I occasionally think to myself; Surely everyone’s heard of the Nigerian Scam (aka Advance Fee Fraud or 419 Scam, after the relevant section of the Nigerian Criminal Code). But, alas, people still continue to fall for these simple scams.
The deal is often identical, only the names and places have changed . These places are mainly third world countries that have, up until recently, had a corrupt dictator (is there any other kind?).
The scam has been running for many years and offers huge riches for a relatively small outlay – a $100 million haul for a measly $2000 ? it’s chump change/petty cash, right?
The targets are often the elderly who are more trusting, can be easily confused and are often ashamed to admit that they have made a mistake and become convinced that if they can send just one more payment, their fortune will be made.
Here’s a police report from West Sacramento:
MAR 12 @ 8:15 A.M.
UNKOWN ADDRESS, WEST SACRAMENTO
DATE& TIME OCCURRED: 12/31/2013
VICTIM FELL IN LOVE ON FACEBOOK WITH S WHO CLAIMED TO BE KING OF GUYANA. GUYANA AUTHORIES TOLD VICTIM THAT KING WAS INVOLVED IN DRUG TRAFFING. VICTIM SENT MONEY TO S VIA WESTERN UNION.
This one has the additional payload of a Dating Scam which makes it all the sadder.
The one factor which makes my blood boil is the continued use of Western Union “The Scammer’s Friend” as the best way to part people from their money. That company should be shut down for the crimes it has helped commit.