You’d think a topic that has gotten as much coverage as the Nigerian Email scam would have sunk in with enough people by now to start to cool off, but it just seems to keep getting bigger. According to this article at SFGate.com folks just keep buying into it and forking over a truckload of cash in the process.
“This scheme would end tomorrow if it wasn’t for the greed of the victims,” said Brian Marr, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, which has jurisdiction over these cases. “People really think they’re going to get something for nothing,”
Secret Service agents went after 250 suspected African scammers operating out of the United States last year, involving—get this—$85.5 million in losses.
That means the average victim handed over no less than $342,000 to the scammers to keep the bogus money-transfer scheme in play.
I get, on average, about 4 or so variations on this offer a month in my inbox and I’ve had great fun toying with whomever the idiot on the other end of the email is. That’s about all these emails are good for because you’re definitely not going to get any money out of them. Still, some real live person has to be at the other end to respond to anyone who takes the bait so if you go at it from the right approach you can have a good time playing along. My technique involves playing stupid and responding in such a clueless fashion that they have to be just salivating at the prospect of all the money they’re going to yank out of me, but frustrated as hell over how incapable I am at following simple instructions. If nothing else, these guys sure are patient as my record so far is about 8 weeks worth of correspondence before the scammer gave up in frustration.
Still, I have to wonder if it’s sheer greed or sheer stupidity that keeps this scam alive? Are there really that many clueless people out there still?