Nigerian 419 Scammers, and the Scammers who Scam Them Back
Subject: KINDLY GIVE THIS AN URGENT ATTENTION I saw this one groggy morning in my inbox. Fine. I’ll give you an urgent attention. The next sentence in the email read: I’m contacting over my discovery about your love for charity and Humanitarian services. Oh. That’s nice. You’re one of those Nigerian Scammers I’ve heard about thinks I. Moments before I clicked the ‘Report Spam’ button on my Gmail inbox I decided it might be more fun to play along. Though the woman (or man) who wrote me asked for my nationality, sex, business phone and fax so she could quickly send me the $20 million dollars or so (allowing me to keep a co mission), I bluntly responded with: “My name is Johanne. Call me and we can take things from there.” I plan to record the conversation, so don’t worry.
I found some great ideas on how to scam the scammers at 419 Eater, a depository for info and email logs of various Nigerian scams. It’s a very impressive collection of scammers who are joyously messed with. Some crafty folks featured on this site request images of the of the scammer as a “security measure” making sure they hold up a sign with something completely ridiculous written on it. And from the site, the reasons why these scams happen in the first place:
Several reasons have been submitted why Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud has undergone a dramatic increase in recent years. The explanations are as diverse as the types of schemes. The Nigerian Government blames the growing problem on mass unemployment, extended family systems, a get rich quick syndrome, and, especially, the greed of foreigners.
Indications are that Advance Fee Fraud grosses hundreds of millions of dollars annually and the losses are continuing to escalate. In all likelihood, there are victims who do not report their losses to authorities due to either fear or embarrassment.