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Woman Admits Sending $400K To Nigerian Scammer

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the headdesk dept.

The Internet 857

svnt writes "Janella Spears wiped out her husband's retirement account, remortgaged their paid-for house, and took out a lien against the family car in an attempt to cash in on the deal. A undercover officer involved with the investigation called it the worst example of the scam he's ever seen. Thoughtfully, Spears has gone public with her story as a warning to others not to fall victim."

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857 comments

I'm amazed (2, Insightful)

butterflysrage (1066514) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751225)

not only that she never heard of these kinds of scams.... but that no one who could have talked her out of it before then had either...

Re:I'm amazed (5, Informative)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751237)

RTFA, a lot of people tried to talk her out of it but she was so obsessed (i.e. stupid) that they simply couldn't.

Re:I'm amazed (5, Funny)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751879)

but she was so obsessed (i.e. stupid) that they simply couldn't.

Yeah, but she is going to get that money back within 2 years -- by selling the rights to her story..... but first, she has to put up a small investment to get the agent working.......

Re:I'm amazed (3, Informative)

turtledawn (149719) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751251)

For more than two years, Spears sent tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Everyone she knew, including law enforcement officials, her family and bank officials, told her to stop, that it was all a scam. She persisted.

Re:I'm amazed (4, Insightful)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751539)

Yet, somehow she thinks that sharing HER story with the world will convince other people? If only someone had shared their story with her, she could have avoided this terrible mess, so she's going to make sure it doesn't happen to others? Please. Even in acknowledging her stupidity, she shows no sense.

Re:I'm amazed (5, Funny)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751623)

Not only that but from the article (Yeah, it seems like all of us just HAD to read this one.):

"Janella Spears doesn't think she's a sucker or an easy mark."

Janella, no, you're not a sucker or an easy mark. You're the dumbest fucking person on Earth.

Re:I'm amazed (1)

bb5ch39t (786551) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751787)

She's planning to be on one of the World's Stupidest ... episodes that are now airing on TruTV (was CourtTV). There are more stupid people in the world than even I ever thought possible.

Re:I'm amazed (-1, Troll)

Falstius (963333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751851)

The kind of person who votes for someone because they "seem just like me," and that's the best that can be.

Re:I'm amazed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751911)

You know that bell curve where everyone looks how far right from the 100 mark they are and how many are to the left of one's own position? Well, somebody is at the far left of that curve. Proof by example.

Re:I'm amazed (1)

evilphish_mi (1282588) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751257)

Its a sad commentary that these scams even work at all. I had hoped that the average person had better common sense then that.

Re:I'm amazed (2, Insightful)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751367)

The average person does have better common sense than that. Probably less than one in one thousand people falls victim to these scams (number pulled out of my ass, but I'd bet that it's far less than that), meaning that the vast majority of people have the basic smarts to avoid them.

Re:I'm amazed (5, Interesting)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751497)

Reminds me of this elderly couple I help with the computers working at the college. They've fallen for this pyramid scheme that is just so painfully obvious, but the old man just keeps explaining he's had enough experience (that is, has gotten fucked before) to know better and the old woman just follows along and doesn't ask any questions.

"It's not a scam, it's a high yield investment!"

Bill Engvall comes to mind (3, Funny)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751241)

Here's your sign: L

Re:Bill Engvall comes to mind (0)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751569)

Actually the signs from his jokes are "Stupid" signs, not "Loser" signs. Normally I wouldn't nitpick but the proper one is so much more appropriate in this case :).

She had it coming (1)

powerslave12r (1389937) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751243)

What can I say? She deserved it? I mean who send $400k to Nigeria?

Re:She had it coming (2, Informative)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751291)

It's sounds like the money she sent wasn't actually hers.

Re:She had it coming (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751449)

I can think of a few, who send monies [wikipedia.org] to Nigeria.

That poor, gullible woman. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751253)

Damn.

Canada Bill Jones would be proud (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751255)

"It is immoral to allow a sucker to keep their money."

Said one banker to another... (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751597)

400,000 dollars is peanuts... There are millions of much dumber people out there.

 

Re:Said one banker to another... (1)

bb5ch39t (786551) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751803)

Yea - most in Congress and the Executive Branch of the US government.

Awful (3, Insightful)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751261)

This woman is the reason these kinds of scams exist. She should be exiled.

Re:Awful (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751395)

From you're sig:

"You are using English. Please learn the difference between loose and lose; they're, there, and their; your and you're."

Here you're box of FAIL. It should reed: "Your using English..."

Your a fkcing LOOSER!

Re:Awful (2, Insightful)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751469)

I missed the part where that was funny. I miss the days where, in addition to being retarded, AC's were funny.

Re:Awful (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751833)

This woman is the reason these kinds of scams exist. She should be exiled.

I missed the part where that was funny. I miss the days where, in addition to being retarded, AC's were funny.

Dear Slashdot Reader,

My wife and family was recently was exiled from the USA for monetary reasons.

I was forced to flee before we could remove our holdings from their safe location.

I have since been in contact with a friend who can help withdraw our recent government bailout of $5,000,000,000, however in order to expedite this, I need to raise $400,000 to cover legal, and transfer fees.

I am looking for a trustworthy individual to help, and am willing to part with 20% of the money, once its been transferred.

If you can help, please contact me at MrJaneLLaSPeaRs@gmail.com

Re:Awful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751893)

You are too new to remember those days, you fucking millionaire.

GTFO my /.

Re:Awful (0, Offtopic)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751523)

Here you're box of FAIL. It should reed: "Your using English..." Your a fkcing LOOSER!

Unless of course, you speak Pacific Northwest English [wikipedia.org] .

In other news (5, Funny)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751273)

Free money not really free, and stupid people still stupid. Story at 13 o'clock.

Re:In other news (0)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751609)

13 o'clock? Is this going to be on BBC? Which one? I'll set my DVR to record it.

What's the expression... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751307)

...Aw yes!

a fool and their money are soon parted

wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751309)

she should have stupid tatoo'd on her forehead.

Tattooed (5, Funny)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751849)

This scammer [419eater.com] got tattooed, all right.

Why? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751315)

Why would anyone admit to being a retard?

Re:Why? (1)

bubulubugoth (896803) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751375)

Sell her story to movie makers and cash in more than 400k?

Re:Why? (5, Funny)

rugatero (1292060) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751537)

I am interested in filming her life story. I'll gladly pay $1m dollars for the rights. First she needs to send a $100,000 clearing fee and I'll deal with it from there.

Re:Why? (0, Offtopic)

bubulubugoth (896803) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751701)

Mod parent up...

  LOL

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751873)

Because they are a retard?

Technology? (1)

randyest (589159) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751319)

This is a Technology story? Why? Because the scam happened via email? Pretty tenuous link there. Also a pretty weak story. I guess it's amusing that she was unashamed enough to admit her stupidity and greed, but other than that I'm not sure why I should care. She and the scammer both should face charges, but I'm not sure how this is "news for nerds" or "stuff that matters."

Re:Technology? (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751439)

Because we've all personally seen tons of those emails, and 99.9999% of us were smart enough to laugh them off or just plain ignore them. And then on the other hand, this woman was dumb enough to give away a ridiculous amount of money. People doing stupid things is amusing. It sucks that she's wiped out her husband's retirement account, but that doesn't make it any less funny.

Re:Technology? (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751683)

Of course it's a technology story. It's people like this that have driven technologies like Bayesian filtering of email.

Husband's retirement account (5, Funny)

77Punker (673758) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751329)

...more like former husband

Re:Husband's retirement account (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751643)

...more like former retirement account.

Re:Husband's retirement account (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751651)

Who would have guessed Federline would even have a retirement account? But we all knew if anyone could fall for this it would be her... Oh wait, different Spears.

Re:Maybe he didn't hear about it yet... (1)

tetsu96 (790788) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751769)

... being deaf and all.

The Nigerian scam is no more of a scam than... (0, Troll)

fireman sam (662213) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751361)

the casinos are.

FTA: "They are so desperate to recoup their losses with the big payout, they descend into a vicious cycle of sending money in hopes the false promises will turn out to be real."

From the casinos: "They (the gamblers) are so desperate to recoup their losses with the big payout, they decend into a vicious cycle of *betting* money in hopes the false promises (of actually winning) will turn out to be real."

The only difference between the Nigerian scam and the casino scam, is the government IS involved in the casino scam and gets to share your money.

Re:The Nigerian scam is no more of a scam than... (4, Insightful)

randyest (589159) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751589)

What? Nigerian scams are lies. Casinos post the rules, and play by them. And you can actually win a little in a casino. No one ever won by sending money to a Nigerian.

Re:The Nigerian scam is no more of a scam than... (1)

Paralizer (792155) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751725)

This can also be applied to the stock market.

"They (the small time investors) are so desperate to recoup their losses with the big payout, they descend into a vicious cycle of *investing* money in hopes the false promises (of selling really high) will turn out to be real."

Re:The Nigerian scam is no more of a scam than... (1)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751783)

No, the difference is that Nigerian scams never payout. Casinos always have a chance to pay out. And, in many US states, lottery and casino money often go to some of the better causes, like education.

Also, remember you don't have to give your money to either of them. Stupid people will always find stupid ways to waste their money. Nothing you can do will protect them.

Re:The Nigerian scam is no more of a scam than... (2, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751835)

No, there is a major difference - the Nigerians lie to you, the casinos don't.

That's basically what defines a scam, in my opinion. If you can take people at their word then you have nobody to blame but yourself for the outcome. If you can't then it becomes a whole different issue - sure, this woman was a greedy moron and I don't pity her, but the fact remains that she was lied to, the only difference is these scammers happened to be bad liars and she fell for it anyway. The only way that a lot of scams work, especially those that prey on people's good nature rather than greed, can work is by outright lying.

The adage "You can't cheat an honest man" pretty much holds if the truth is told; if you can convince people to invest in your pyramid scheme without lying to them (which, unfortunately, probably isn't that hard) then maybe they should have taken a closer look at the financial viability of what they were putting their money into. If, however, you say there's a guaranteed return rate then they should be able to take you at your word on that and have their money returned if it fails.

Re:The Nigerian scam is no more of a scam than... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751875)

There's a fundamental difference though. The odds of getting a payout on a scam are zero. That's what my TI-83 says. The odds of winning at a regulated casino are considerably higher than zero, reaching as much as 49%.

That said, I'd rather be on the 51% side.

Wrong crowd (5, Insightful)

pcgamez (40751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751363)

"For more than two years, Spears sent tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Everyone she knew, including law enforcement officials, her family and bank officials, told her to stop, that it was all a scam. She persisted."

Slashdot is not exactly going to be a sympathetic crowd here. What we have is an intelligent person who ignored every single bit of advice from a multitude of sources in favor of outright greed. So now she wants to warn people, but is it really going to do any good? She clearly would have ignored the advice she is now giving.

Re:Wrong crowd (2, Insightful)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751613)

She clearly would have ignored the advice she is now giving.

Yes but at that time she would have had money and a goal to work towards. Now that she lost everything all she can shoot for is a little attention.

Re:Wrong crowd (5, Interesting)

linumax (910946) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751637)

1. Send husband's hard-earned money to your own foreign account
2. Ignore warnings and claim you're helping a Nigerian prince
3. Play victim and make it public
4. ...
5. Profit!

just to preempt all of the obvious comments (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751373)

yes, for most of us here on slashdot, this is incredibly brain dead, but in general, there is a problem with you if you blame the victim for a crime, no matter how foolish or stupid they acted

whether a rape victim for wearing revealing clothes, or a guy walking in a dangerous neighborhood at night, yes: you can attack the victim, but if you want to actually claim any moral highground (which many of you seem to assume with a withering condescending tone as you blame the victim), the person who bears 100% responsibility and accountability for a crime is the criminal themselves, and only the criminal, and no one else

using knowledge and care to avoid crime is of course an important aspect of any behavior, but just because someone fails to do this, for any reason, does not mean they share blame for being victimized: a transgression is a transgression is a transgression. no one ASKS to be victimized in such a horrible way

if you walk by the front door of a house, and the house is wide open, and no one is home, and in plain site is a stack of 20 dollar bills, you are 100% responsible and culpable if you take that stack of $20s. the person who left them there like that is, yes, pretty stupid. but they deserve zero blame. the criminal, ALWAYS the criminal is responsible for the trangressions that the criminal freely chooses to commit

any other opinion on the issue is, frankly, not morally or philosophically coherent

although, for some you then, by all means, heckle the woman who gave away $$00K, since some of you honeslty and openly claim no moral high ground

Re:just to preempt all of the obvious comments (5, Insightful)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751447)

Sorry, but that's simply wrong.

There are certain actions which you can take which, while not in any sense illegal, are virtually guaranteed to cause harm to yourself.

Leaving a stack of money out for anyone to take is one of these. Playing along to an internet scam is another. And although I'm sure I'll get flamed for saying so, teasingly parading past men in a bad neighborhood while wearing a revealing outfit is another.

Your fallacy is essentially in assuming that blame is a percentage which must be portioned out among the actors involved in the event. It is true that if I leave a stack of money out in plain view it is 100% the fault of the criminal for taking it. It is also 100% my fault for being a complete idiot.

If I take an action which I know, or should have very good reason to know, will cause me harm even if that harm is illegal, then it is my fault for taking that action and I bear the blame for the consequences. It is also the fault of whoever actually does it to me, but that doesn't change the first part.

People like this woman cause crime by making it pay off for the criminals. She deserves a whole heap of blame, just as much as the scammers do.

your view of morality is logically incoherent (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751599)

which is worse?:

1. man falls asleep at wheel of truck, smashes into bus full of kids, kills 10. feels awful about it

2. man carefully watches bus route for weeks, carefully plotting and calculating exactly when to smash into bus to kill children. he kills 2 children. he feels bad he didn't kill more

#2 is absolutely many times more criminal than #1, even though he killed far less children. because of a magic concept which all legal codes understand: intent

any legal code in the world has a difference of understanding between manslaughter and murder, with the punishment for murder being far worse than manslaughter. the magic difference? intent

do you know what intent is? you apparently do not, it currently does not inform your opinions

if you leave a stack of $20s out, you are thoughtless. you have no intent. therefore, you have committed no crime. meanwhile, if you walk into an open door and take the stack of $20s, you have a clear intent to commit a transgressive act and relieve someone else of something valuable which is not yours. you, and you alone, are culpable for what you have done

the magic concept?

intent

intent underlies all readings of morality in all cultures, for clear and obvious reasons of logical and philosophical coherence on the question of right and wrong

Re:your view of morality is logically incoherent (4, Insightful)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751675)

Intent has nothing to do with blame.

I'm not talking about how much people should be punished. As far as I'm aware that was not even brought up in the thread. I am talking about whose fault a particular outcome is.

If I carry out an action with well-known consequences then I am at fault for those consequences. This is true whether I'm parking illegally and getting a ticket, climbing a tree in a thunderstorm and getting struck by lightning, or giving a scammer money and getting ripped off.

Certainly, what the scammer did was morally and legally wrong and what this woman did was not. But that is orthogonal to the fact that it is this woman's fault that she got ripped off. (And it is also the scammer's fault for ripping her off.)

Re:your view of morality is logically incoherent (1)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751761)

Nice straw man you got there. How many times was the guy in #1 warned that he was falling asleep while heading right towards the school bus (and that if he did so he'd surely kill some of them) before deciding "no, I'm just gonna fall asleep...the kids will be fine"

manslaughter. murder. (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751813)

the vast majority of legal codes in all world societies throughout all time periods of human history understands the difference in those concepts

you don't

you think intent is a "strawman"

you fail. hard

Re:just to preempt all of the obvious comments (0)

Hellpop (451893) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751481)

In this case, the crime required the victim's consent. I don't blame the victim for the crime, I blame her for consenting to give away her own money.

Sort of like voting Democrat in this past election...

Re:just to preempt all of the obvious comments (1)

JonahsDad (1332091) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751549)

Where's her bailout???

Re:just to preempt all of the obvious comments (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751557)

Nobody ever said that the people behind the scam weren't ultimately culpable. However, there's simply no helping some people. All the blame on instigating the scam falls on the originators. All the blame for it working falls on the victim's gross incompetence.

That said, she's very lucky. If it only takes her three to four years to dig herself out of almost half a million dollars in debt, she's far better off than most people. Most people would take decades to dig themselves out of that kind of debt.

Re:just to preempt all of the obvious comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751571)

This woman completely ignored the protests of numerous officials across the board. She completely ignored anything even remotely close to 'reason', and didn't bother doing her homework, and as a result, blew nearly half a million dollars. I'm sorry, but that's just flat out STUPID. There's no need to wear the badge of the moral high-ground to call her out on this. Likening this situation to rape is absolutely fucking ridiculous, and you know it.

Re:just to preempt all of the obvious comments (1)

SendBot (29932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751631)

And for winners of the darwin award, can we blame the world in which they live? Maybe said world could be sued or criminally prosecuted to maintain justice.

Just going with your morally and philosophically coherent logic here, since you claim it is the only correct opinion.

Re:just to preempt all of the obvious comments (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751717)

Your analogy is broken. This is not like walking through a dangerous neighborhood at night. This is like walking into a dangerous neighborhood at night, finding the type of person who occasionally robs people at gunpoint, borrowing his gun, and shooting yourself with it.

Not only is this person not a victim, but she should herself be prosecuted. She funded these people. She is the cause of this type of crime. The scammers are just a catalyst.

This is nothing like blaming a rape victim. A rape victim doesn't have a choice about being raped, revealing clothes or not. This person had every chance not to be a "victim". Nobody forced her to do anything.

This is not like leaving a stack of 20's out in the open. She didn't leave them around, and they weren't stolen. She gave the money to these people.

any other opinion on the issue is, frankly, not morally or philosophically coherent

Funny, I find your opinion to be logically incoherent. A brainless reaction founded on a gross misunderstanding of reality.

Re:just to preempt all of the obvious comments (4, Insightful)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751785)

So, if you try to cross a 4 lane highway during rush hour and you end up underneath a truck, no blame should be put on you?

Your logic relies heavily on the word "criminal". That's quite problematic, as its definition is not absolute. Crossing a highway IS criminally stupid. Falling for a well known scam and ignoring every warnings one is given is as stupid (though generally not as deadly). Spears saw it coming and didn't react, she is partially to blame for what happened to her.

Re:just to preempt all of the obvious comments (5, Insightful)

tuffy (10202) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751791)

She gave the scammers money because they promised millions of dollars in return. Unlike a rape or armed robbery, it's the greed of the scam victims themselves that lures them into the scheme. Thus, they have some culpability in the crime that someone attacked on the street does not.

g'luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751415)

"Spears said it would take her at least three to four years to dig out of the debt she ran up in pursuit of the non-existent pot of Nigerian gold."

is she being scammed again? which one of you promised her $400k in 3-4 years?

A fool... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751425)

"A fool and [her] money are soon parted."

Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751429)

Ladies(?) and gentleman... I present to you the reason there is a 'don't drink' warning on paint cans, vector pictures of babies suffocating in bags on plastic bags, and 'do not throw in bathtub' warning stickers on toasters.

There ARE people dumb enough.

In other related stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751431)

Microsoft Denies Paying Nigerians $400K To Ditch Linux

For those not reading TFA (5, Funny)

LockeOnLogic (723968) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751435)

There's some comedy gold in there, a few tidbits!

"Janella Spears doesnt think shes a sucker or an easy mark."

"They said President Bush and FBI Director "Robert Muller" (their spelling) were in on the deal and needed her help."

"When Spears began to doubt the scam, she got letters from the President of Nigeria, FBI Director Mueller, and President Bush. Terrorists could get the money if she did not help, Bushâ(TM)s letter said. Spears continued to send funds."

"Most of the missives were rife with misspellings."

Priceless! ...okay i'm going to hell...

If you RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751453)

You will see the woman was informed that this is a scam by "Everyone she knew, including law enforcement officials, her family and bank officials."

Shedding further light on the situation, "An undercover investigator who worked on the case said greed helped blind Spears to the reality of the situation."

I'm sorry, but I just can't feel sympathy for a greedy asshole screwing an incredibly gullible greedy sucker. If no one warned her it would be one thing, but come on!

However, I do feel sorry for her husband who lost his retirement account in the sad proceedings.

Janella Spears. . . (1, Funny)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751459)

I wonder if she [stereogum.com] is [babble.com] related [timeinc.net] . . .

Good causes wasted (1)

Haoie (1277294) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751465)

Think of all the good that amount could've done for the local community, or any charity, if it was donated, or even just invested wisely.

But no, it was squandered away.

Re:Good causes wasted (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751617)

Think of how much MORE good this money will do when invested into the Nigerian economy!

Re:Good causes wasted (1)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751679)

Now it is helping the poor Nigerians.

Dumbass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751483)

Enough said.

Well deserved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751489)

Everyone she knew, including law enforcement officials, her family and bank officials, told her to stop, that it was all a scam. She persisted.

I guess people this stupid deserve it.

Spears Eh? (0, Redundant)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751495)

I wonder if there is any relation to another Spears with questionable judgement?

Re:Spears Eh? (1)

randyest (589159) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751715)

RTFA: it explicitly points out that the answer to your query is no.

natalie portman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751531)

needs some hot grits. dont forget about her!

darwin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751535)

survival of the fittest

Thoughtfully? (4, Funny)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751563)

Thoughtfully, Spears has gone public with her story as a warning to others not to fall victim.

Perhaps. But Occam's razor suggests that it never occurred to her that there might be a downside to publicly admitting to being this stupid, and she went public not "thoughtfully" as a "warning to others" but rather unthinkingly as a further example of what happens when you never think things through.

--MarkusQ

heartbreaking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751579)

these scams always seemed humorously obvious, but reading this is heartbreaking.

Gullible person led astray by scam, news at 11! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751583)

"and is a reverend"
Predisposition to gullibility.

"hearing-impaired husband."
"She wiped out her husbandâ(TM)s retirement account, mortgaged the house and took a lien out on the family car. Both were already paid for."
Preys on the less fortunate.

"she got letters from the President of Nigeria, FBI Director Mueller, and President Bush. Terrorists could get the money if she did not help, Bushâ(TM)s letter said"
More gullibility. Well, outright stupidity at this point.

Yep, definitely republican.

Greed uber alles!

She's bad-stupid, and this is why: (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751601)

For more than two years, Spears sent tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Everyone she knew, including law enforcement officials, her family and bank officials, told her to stop, that it was all a scam. She persisted.

Get it? EVERYONE was telling her it's a scam, and she decided, again and again, not to listen to them. It wasn't a one-time decision, but a repeated one.

I was going to feel sorry for her, but it turns out she was way too in love with their own ignorance and stupidity. It's wrong that she basically destroyed the financial security of her husband as well.

Nursing administrator... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751603)

no wonder healthcare is so expensive!

sooo close (5, Funny)

regular_gonzalez (926606) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751661)

Sure it seems like a tragedy now, but my gut feeling is that if she had sent one more payment, those millions would be in her bank account at this very moment. The same guy contacted me and I'm certain that with one or two more payments I will soon be rich beyond my wildest dreams. Remember kids, quitters never win and winners never quit.

close to home here (1)

thenewguy001 (1290738) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751677)

I've actually known this to happen to someone I know, and yep, it was his wife. And yep, they're now divorced. Wiped out his joint retirement funds as well, plus he now owes taxes on the amount withdrawn from the tax exempt retirement savings. I've never actually met her, but people that have said they always thought she was a nut. Total cost I'm told is close to half a million dollars. And no, it's not the same couple in the article.

This is how we get out of debt! (2, Insightful)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751693)

"The scammers ran Spears through the whole program. They said President Bush and FBI Director "Robert Muller" (their spelling) were in on the deal and needed her help."

And all you people doubted our President's intelligence! He's opening additional revenue streams to get us out of debt.

I can only hope and pray that Obama, having African blood and thus being more closely related to our Nigerian friends, will be able to expand this source of government revenue.

I blame her husband (2, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751707)

I don't even keep a joint checking account with my wife... why the hell would I allow her access to my retirement savings? I'm also not clear on how she managed to remortgage the house without her husband's signature.

How? (1)

AmeerCB (1222468) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751731)

Ok, think about these quotes from the article for a moment:

She wiped out her husbandâ(TM)s retirement account, mortgaged the house and took a lien out on the family car. Both were already paid for.

Spears said it would take her at least three to four years to dig out of the debt she ran up in pursuit of the non-existent pot of Nigerian gold.

Firstly, you would think her husband would have stopped her if she was screwing with his retirement. Granted, I've never been married, so I don't know.

Secondly, it'll take her "at least three to four years to dig out of the debt..." This is a pretty good indication of her money skills that she thinks she can dig out of $400k of debt in 3-4 years.

Re:How? (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751795)

Her husband is now severely disabled, so that might be why. Or it may turn out that other than being a fantasist, she's actually good with money. So, he let her handle the money for years until her delusions became a problem.

Seriously, I know women who believe in Ouija Boards and Astrology and some of them are pretty hot... never let them control your finances though!

Bank CEO refused transfer (4, Interesting)

enbody (472304) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751831)

I know a bank CEO who refused to transfer money for a Nigerian scam, and the woman accuses him of standing in the way of her making millions. A variety of people have spoken with her, but she is adamant. This standoff has existed for weeks. I don't know the final status.

"You can fool some of the people all the time ..."

Remortgaged the house? (1)

NotNormallyNormal (1311339) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751841)

I'm surprised that the bank didn't step in at the point and not lend her the money. Several times I've gotten a mortgage or line of credit the bank always wants to know why... "Why do you need to mortgage your house again?" should have been the question and the bank, upon hearing her answer (I can't imagine she would lie since she seems pretty gullible) should have been "No ma'am, I'm sorry but we cannot lend you the money for that." I'm sure there are some unscrupulous banks but - come on - the bank is not likely to see its money after she declares bankruptcy!

Dumb, greedy and rich (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751881)

Pick two.

Wow (1)

ZekoMal (1404259) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751903)

And this just proves it; when we protect stupid people, they don't die off, they breed more, and we get people that actually fall for scams.

More so, they fall for a scam this bad. The spelling is poor, the requests are pathetic, and she fell for it. She was willing to ruin the life of her husband for this, too; in the small chance that she was randomly selected by people she never knew to get tons of money.

She's not some 'helpless victim', either. If someone gets raped, that is a helpless victim. If the raped one went with the rapist, despite everybody they knew telling them not to, and ruined their loved ones life just to go with the rapist in case the rapist might actually have a 'magic penis', well, then no pity for them either.

She's a spokeswoman for stupidity. After this scam has been out for years, has been highlighted by news channels, has been made into a common joke, she has no excuse for this madness. She took out everyone around her for it. If anything, I feel bad for her husband; he lost his retirement money because -she- was greedy.

She was so greedy, she failed to even realize how ridiculous it is that the FBI and Bush would be relying on her sending money to Nigerians to save the day; it doesn't even go along with the same premise of her getting money out of this!

This woman is so gullible, she probably would jump off a cliff if someone said she would just bounce off the ground like a bouncy ball, with no damage or pain.

Brilliant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751917)

And her vote in the election counted the same as mine... Sigh.

I think she's telling the story for another reason (1)

Hottie Parms (1364385) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751921)

She lost a butt-load of money. Maybe she's coming forward to "share" her story so she can get some publicity. Maybe down the line she'll get a book deal, or be signed on as an "inspirational speaker" where people give her a few bucks to tell her story.

Brilliant strategy! She'll be a millionaire by 2010! All she has to do is send me $50 a week, and I'll make it happen.
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