitalist countries that people are greedy and will act however gets them the most profit.

        Capitalism is not a system free of graft, fraud, and theft. Rather, it is a system that aligns the most selfish desires of society with the needs of society as a whole, by way of making investments liquid and fraud prohibitvely expensive.
      • How is ripping people off and being a parasite the American Dream? The American Dream is success through work, and the liberty to pursue and enjoy it. There's nothing in the capitalist ethos that supports fraud and theft. That's the domain of people who would rather deceive than work, or would rather force others to work for them (which is to say, communists and other would-be slave owners).

        And yet millions of slaves were imported to the United States of America in order to benefit others through their

  • Scammers... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by M$ Agent 2 (897060) on Saturday August 06, 2005 @08:29PM (#13260977)
    I get a laugh out of these things in my mail, I honestly dont see how some one could be foolish enough to believe these scams. This page hit a note with me though as two weeks ago I got a phone call from "Miami/Dade County Correctional" at any rate out of curriosity I accepted the collect call and some one potraying themselves as a police officer said that some one was in the hospital yadda yadda yadda and tried to get me to dial a number *76 something something LOL anyway it turned out after looking like 2 seconds on google that its a number to forward the charges from the number you dial to your phone bill. I didnt fall for it but it was interesting.
    • Re:Scammers... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pyrrhonist (701154)
      This page hit a note with me though as two weeks ago I got a phone call from "Miami/Dade County Correctional" at any rate out of curriosity I accepted the collect call and some one potraying themselves as a police officer said that some one was in the hospital yadda yadda yadda and tried to get me to dial a number *76 something something LOL

      Did you call the police? I'm sure they'd be interested in a person at a correctional facility who poses as a law enforcement officer and attempts to defraud people us

      • I'm sure they'd be interested in a person at a correctional facility who poses as a law enforcement officer and attempts to defraud people using prison phone facilities.

        Wadda they gonna do? Arrest him?
        • double, triple his prison sentence. judges take a very dim view of criminals who commit further crimes while incarcerated.
    • Well, you probably got scammed for like $5 by the phone company. Those prison collect calls are like $1.00 per minute.
  • 419 eaters (Score:5, Informative)

    by Eugene (6671) on Saturday August 06, 2005 @08:37PM (#13261017) Homepage
    http://www.419eater.com/ [419eater.com] is a nice place to see the successful story against 419 scammers

    • Uh... not that I do this, but, er, a friend did it...
      Does anyone else reply to these scam emails with the name and phone number of ex-girlfriends/people they can't stand? Not that I would ever do that...
      Of course scamming is wrong, but seriously, at least these guys aren't killing anyone. I mean, ask yourself seriously, if you had a college degree, and lived in Nigeria and had no job prospects, would you ever consider this? Desperate times=desperate measures...
      • Be careful - there have been several reports of them killing people, not to mention kidnapping.

        One of the variants of the nigerian scam has them getting the suspects to illegally enter the country, then hold them ransom or threaten to turn them over to the nigerian authorities. There are other variants. People HAVE been killed.
    • Re:419 eaters (Score:2, Interesting)

      by sleeper0 (319432)
      I went to this website and browsed around. In particular I read some of the letters/reports listed on this page: http://www.419eater.com/html/letters.htm [419eater.com]

      It seems to me the top section is reports done by the website owner as opposed to the bottom section of letters "submissions from fellow scambaiters"

      I thought it was pretty interesting that this guy actually scams the scammers, according to notations in big red bold letters he's taken people who wrote to him for over $1200 and I'm sure he's hoping that num
      • I'm hoping maybe this guy can expand his business, maybe going out on the streets at night and robbing people at gunpoint who approach him that he might think are suspicious

        Wow! What a totally invalid analogy!
        • Wow, you're so right. Thanks for setting me on the correct path. This guy who is scamming poor people out of money is doing god's work.
          • This guy who is scamming poor people out of money is doing god's work.

            He's conning criminals, not scamming poor people. 419 scammers are rarely, if ever, "poor". Not if they can afford regular Internet access (or Internet access at all) in countries where people are often lucky to have electricity.
  • by bgfay (5362) on Saturday August 06, 2005 @08:37PM (#13261022) Homepage
    "It's a war on terror. These scammers, they hate freedom. That's the only reason they do this. It isn't about the money. It's about hating freedom, and liberty too, and all the other stuff in that yellowed up paper down in the National Archives. We gots to smoke 'em out of their holes and kill 'em."
    --G.W. Bush

    "These Nigerians need to be deported back to Nigeria. What do you mean they're already there? Deport them to some place else then. (Did I say it okay George?)"
    --Tony Blair
    • "It's a war on terror. These scammers, they hate freedom. That's the only reason they do this. It isn't about the money. It's about hating freedom, and liberty too, and all the other stuff in that yellowed up paper down in the National Archives. We gots to smoke 'em out of their holes and kill 'em." --G.W. Bush

      I think you've got it wrong.

      "It's a struggle against oppression. These noble freedom fighters are simply using the tools of their oppressors to liberate themselves. We can't sit by and idly allo
    • More like "Annoyerists," but hey, who knows what sort of weapons of mass destruction they could have?
    • "What about us!!! We can be a target too! Look at me George look at me!!!!"
      -- John Howard
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 06, 2005 @08:47PM (#13261074)
    I work as a relay operator that does Internet Relay calls which are for the deaf and hard of hearing. They log in, type in their message and we speak it to the person they want to call. Pretty useful for someone who can't hear. Plus it's a pretty easy job that lets me study between calls.

    Unfortunately , Nigerians have discovered this service, and are using it to do scams. Roughly 90% of all Internet Relay calls we get now are Nigerians doing scam calls. There's nothing we can do because it's a mandated service by the government.

    But it's damn annoying to have to relay for someone you KNOW is a Nigerian scammer. Management doesn't do anything because we get paid if it's a scam call or not.

    Meh. No really.

    "PLS I MR JOHNSON JOHNSON FROM NIGERIA PLS I WANT 2 BYE 500 PUPPIES TO SHIP TO LAGOS NIGERIA I HAVE 5000 DOLAR MONEY ORDER GAGAGAGAGAGAGAGAGAGA"

    Anyways, if you ever get a relay call, for god's sake, don't accept a money order to ship anything to Nigeria.

    (posted as Anonymous Coward for obvious reasons)
    • Management doesn't do anything because we get paid if it's a scam call or not.

      Wonderful business ethics your management team has. It's like me in my job. I get paid either way if you live or die, since it's the hospital that pays my salary, not you. So why should I care? Right...argue THAT one in court. Better yet, try to live with yourself.

      Have you ever thought of challenging your manager on this issue? You might be ignored, and you might be fired. Or you might
      • Wonderful business ethics your management team has. It's like me in my job. I get paid either way if you live or die, since it's the hospital that pays my salary, not you. So why should I care?

        Have you ever thought of challenging your manager on this issue? You might be ignored, and you might be fired. Or you might be successful. But you will have done SOMETHING about it.


        This I believe is the domain of the FCC... a manager would have absolutly no power or authority to regulate communications from Nigeria.
        • In fact it's their job dispach all messages without prejustice.

          Even if that involves the perpetration of a crime? What a sad, sorry loophole these relay operators are in if that's the case. How can the law expect human beings to act blindly and not think? This can't be right at all. No person or agency government or otherwise can ask another person to participate in a crime (the exception being unless you are a soldier in a time of war and you are told to kill a legitimate enemy, which
          • Even if that involves the perpetration of a crime?

            Federal rules require them to make the calls and keep the contents strictly confidential, even if the relay operator suspects fraud.

            What a sad, sorry loophole these relay operators are in if that's the case

            You've said it.

            This can't be right at all. No person or agency government or otherwise can ask another person to participate in a crime

            They are not participating in a crime no more so than a telephone is participating in a crime. They are relaying words
            • I would say that the "something that needs to be done" is for the deaf people in question to take action themselves. Just because someone is deaf doesn't mean they're stupid, and the vast majority of deaf folks have the same critical thinking skills that anyone else does. I can't imagine that most deaf people are running to get their checkbooks when presented with unsolicited calls like that, and I would imagine that the relay operators have something like ANI where they could pass the calling number alon
              • Just because someone is deaf doesn't mean they're stupid, and the vast majority of deaf folks have the same critical thinking skills that anyone else does.

                The people using these service can hear, and use it to talk to hearing people, just via a terminal relay, and more recently via a terminal on the internet.

                While i'm sure there is a record "somewhere" of all phone calls, from my understanding the relay operator doesn't have access to the IP address of the text user, and even if they did, chances are they a
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Of course I did something.

        I complained to management. Everyone here complains about Nigerian calls. We make fun of them. We use every damn technicality to get rid of them as fast as we can. Because everyone was so angry about having to do those calls we had a big meeting last month with management. I told them I get over 100-150 prisoners trying to either chat up with a female operator or trying to make a free call through us (speech to speech). Ugh. But if it's not the hundreds of Nigerians, or the
        • You should report all of this stuff to the US Secret Service Financial Crimes Division. They handle international fraud schemes like this.

          Here's their 419 site [secretservice.gov] and a list of crimes they cover [secretservice.gov]
        • by Anonymous Coward
          "Simply put, currently, a relay operator has to relay everything verbatim and can't hang up on any caller no mater what. If we do hang up on them, we can get fined."

          Back in college, a good friend of mine abused these lines quite a bit.

          Sadly, he was deaf.

          I'd get a call in the middle of the night and there was a single line message stating this was a speech to text call from XYZ and that was the only thing the operator could say outside of what the friend said.

          He'd start off asking if the operator was a man o
        • so if someone calls up to use you to relay to the white house in order to make death threats against the president, you have to do it?

          you do realize you'd be the one ending up in prison...
        • hmm.. You say you can't hang up.. but do you have to actually copy the call? I mean, you must take breaks sometime right? so can you just refuse to copy the call and hand off to someone else? if all the grunts did that eventually management would have to take the calls or petition for new policy to be made.
    • A friend of mine tried to sell a motorcycle online once, and got a scam relay call like that, from someone in italy. It was the first we'd heard of the service.

      Anyway, we had a blast crank calling people for weeks after that. Keep up the good work!
    • So what happens if they use obscene, derogatory, insulting, or threatening language?

      Do you still relay the message?

    • I received one of those calls a few years ago. The spammer didn't realize that it was a different time of day here in the Western US, much less that it was Sunday on a holiday weekend, or a loud science fiction convention :-) I tried to get the operator to trace the IP address the spammer was connecting from, but they didn't have the tools to do that. Extremely frustrating, especially since I was working for a phone company, though I don't remember which of the companies was doing the relay.

      Apparently

  • by alvinrod (889928) on Saturday August 06, 2005 @08:48PM (#13261078)
    The first time I read this [thescambaiter.com], I nearly shat myself because it was so funny.

    It's the story of a man who is targeted by Nigerian scammers but gets revenge on them and actually screws them out of some money. The whole thing takes place over several months and includes pictures, audio recordings of phone conversations, email correspondence and other stuff.

    It's quite long, but worth a read if you have the time.

  • Who is the thief? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cowboy76Spain (815442) on Saturday August 06, 2005 @08:50PM (#13261086)
    Let's see:

    1.- A honest person from the First World receives an email from the empoverished nation of Nigeria. 2.- The email states that if the honest person helps someone to deal an big amount of money from the poor country, he will get a share. 3.- The honest person agrees to help in the theft, and is scammed.

    Morally, I could not care less for the scammed. He was scammed because he tried to steal from someone, not because he wanted to be involved in a legal bussiness.
    From anoter point of view, this is Darwinism at work: people so stupid to get involved would probably have its money lost in other ways.
  • Spam was invented when it became blindingly obvious that some smartass would type:

    for a in $alladdresses
    do
    qmail-inject $a < blurb.txt
    done

    ...and make a fortune with a four line shell script. But this guy is doing it the hard way and has certainly not heard of scripting.

    • I'm an admin for a medium sized free webmail and I regulary observe 419 folks creating accounts manually and using them to send their shit out, manually. I'd say they have a text file of addresses and some body templates where they just change the names, copy/paste it into the webmail and click send. Once I observed some nigr doing this for eight hours straight. They must be really desperate ...

      Btw, I have most of the IP spaces of Nigeria, Lagos and Ivory coast in my firewall by now. It seems like the only
  • OK, they're Nigerian 419 scams, but why do they only come from nigeria?

    There are bad people all over the world, why don't I get these scams from other countries, or even here in the US?
    • because nigeria is the most corrupt country in the entire world. #1 on the list. the government is totally completely mind-blowingly corrupt. no other country even comes close to the corruption of nigeria.

      that is why the scams overwhelmingly come from nigeria and nowhere else.
    • Re:Why Nigeria (Score:3, Informative)

      by daremonai (859175)
      The answer, of course, is that they don't all come from Nigeria. In the 90(!) of them I have received in the last week, they've come from the Netherlands, the UK, Palestine (via France and Ireland), Burkina-Faso, the UAE, China, Iraq (via Switzerland), the Philippines, Cote d'Ivoire [Ivory Coast], Benin, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Spain, India, Liberia, the Congo, Russia, Togo, Swaziland, Ghana, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Senegal, and a couple labeled vaguely "West Africa" or just "Africa." Oh, and a passel of them fr
      • I've gotten Nigerian 419 scams *purporting* to be from all kinds of places, but most of them have either been from free email providers (teenmail.co.za is especially popular, so it's still Africa, and virgilio.it or sometimes Hong Kong) or from IP addresses that are satellite connections to Nigeria, typically from cybercafes.

        I've gotten very little that actually comes from African countries other than Nigeria (though obviously the emails pretty randomly pick corrupt countries for the corrupt official or d

    • From TFA:
      Why Nigeria? There are many theories. The nation of 130 million, Africa's most populous, is well educated, and English, the lingua franca of the scam industry, is the official language. Nigeria bursts with talent, from former NBA star Hakeem Olajuwon to Nobel literature laureate Wole Soyinka.
  • Dang. I was hoping his day would go more like this:

    Wake up.
    Go to internet cafe.
    Discover all my credit cards are maxxed out and my bank accounts are empty. WTF?
    See CNN report about manhunt for international child porn dealer. Hey, that's my photo! That's my address!
    Notice geeky looking guys with laptops at the next table. What are they laughing at?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    In 2002, I was working on a project in Nigeria for a period of about six weeks. During my first day, I stopped into an Internet cafe.

    Posted throughout the room were printed notices warning the patrons that these types of scams were illegal and not tolerated. People are quite aware of this problem, and for the most part frown upon it severely.

    After I took my seat at a PC, as I went about my business, I couldn't help but notice that the person sitting next to me was composing a 419 scam email. (He was usin
  • by mattr (78516) <mattr AT telebody DOT com> on Sunday August 07, 2005 @01:02AM (#13262211) Homepage Journal
    Boy this was a shocker. Anybody notice the domain the story comes from? iwon.com may belong to askjeeves, but I KNOW I get spam from iwon.com that I never signed up for.

    And look at all their (apparently lucrative) advertisers! Let's see, you can buy Hoodia, Investigate Anyone Anywhere, incredible reload the page and there are more and more banners and text ads.

    What is scary is that it looks partially legit, in that my guess is they actually do run some kind of lottery (I wonder what the legal basis is for running a lottery on the net, sounds awfully lucrative). But I am pretty sure that iwon spams, and that their advertisers are bigger spammers.

    So if the article is about a "cheeky" move by a Nigerian posing as the head of the antifraud department, then I find a spammer posing as a news site, carrying a news story about how spam pays off, and getting paid to do it by spammers, who are getting their page hits from slashdotters who hate spam, to be a utter masterpiece of cheekiness. My hat is off to you Iwon, you won!

    Another thing I would like to note for all those slashdotters who are still laughing and unconvinced (and especially the dude who got past the lame filter and posted an all caps Bush spam message). I am guessing that any people who still get caught by these things are disadvantaged somehow.

    Either they are kids with money, or depressed, or schizophrenic, or fanatically religious, or something, but they are missing something in the immune system that everyone else has. Personally I find the all capitals letters to be especially worrisome. There is most likely a large amount of mental illness in the world not being treated, or treated unsuccessfully, or the result of a temporary fugue of some sort such as normally makes people suicidal. Maybe there are even people who figure someone, anyone else could use the money better than themselves and this is a way of hurting themselves.

    At the very least, it is now mainstream knowledge that just about anyone will cave in if shouted at and abused enough. I strongly believe that the shadiness of Iwon, and the sheer volume of spam with its various types of shouting, exerts a significant pressure on people. This story is about how that works really well, about how it is a natural outcome of a burgeoning, talented, but wild west style country, and about how it still pays if you walk the fine line like Iwon.com does.

    It sounds like a primer that the flopped dotcommers of the next thread should have read before going through their money. One dotcom they mention closed down before using all its cash, while one scammer in the article made 250 million bucks, about 10 times as much, only gave back a tenth of it, and presumably had a nother 200 million left after the 2 years of prison! Who's laughing now?
  • by CyborgWarrior (633205) on Sunday August 07, 2005 @01:52AM (#13262382) Homepage
    Lol, I've been playing around with one for a little bit now, (just a coupla days actually). Here's the Convo:

    Scammer:
    I lost the first email, but basically he's saying he's british and I have the same last name as somebody rich who just died, so he wants to split the multi-million dollar inheritance with me in exchange for me posing as a relative.

    Me:
    I am interested in your offer. However, I'm not
    satisfied with the percentages. I required 60% to be transferred to me as I am the one taking the risk of legal reprisal by claiming myself as the next of kin. Please contact me for further information.

    Scammer:
    Dear Justin,
    Why have I not hear from you again I have agrred for your 60 40 for peace to reing but remmber you are taking the chance since i can not make this claim alone so let me know your mind so that we can proceed immediately.

    thanks and god bless
    ALFRED
    (caps removed for /. filter)

    Me:
    I am sorry for the delay in communications, I am in the process of moving to a different place of
    residence and have an unreliable Internet connection. What would be the easiest method for you to transfer the funds? I know that such services as Paypal provide an anonymous bank transfer system. If you would rather work directly with a bank account number, I can open a new account in a few days and leave it empty for the
    convenience of easily keeping track of who gets what portion. Also, do you have a bank account number I can have so I can easily facilitate the immediate transfer of your portion of the funds upon your deposit of the complete sum in mine?

    Scammer:
    dear justin,

    i am glad to hear from you today and i must say that you should try to get back to me so that we can be fast to make sure we achieve this goal..as you said if you dont have an account already you can go ahead and open another but if you have i feel there is no needof opening fresh one because all you will do is to forward it to the bank fro the fund transfer.

    before i will give you the bank contact address i will like if you have to know your datas as to know whom i am trusting this fund to his care pending when i come over for the disbursement.and i will also like you to send to me your direct telephone numbers so i can speak with you.

    please try and get back to me as soon as possible so that we can proceed immediately.

    thanks and god bless.

    ALFRED CHINEDU.PHONE 2348033621506

    That's it so far. You know you could almost love these guys if they weren't scammers, they're all so friendly and accomodating! A quick note: I dont know of any paypal method for anonymous transfers, I was just throwing that in there to see if he was dumb enough to give out HIS bank account information.
  • This guy did: http://www.yrad.com/ [yrad.com] It takes some real talent to put together some of his replies...
  • by Hosiah (849792) on Sunday August 07, 2005 @03:00AM (#13262576)
    They know one thing most of us don't: To ensure your continued success, all you have to do is build upon the foundation of inexhaustable human ignorance. Works in business and politics!
  • Well deserved (Score:2, Informative)

    by etzel (861288)
    I have yet to see a Nigerian scam message that looks legit. People who fall for these things are too ignorant or too desperate to make a quick buck. Shame on you rednecks!
  • I just emailed them a picture of some south african getting necklaced. No replies, comments or anything - the spams just stopped. I guess they got the hint.

  • a little chat (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rndmcnlly (751912)
    Heres a transcript of my chat with a scammer on Y! messenger. We had been talking via email for about a week. http://adamsmith.as/typ0/crack.txt [adamsmith.as]
  • by Phoinix (666047) on Sunday August 07, 2005 @08:07AM (#13263202)
    Dear Mr/Ms/Mrs Slashdotter,

    We here in Nigeria are learning from you guys and we have established the first Nigerian Civil Rights Organization dedicated to defend our birth right to scam people. We are currently gathering funds and we need your help. In return, we will name a chapter of our organization after you. Please send us any amount of money you have; $5000 is a good start.

    And God Bless You.

    Sincerely

    GW
    The Nigerian Civil Rights Union

    P.S. You may be puzzled by the lack of obvious spelling mistakes in this email, well fear not since an English teacher has just joined our ranks.
  • While they're doing a crackdown -- they should hit up my Nigerian Ebay Scammer [fpux.com].

Old programmers never die, they just become managers.

Working...