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February 21, 2003

Nigerian diplomat killed over scam

Nigerian diplomat was shot by someone who was scammed. Now, this is definately some incentive for the Nigerian government to crack down on this. The reason I post on this is that in the past 3 days I've been swamped at ALL my various e-mail addresses (@ different domains) with requests for money, which is strange, as I normally receieved 1 request a month....

Also, check out this article on the Nature vs. Nurture issue in Wired.

Posted by razib at 02:13 PM

A revealing indication of African economies (and Western gullability):

This swindle is commonly known as "419 fraud," after the section of the Nigerian penal code covering cons. According to the anti-spam software vendor Brightmail, 419 come-ons are the Web's second-most common form of junk mail, ranking behind only those incessant "herbal Viagra" ads. Though most people merely laugh at the pleas' awful grammar and all-caps style ("I WILL LIKE YOU CONTACT MY LAWYER ..."), about 1 percent of recipients actually respond. Of that number, enough people fork over enough cash to sustain an industry that ranks in Nigeria's top five, right up there with palm oil and tin. The U.S. Secret Service has estimated—conservatively, by its own admission—that the scammers net $100 million per year.

Top 5!

I never got one of these things on my hotmail account (surprising b/c my hotmail account is basically collapsing under the weight of junk mail), so I had no idea what people were talking about. But ever since I got this NYC account a couple of months ago, I get about two a week.

Posted by:
Jason Malloy at February 21, 2003 02:38 PM

i know of some morons in northern california that sold their house and borrowed money from friends. the reason i know is that they were trying to convince my landlady to lend them some money (they were friends) and when i told her about the details of the scam (she assumed it was a scam) she told them. they got angry and told her that it couldn't be true.

also, i have a friend whose father forked over about $30,000. his father died of heart disease, and my friend found this money was gone out of one of his accounts, and realized looking at the bank records that this is what happened.

morons. i'm gullible, but not THAT gullible. i can't even help to feel sorry for the morons that FLY OVER to nigeria under false papers (that is required so they can hold you hostage and extort more money) and eventually get killed after the money train runs dry....

Posted by: razib at February 21, 2003 02:55 PM

I don't feel that bad for them. They think they're finding a way to get free money. Ever read Mark Twain's _The Man the Corrupted Hadleyville_? Same thing. The dupes desrve it.

The scam has long since left Nigeria. I've seen an Ivory Coast version, and Jonathan Edelstein has a post on central american and asian versions.

Posted by: Ikram Saeed at February 21, 2003 03:51 PM

well-another thing, EVEN IF IT WAS TRUE, IT IS OBVIOUSLY FRAUDULENT! embezzling money out of poor third world countries isn't something you should be party too in any case.... (on an individual level, as members of a polity or organization, you are prolly indirectly party-as in US government, or stockholder in Chevron)

Posted by: razib at February 21, 2003 08:25 PM

If the Czeck guy was killed at the scene he would have been a contender for the Darwin Awards.

Posted by: duende at February 22, 2003 02:29 PM

God! What a lame-ass Wired article. I expected better. Who gives a crap what the green party, just for example, thinks about the debate?

Posted by: Grady at February 24, 2003 07:32 AM