Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Almighty Buck

419 Scam Costs Britons 8.4m GBP in 2002 314

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the you-gotta-be-kidding dept.
Albanach writes "In this article the Scotland on Sunday newspaper reports figures from the UK's National Criminal Intelligence Service which show 150 Britons were caught out by the Nigerian 419 scam and its variations in 2002, with a total loss of 8.4m GBP ($13.3m US)or around 57,000 GBP ($90,000 US) a head. "
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

419 Scam Costs Britons 8.4m GBP in 2002

Comments Filter:
  • The various governments of the world get together and spend the money to educate the public about the Nigerian scam. My relatives delete the e-mail because it's too good to be true, not because they know it's a known scam.

    • Yeah, and after that, let's fund a billion dollar campaign to educate the world about the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and DNF.
      • by CVaneg (521492) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @12:32PM (#5418754)
        Yeah, and after that, let's fund a billion dollar campaign to educate the world about the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and DNF.

        I totally agree. You just can't teach common sense. Why, just today, I was talking with the finance minister of Uganda as I was transfering control of my entire life savings in a complex attempt to skirt international finance laws, and he said the exact same about the Nigerian scam. Some people are just surprisingly gullible.

        • Have you ever tried to negotiate with him? I found him to be a reasonable man. When I mentioned the I was also in negotiations with the Nigerians, he DOUBLED my percentage. Wow!

          I just can't get "girl who runs computer" out of my mind.
        • Still, the amount of money lost is quite a bit. Common sense or not, I think Bush should go after these guys in his 'war against terrorism.'

          Do these guys have anything in common with the Xupiter/Gator/Whenu.com people? I'm wondering if maybe there's some connection that could confirm any conspiracy theories about the internet.

          What would really be freaky is if the RIAA and MS were behind it as well... I'll have to do some research on that one...

          • Do these guys have anything in common with the Xupiter/Gator/Whenu.com people? I'm wondering if maybe there's some connection that could confirm any conspiracy theories about the internet.

            Yes, they are both run by complete and total shits.

            Scumware is a major problem in its own right. One of the rising vectors for scumware is spam. People are sent spam with active-x components, javascript exploits etc. that try to install the scumware without notifying the user. [Yes toto, they do do that even though they claim that they don't]. Alternatively the user is sent to a web page which tried to download the component.

            The interesting question to me is how these scumware companies make money. Selling demographic information can be profitable, but the figures don't add up. How can it be profitable to spend $3 a user to install a component? Net advertsing is in a slump, few sites can cover their costs. How on earth can the scumware vendors with disreputable business practices get advertisers in this market?

            Something does not ad up here.

      • Yeah, and after that, let's fund a billion dollar campaign to educate the world about the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and DNF.

        Since nobody writes letters from Nigeria claiming to be the Tooth Fairy, I think that this second campaign of yours is a boondoggle. The Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy don't leave the borders of the country with upwards of 80 million a year either.

        As much as we like to see a small number of incredibly stupid and greedy people suffer tremendously, it is still within the public interest that this get stopped.

    • Now, I'm not jusifying these criminals who defraud people. Personally, as a Nigerian, I am embarrassed to get these letters as well, and once in a while I send a scathing reply (which I bet is promptly deleted)

      Don't forget that "no truly honest person falls for these scams". The greedy fools who wanted to defraud the Nigerian government got defrauded themselves, and they have the gall to complain :-D

      But one thought constantly crosses my mind when I hear people complaining about these crooks. I am ever surprised that no one talks about colonization, slavery, land grabs, and all the other "scams" the nation of Britain pulled on Nigerians for centuries. And don't forget that those scams were sanctioned by the British Government itself :-)

      No, I'm not bitter... part of that was our fault. But when enteprising young men from Nigeria (much like British "entrepreneurs" in the late 1800s and early 1900s) decide to fleece Britain or America, fooling the locals from those countries, I must admit it makes me chuckle just a little bit :-)

      Yes some American and British victims are "innocent", and I realize a few people have actually died while pursuing these quests for illegal money, so I'm not trying to belittle the situation; governments should continue the crackdown on these perpertrators, and their foolish victims. Yes the victims; what ever happened to aiding and abbetting a crime? That should make them delete those emails quick!

      I hope I have been able to add another dimension to your thoughts when you read about 419 scams.

      Nwanua.


  • Scurvy makes you think crazy things.

    • You want to explain that "scurvy" comment, mate? If it's a reference to the origin of the word "limey", you may be talking about your forefathers, remember...
      • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        He's suggesting the victims should use the Twinkie defense [ohnonews.com]. The sad offshoot of which is scurvy.
    • Actually, the Europeans who migrated to America were far more likely to get scurvy than Europeans who never went to sea, so those scurvy-ridden Brits are now called Americans.
  • I wonder... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chris_Stankowitz (612232) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @11:49AM (#5418589)
    if more people in britan just reported it. Americans tend to not report things of this nature out of shame. Anyone know anything about the numbers in other countries?
    • Re:I wonder... (Score:4, Informative)

      by ndecker (588441) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @12:29PM (#5418734)
      According to the "Schwarzbuch der Steuerzahler" (PDF, german, Page 6) [bund-der-steuerzahler.de] ( A yearly publication of a german taxpayers union ) there was a german city called Enningerloh which gave a loan of 285000 DM ( ~ 140000 EUR/$ ) to a poor pensioner so he could complete his financial transaction with nigeria. They expected part of the profit in return.
    • Re:I wonder... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by FTL (112112)
      > if more people in britan just reported it. Americans tend to not report things of this nature out of shame.

      I suspect the difference is that the UK government is much more protective of its citizens than American governments. In general, North American governments disallow things that are proven to be dangerous, whereas European government allows things proven to be safe.

      The effect is that over here there is a much greater level of trust amongst consumers. So when a scam artist arrives, more people fall for it.

    • I didn't see a reference to American numbers in this article. However I expect the American number to be higher.

      What a lot of people don't seem to realize is that part of the appeal of the scam is that the plot to transfer the money leads to a situation where the supposed outside helper can walk away with the entire bankroll instead of just the helper's fee and the supposed owner of the money can't do anything about it because they're stuck in their country or otherwise unable to pursue you for it.

      Not all of the people who fall for this scam are going for the full take, but I expect many are.

      I was going to say that I think more Americans are more likely to go for the scam, but come to think of it I don't know the Brits very well and can't make that comparison. But it is my impression the scam aims at more well-to-do people and that there are more well-to-do suckers in the US than GB.
  • by osgeek (239988) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @11:50AM (#5418595) Homepage Journal
    While I heartily encourage the full prosecution of the con artists, I don't feel all that sorry for the victims.

    I mean, if you're that stupid, it's probably best for society if you don't have any economic influence anyway. Your right to vote should probably be taken away as well. :P
  • by dario_moreno (263767) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @11:52AM (#5418601) Homepage Journal
    Dear Sir
    We Do Not Know Each Other But I Am The Son Of The President Of Scotland Yard. I Need Your Help To Recover The Sum Of One Point Five Billion Pounds (Bp 1,500,000,000) Which We Have Recovered In Nigeria. To Proceed Please Send Your Credit Card With The Pin On A Post It...

    (lameness filter preventing to post in upper case)
  • Never... (Score:5, Funny)

    by barracg8 (61682) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @11:53AM (#5418604)
    Never was the National Criminal Intelligence Service less aptly named.
    • Never was the National Criminal Intelligence Service less aptly named.


      That probably explains why they haven't found a thing yet, except for a sighting of Elvis in Tescos.
  • I bet its mostly new users and the eldery. Why a few months ago a colleage of mine received one of these emails and I happened to go over and catch him replying! Lucky him I walked by and explained exactly what it was before he sent all his bank account information. He looked all excited like he was going to become a millionaire until I explained to him it's a scam, and that once he sends that bank account information, he can expect his account to be wiped clean.
    • I understand they don't clean you out right away. They actually string you along for a while and get you to raise some more funds to cover "unforseen complications" or bribes or some such nonsense. Once they've bilked you out of a lot more than the value of your actual bank account, then they vanish. A woman in the US (CA I believe) actually embezzeled her law firm's ENTIRE CASH RESERVES to give to these d!ckwads. The firm found out when their settlement cheques to clients bounced!
  • by ihtagik (318795) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @11:55AM (#5418612)
    who have suffered financially due to the scam. However shooting a (Nigerian) diplomat [bbc.co.uk] is definitely not going to help things...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02, 2003 @11:57AM (#5418622)
    United States President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced today that Nigeria was the latest target country in the "War on Spam." "Too many rich people have had their money unflairly taken away by these evil people." said President Bush. He continued by saying "We shall wipe them off the continent of Australica." Prime Minister Blair stood at his side in solemn agreement. After President Bush finished, Blair corrected Bush's mistakes for reporters including "unflairly" and "Australica."
  • by osgeek (239988) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @11:58AM (#5418626) Homepage Journal
    You've really got to pity the legitimately deposed dictatorial families that must have a way to get their money out of the country.

    They send out email to a select few upstanding citizens, hoping to be able to get their millions out of the country for a small percentage of the money. Then, no one believes that the offer is legitimate!

    Yes, these deposed dictator's relatives are the real victims in all of this! Let's not forget about their tragic plight.
  • Just goes to show (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jaymzter (452402) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @11:59AM (#5418630) Homepage
    You can't cheat an honest person. They weren't gullible, they were willing to lie for money.
    • by kmellis (442405) <kmellis@io.com> on Sunday March 02, 2003 @02:34PM (#5419399) Homepage
      "You can't cheat an honest person."
      Sure you can. The "Western Union" wire-transfer scam featured in Mamet's "House of Games" comes to mind. It goes like this:

      The con artist goes to a Western Union outlet and sits down as if he's (she's) waiting for a wire transfer. Time passes. The mark comes in, someone who is obviously waiting for a transfer and is impatient when they find that it's not arrived. The con artist strikes up a friendly conversation with the mark. They both mention how they're waiting for a desperately needed wire transfer and they're both impatient. The con artist suddenly gets an idea. "Hey", he says, "You know what? If my wire gets here before yours does, what'll you say that I just loan you the $X you need and you can pay me back tomorrow after your transfer gets here?" The mark says, "Gosh, that's really nice of you. And I'll do the same thing for you." Since the con artist doesn't actually have money coming in, inevitably the mark gets his transfer and offers the loan to the con artist. The con artist takes it and walks away, never to be heard from again.

      Now, this is only marginally plausible, but it's the example that came to my mind. Most people these days would politely refuse the offer, but some wouldn't, and some of them would gullibly offer to reciprocate.

      "Mike", the con artist in "House of Games" that demonstrates this con to the psychiatrist, asks her if she know why these are called "confidence games". She responds, "Because someone gives you their confidence?" Mike says, "No. Because I give them my confidence." Which is a brilliant line and also very true.

      Almost every person has some "weakness" or another that makes them vulnerable to a con artist. Often, yes, it's greed and dishonesty. But it can also be generosity, compassion, or simple confusion. And, more often than you might think, it can be arrogance or over-confidence. Some of the people here who are ridiculing all victims of a scam as being "stupid" may be vulnerable to having their overconfidence exploited. Carl Sagan (and others) wrote about how it is that scientists seem to be surprisingly easily tricked by "scientific" fraudsters (paranormalists, etc.). It's because the scientist's overconfidence is taken advantage of; that the fraudsters, like magicians, misdirect the scientist's attention to areas that they naturally focus upon and perform their slight of hand in places where the scientists aren't looking and didn't think to look. A con artist will do the same thing--set up something that looks like a scam to attract the suspicious mark's attention, then perform the real scam in a direction the mark isn't looking.

      Everyone thinks they are immune to being conned. They're almost all wrong.

      That said, there's almost no chance that I could be scammed by a con artist appealing to my greed. I'm automatically suspicious of any potential windfall from any source. But, on the other hand, I'm almost certainly vulnerable to a carefully crafted scam that takes advantage of generosity or compassion like the one I detail above. The only comfort I take in that is that there are more scams leveraging the mark's greed than there are that leverage other characteristics.

      A classic, authoritative book on the history, psychology, and sociology of confidence artists and their cons is "The Big Con [amazon.com]" by David Maurer.

    • Read Frank Abagnale's "The Art of the Steal [amazon.com]" - it is very possible to cheat an honest person. The fact is that most people are honest most of the time, and when they are cheated, they were still being honest.
  • Have we forgot? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by xintegerx (557455) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @12:00PM (#5418632) Homepage
    People....

    THE 'victims' tooks part in the scam, trying to import and export money while avoiding reporting it and paying taxes.

    Shouldn't all 150 go to prison? Remember, the fraud of millions is also on Brittain's side of the table with its citizens...
    • Re:Have we forgot? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by leeward (313589)

      I think that the 'victims' here are the rest of us. I could care less about the people that lost their money. But in the last few months, the amount of 419 spam I get has simply exploded, to the point where it now makes up a noticeable portion of my spam load. And the reason is of course that the scammers have found that the 419 stuff pays.

    • Shouldn't all 150 go to prison?

      For what? Attempted tax evasion? Hell, you may as well arrest the entire country then.

      About the only thing you can accuse them of is terminal stupidity and/or gullibility.

      Fortunately I don't know anyone (personally) that's been taken advantage by this or any other conartist to a significant extent. But I'm sure you'd be the hit of the family if your grandparents lost their life savings to such a con artist and your only suggestions was to throw them in jail.

      Very compassionate of you.
  • More information (Score:3, Interesting)

    by arvindn (542080) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @12:00PM (#5418633) Homepage Journal


    The 419 coalition website [rica.net] fights the nigerian scam

    scam alert [priveye.com]

    A hilarious account of a revenge killing [theregister.co.uk] related to the 419 scam

    • by nautical9 (469723)
      That revenge killing isn't all that hilarious... the murder victim was a simple consul for the Nigerian Embassy, and had nothing to do with the scams - and a secretary was also wounded. I imagine the crazed and confused 72-year old gunman just assumed anyone linked to Nigeria must be in on it.

      Now if the murder victim was one of the scam artists, I'd be dancing a little jig right now.

  • 1. Send out unsolicited email to Brit 2. Profit!!
  • ...of the people who weren't too embarrassed to report it, 150 Britons...
  • by wackybrit (321117) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @12:02PM (#5418643) Homepage Journal
    If you could clear out someone's account just from their account number and sort code then anyone could it.. after all, you have to swap these details to send money to each other with Internet banking.

    What the article fails to point out is that these scammers don't just drain your bank account, they actually request you pay certain 'transfer fees' so that they can get the money moved across. These 'transfer fees', inevitably, are thousands of dollars. Anyone paying them is an idiot.

    And that's all this is. I think those scammers deserve every red cent. THIS IS A TAX ON THE STUPID and ignorant, something we should have the state taxing, but if the Nigerians have to do it, so be it.

    This is another 'tax' that, like duty on cigarettes and alcohol, doesn't affect me at all.. so I'm all for it.

    (Notice how the people scammed all actually had thousands in savings.. a sign that the greedy people aren't the poor, they're the already rich)
    • Notice how the people scammed all actually had thousands in savings.. a sign that the greedy people aren't the poor, they're the already rich

      Bad statistics. The people scammed all had money (to begin with) because the people running these scams don't bother with people who don't have money.

      Rich people, historically, have been more likely to die in Concorde plane crashes, but that doesn't mean that rich people enjoy flying on Concorde jets more; it just means that the poor never get onto concorde jets in the first place.
    • You CAN clear out someone's account, just from their account number and sort code.

      If you have access to the US electronic banking system (not hard to do, there is paperwork & security checks, but it's not that hard, many small businesses do it), you can drain someone's account with just their account number. yes. really.

      Yes, obviously you can go to jail if ytou do this without permission.. but they ask questions after the fact.

      It takes 48 hours for funds to clear. If someone doesn't notice, in time, that the funds were wired away, they could quickly be wired somewhere else.

    • But it is also a tax on everyone else. Whether you think people are stupid or not, it is still a crime and still requires investigation as does any other. Not to mention that money flying out of the country never to be seen again also affects the economy in other detrimental ways.
  • What if.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hexdcml (553714)
    What if I gave them my bank account with £0? Tell them to deposit into an empty account.. instead of providing your *real* account? Also, can the banks track who makes the withdrawl so the criminals can be caught?
    • Most versions of the scam ask people to supply some money up front (to pay bribes or whatever). This is a scam run by con-men - there is no way for you to make money off it except by running the scam yourself, and there is no way to avoid losing money except by not getting involved.
    • "What if I gave them my bank account with £0? Tell them to deposit into an empty account.. instead of providing your *real* account? Also, can the banks track who makes the withdrawl so the criminals can be caught?"

      Of course you should be willing to pay the NSF charge when they overdraw your account.

    • Also, can the banks track who makes the withdrawl so the criminals can be caught?

      Not very easily in these third world nations due to their laws, buerocracies, inefficieny, and local corruption. That was one of the problems the US faced in tracking down the Al Quida terrorists.

  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Sunday March 02, 2003 @12:06PM (#5418653) Homepage
    For some time now I just forward all of this stuff to:

    419@spring39.demon.co.uk and new.scotland.yard@met.police.uk

    OK, not difficult, but my bit at helping nail these crooks.
  • Skeptical (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bluelan (534976)
    The $90,000 per head figure is really tough to buy. The only monetary figure they name is a £7,000 loss for a recent victim. That seems about right to me. I'd be really interested in knowing what the median loss was.
    • The $90,000 per head figure is really tough to buy.

      That's the reported figure. I'm guessing there's a threshold between shame and desperate hope that you may get your money back. If I lost GBP 7,000 I might realize that there's very little hope of recovering my money for the risk of embarrassment I'd get for reporting it. If I lost $150,000 I might throw ego out the window and hope to God and the government that someone can get my money back; I might even think that the large amount lost makes my loss more important for others to pay attention to.
  • Honestly. Hands up if anyone here would accept something too good to be true on face value.

    Okay, those of you with your hands up... have I got a great deal for you. For just 9.99....

  • by codewolf (239827) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @12:24PM (#5418705) Homepage
    Every time I hear news like this I have to remind myself that 50% of the human race is below average intelligence. Usually when I mention this to someone they say "that can't be true!" Then I know that they are one of the lower half. A fool and his money.....
    • I am 6 trillion times smarter than everyone else. So 99.99 % of the world population are of below average intelligence.

      What you mean is below median intelligence.
      • codewolf wrote:
        "
        Every time I hear news like this I have to remind myself that 50% of the human race is below average intelligence. Usually when I mention this to someone they say 'that can't be true!' Then I know that they are one of the lower half. A fool and his money.."
        ...to which Moritz Moeller responded:
        "
        I am 6 trillion times smarter than everyone else. So 99.99 % of the world population are of below average intelligence. What you mean is below median intelligence."
        Yeah, from where I'm standing, codewolf has demonstrated that he's the one in the bottom 50%. Further, the people that are skeptical of his statement are right to be skeptical.

        I just love this kind of thing. There's almost nothing more delightful to me than seeing someone arrogantly proclaim their superiority while actually demonstrating their inferiority.

        You see it a lot on Slashdot, actually.

        • he's the one in the bottom 50%

          Join him. The above poster didn't specify whether it was a mean, median or modal average, nor the digits of accuracy of the number 50.

          My experience is that the hypothesis about stupidity is true, even for very large values of 50 (50%).

    • 50% of the human race is below average intelligence.

      Actually, that isn't necessarily true. Observe:
      10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 1 + 1 = 42.
      42 / 6 = 7

      The average is 7, but only 33.33% of the original addends are below the average, while 66.67% of them are above average.

    • "I see dumb people. They're everywhere! And they don't even know they're dumb."
  • by panurge (573432) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @12:25PM (#5418711)
    These unfortunate people need help badly. Where is the list of names and addresses? I have this brilliant scheme to recover lost assets, guaranteed no selling, no pyramid involved, just send cheque for GB£20000 to the following Lagos box number marked payable to bearer...

    Seriously, though, has anybody considered how easy it would be to data mine the output from credit cards or supermarket loyalty cards etc. to identify gullible people? People with a big annual spend who buy gold plated hi-fi connectors, or crystals to stop damaging radiation from computer monitors, or some of the more ridiculously expensive "health" foods. Oh wait, I just saw the special offers on my credit card statement. Someone just did.

    • Seriously, though, has anybody considered how easy it would be to data mine the output from credit cards or supermarket loyalty cards etc. to identify gullible people?

      You don't have to data mine, you just have to troll. The bait is silly money making offers. I attended one of those home business conference/sales pitch thingys a while back, stupidly signed up for a couple of them and in addition to wasting money on stupid businesses I got a barage of emails offering more stupid business ideas.

      Once they hook a sucker they put him on the sucker list and sell it to others.
      • by kmellis (442405)
        Years and years ago, when I was about 23 or so, I was "recruited" by somone to some sort of insurance selling thing that was actually a sort of pyramid scam. This became more and more obvious as the presentation went on. But, you know, I could have been wrong. So I asked questions. They weren't used to people asking questions. During a break, I asked some of the other people there if they really thought this was all on the up and up and that they were guaranteed a five or six figure income within the first year. "Why wouldn't this be true?" was their universal response.

        To my mind, the idea that you could go and do something trivially easy and become rich makes it self-evidently untrue. Otherwise, everyone would be doing it. However, the people that fall for these sorts of things see it the other way around. They think, "But your skepticism is an example of why everyone isn't doing this, and why people like us--who can see an opportunity for what it is--are the few that make so much money this way."

        Personally, I think this susceptibility is a specific example of a more general problem. The general problem is that people are not even remotely aware enough of how likely they are--on any given judgment--to be wrong. I'm always aware that a) I could be wrong about any specific matter; and b) I am definitely wrong about some significant number of matters at any given time. I'm always looking for evidence that contradicts my always-a-work-in-progress judgment. People that want to influence you and fool you about something, if you're not ever vigilant (and have a prideful fear of being proven wrong), will only need to sumrount that first and only barrier of doubt--then they have you hooked. It's smooth sailing from then on out.

  • Cried Wolf... (Score:2, Redundant)

    by 1nv4d3r (642775)
    I feel bad for that one actual Nigerian ex-royal who actually is trying to smuggle out his/her money and make a new life. Who's gonna believe them now?

    Oh, wait...the British, I guess. Nevermind.
  • by waxcrash (604628)
    Scam o Rama [scamorama.com] is devoted to receipients of 419 scam letters responding in commical replies. Very funny and entertaining. One guy convinced a scammer to send him a gold sample which he used to buy beer.
  • Will Scotland Yard please release the 150 e-mail addresses?

    I have some really interesting never-to-be-repeated offers that will interest them.

  • by King_TJ (85913) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @12:36PM (#5418771) Journal
    As an experiment, my wife replied to one of these scam emails when we first got it. We pretended to be interested in it, and then laughed as we led them on, for at least 5 or 6 emails in a row. "Sure, we'll meet up with you - at this place and time." Then, "Oh, sorry - we weren't able to make it. Hope you didn't wait for us long? Let's try this again." Finally, we just let things get absurd enough that the scammer realized we weren't serious, and gave up.

    Well, ever since then, guess what? We get about one of these scam emails per *day*, all slightly different and from different origins.

    So I guess these scammers resell mailing lists of people who reply to their original scam letters!
  • Let me see if I have this straight...people who:

    Are willing to participate in a scam to deprive a third world nation of millions of dollars through contract fraud, embezzlement or something similar and who are also...

    B) willing to put a lot of trust in co-conspirators for such a transaction...

    ...are getting rooked for almost 6 figures USD apiece? What's the problem? :)

  • by Kjella (173770) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @12:46PM (#5418821) Homepage
    Seriously, you're willing to put $90000 on the table in a scam. You're gullible beyond belief. How many more do you think will pay $10-100 or more for penis enlargements, make-money-fast, diplomas and herbal viagra? One of those famous scientists said something like "Only two things are infinite, human stupitidy and the universe, and I'm not sure about the latter". He's right you know...

    Kjella
    • Einstein (Score:3, Informative)

      Kjella said:
      One of those famous scientists said something like "Only two things are infinite, human stupitidy and the universe, and I'm not sure about the latter". He's right you know...
      That would be Albert Einstein, who was known to say a great many things [www.fys.ku] (and that is only a small sample.

      One of my favorites (which isn't listed on that page above) is: "I have reached an age where, if someone tells me to put my shoes on, I don't have to."

      :D

  • to Nigeria and was held for ransom. They clened out his bank account, and he got his family to pay even more into it for the con men to take.
    He was released soon after the money ran out. He gets laughed at alot by everyone here.
  • I'm suspicious of this story for 2 reasons:

    1) How could anyone STUPID enough to buy this scam actually have acrued so much money to start with?

    2) How could they work a computer with webbed fingers and plankton in place of their brains?

    Oh yeah... 3) Profit!
  • It actually a group of people doing it. I have been lucky enough to be targeted by them, and now I get their emails or varations on it daily. Not sure why my work email which never gets spam gets these.

    The only thing I can think of is the foreign tech support offices I email. Or a vendor email list im on.
  • I wish I knew that many stupid rich people.
  • but it doesn't anymore. The people that perpetrate this scam are pure scum, for sure. However, the people that fall for it are greedy *and* stupid. Who better to get screwed by the scam?
  • Perhaps Parliament could put a bit of pressure on the government of Nigeria by reducing foreign aid by £8.4 million? Of course, I have no idea how much the UK sends to Nigeria each year*, but it would be an interesting diplomatic experiment.

    There's the instant argument that it only hurts the innocent citizens of Nigeria, but certainly the proliferation of the scam hurts the international opinion of Nigeria as well as the reputation for legitimate business investment. A threat to foreign aid could be an excellent wake-up call for reform and rule of law in Nigeria.

    Cheers,
    Mzilikazi

    *A cursory search revealed no solid numbers for UK aid to Nigeria, though I welcome anyone who can find the annual amount. Total foreign aid appears to be around $250 million a year, with around $27 million of that from the US, but those numbers are several years old.

How many QA engineers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? 3: 1 to screw it in and 2 to say "I told you so" when it doesn't work.

Working...