Monday, May 07, 2007

Nigeria

Now, we all know about Nigerian (or '419') scams.

I was thinking about them today as I had a work email from someone who had fallen for it completely. He wanted to know whether it was legit, because he'd already sent them all his information, except for his bank details. I responded quite firmly that it was a classic of the genre, pointed him towards the page where snopes cover them in detail, and strongly advised him to not give them his bank details.

He had sent the original email on Friday, I had responded on Sunday, and I got an email back today. He said that since he hadn't received a response from me (I guess a day and a half is too long to wait to find out whether someone's trying to nick all your money), and although he thought it was probably a scam, he'd gone ahead and sent (and this is my favourite bit) his wife's account details (although not her SWIFT code).

And now, of course, he's freaking out because the scammers have their details, and he doesn't know what to do.

I... have mixed feelings about this issue. I'm pleased he decided to find out from a relevant source whether this was a real offer or not (although if he'd tried some googling, it might have been quicker) but then his actions after that just have me shaking my head in puzzlement.

The other reason I've been thinking about them is that... well, they have furnished my brain with a delightful mental picture of what Nigeria should be like. Filled with beautiful princesses, assassinations, nighttime smuggling runs with diamond filled small planes taking off from lush jungles, swarthy men with big moustaches, machine guns, political intrigue, rich ambassadors with dark secrets in their pasts... Indiana Jones or James Bond-like, really.

That would be fun...

Goon 1: "Well, what have you got on Wednesday?"

Goon 2: "Let me see... ok." *flicks through his diary* "Assassination, assassination, diamond run, then back home just in time for an assignation with a princess..."

Goon 1: "Damnit. I was hoping you might be able to cover for my 3.40 attempted assassination gig. Jim's wife is due on Wednesday, and I said I might be able to cover his shift at the gold mines. I've been growing my moustache especially."

Goon 2: "I might be able to fit it in on my way to the plane..."

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7 Comments:

At 8:38 pm, Blogger Mouse said...

His wife is going to kill him...

 
At 11:19 pm, Blogger Nettie said...

God some people are so gullible! I had a friend the other day who was telling me all about how women in Japan were buying sheep they thought were poodles...
I set him straight fairly quickly.

Oh, and just a question, did I miss the bit about Matt in this post or are you just labeling everything with Matt? ;-)

 
At 11:26 pm, Blogger Hieronymus Anonymous said...

*cough*

The goon-talk scenario actually happened.
;-)
I never said we were mature.

 
At 4:49 am, Blogger Tah said...

*Sigh*

And we wonder why these scams persist.

*Shakes head sadly*

 
At 2:09 pm, Blogger oppiejoe said...

419's persist because there are lots of people out there with the same sort of naïvety your acquaintance exhibited...

I consider myself a pretty savvy and street smart individual, but was completely trusting of the lies woven by my spouse over her health and mental issues...

 
At 6:30 pm, Blogger MadCarlotta said...

LOL!

I always wonder who is stupid enough to fall for these scams, but there must be plenty of morons out there, otherwise they wouldn't waste their time doing it.

I suppose I shouldn't be TOO surprised though, because I do have a friend who believes everything he reads in an email. He would gleefully come over my place in the evenings busting with news about how Mel Gibson didn't have a face until some priest got him plastic surgery, or how Swiffer will kill my cats, or that Keanu Reeves had a secret gay wedding with some big name music industry guy whose name I can't remember. Geffen or someone.

He would probably sign that petition to ban water too :)

 
At 3:22 pm, Anonymous Accipiter of the Jungle said...

"Filled with beautiful princesses, assassinations, nighttime smuggling runs with diamond filled small planes taking off from lush jungles, swarthy men with big moustaches, machine guns, political intrigue, rich ambassadors with dark secrets in their pasts..."

You mean it's not?!? I've been scammed!!!!!

 

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