oh yeah. old news. I saw this (with the video interview) couple of months ago and while it was distressing, it wasn't as distressing as comments that people were making.
things like "she deserved it for being so stupid" or "It's her own fault for being stupid" - you know, blaming the victim to distance themselves away from "those people". We call that cognitive dissonance in psychology. -trying to convince themselves that those things will never happen to themselves and those people who were scammed - they're entirely different type of people than you and I are.
Yeah, that got me thinking for a while and I remember discussing it in one of my seminars.
I don't care what "We" call it in psychology. It went on for 2 years. I call it prolonged cognitive dumbassity, motivated by greed. However, I can't help that it tugs on the pity strings. Her Husband, from what I read, wanted to buy an RV and see the country with their savings. I'm sure they fell like idiots, and it is sad. I've also read that she wanted the money to give away. If that's really the case, which I doubt, I take back the part about greed.
More importantly, I don't understand why they persist in using Nigeria. It's so 90's. Pick another country! Why don't they say they're from Norway? Everyone is nice in Norway. I give you Krmathis for instance.
Someone needs to convince one of these scammers that they'll hand deliver the cash. Except when they meet, the cash is all of the sudden a baseball bat.
Originally Posted by Rednamalas1 /img/forum/go_quote.gif things like "she deserved it for being so stupid" or "It's her own fault for being stupid" - you know, blaming the victim to distance themselves away from "those people".
Blame does not have to be a zero sum concept. The criminals who perpetrated the scam are 100% to blame, obviously, but she also bears a significant responsibility or "blame" for her behaviour.
I remember about 4 years ago the FBI caught up with some 419 scammers who turned out to be operating within the US, and I found it ironic that they were infact of nigerian descent though they were in the US legally.
I was working in an internet tech support outfit with a few hundred employees at the time, and was surprised and dismayed to learn that none of my coworkers had heard of the classic nigerian 419 scam.
Anyway, as for feeling limited sympathy for the victims, it's not just because of the colossal stupidity - it's also because they acted with larceny in their hearts. And there's the schadenfreude aspect - like my friend's annoying neighbor who got evicted after she couldn't pay her rent because she gave her life savings to some guy in sierra leone.
I generally just delete the 419 email i get, unless it's spectacularly bad. One of these days i need to tell one of these guys that i can get him the money, but only in the form of a 3rd party money order for four times what he's asked for, and he needs to send me the excess part of the fee back in cash.
Originally Posted by krmathis /img/forum/go_quote.gif If it sounds too god to be true, then it most certainly is.
Quite true. A whole collection of students got an e-mail a year ago at the University I went to that allegedly came from Shell Oil. It was talking about how Shell Oil puts a lot of money every year into scholarships and how they qualified for said scholarships and could receive large quantities of money to further education by going through a process that I have long forgotten. For some odd reason, I got one of these e-mails as well (even though I had already graduated). I read through it and it was surprisingly convincing except for the fact that it referred to me as a student (which I was not at that point). In any case, I promptly deleted the mail but I talked to my father (Prof. in Petroleum Engineering) a couple of days later and he mentioned that his office was bombarded by students trying to find out how to go through the process. Apparently, a handful of the professors read through the e-mail as well and were surprised by how legit it appeared. In the end, they called Shell and confirmed from them that the e-mails were bogus and so was the particular program referenced in the e-mail.
Moral of the Story: While I continue to be surprised by how people still fall for the age old Nigeria Scam, some of the scams out there are getting better at convincing people and still need to be taken with extreme caution.
Several years back, an attorney at my firm got a 419 letter. Instead of cash, he offered legal services to disentangle the supposed money. The backpedaling and excuses were something to behold, especially after he went sniffing around the bank, government offices, etc. that were allegedly holding things up. Hilarious, but sad that anyone trusts them.
I bet that money has come through to some nigerians sitting in Johannesburg, South Africa. I think there are more nigerians in South African than there are South Africans. Too many times have I tried to buy something from abroad only to be told they won't deal with me because of where I'm located. To some Nigeria = South Africa.
There's a whole police division here dedicated to dealing with these things, but seems a tough task to undertake.
I got one of those e-mails from Nigeria that informed me that as I had the same last name as a rich fellow who died in a car accident in Nigeria, I must be his closest relative and that I was due to inherit millions upon millions of dollars. I was, of course, estatic. As I have a rather Ukrainan last name, I knew that this just couldn't be a scam. So I e-mailed the sender back and now I'm a multi-millionaire. These e-mails from Nigeria (and other parts of the world) are, I am sure, mostly legit. Sure, there may be a few rotten apples in the barrel, but don't let these few stinkers put you off from sending hundreds of thousands of dollars to far off places in the hopes of a big payoff. Hehehehe. Oh, by the way, I just heard that someone with your same last name was run over by an ox-cart near Abuja. If you PM me, I can put you in touch with the executors of his or her estate. Do send me your social security number, bank account numbers, and twenty grand US for my expenses in handling this delicate matter. This is not a scam. This is your grand opportunity to become a multi-millionaire like me. (BTW, my millions are in Zimbabwe dollars, not US currency).