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Times Are Tough For Nigerian Scammers

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the so-tough-they're-considering-transferring-money-to-you dept.

Spam 232

The Narrative Fallacy writes "The Washington Post reports that online swindling takes dedication even in the best of times but succeeding in the midst of a worldwide economic meltdown takes patience, resolve, and hard work. 'We are working harder. The financial crisis is not making it easy for them over there,' said Banjo, 24, speaking about Americans, whose trust he has won and whose money he has fleeced, via his Dell laptop. 'They don't have money. And the money they don't have, we want.' US authorities say Americans — the easiest prey, according to Nigerian scammers — still lose hundreds of millions of dollars a year to cybercrimes, including a scheme known as the Nigerian 419 fraud, named for a section of the Nigerian criminal code. 419 is cemented in Nigerian popular culture. and the scammers, known as 'yahoo-yahoo boys,' are glorified in pop songs such as 'Yahoozee,' which gained even more fame after former secretary of state Colin L. Powell danced to it at a London festival last year."

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breaking my heart (4, Insightful)

Sun.Jedi (1280674) | more than 5 years ago | (#28999931)

I only wish the reason was because our education was getting the job done.

Re:breaking my heart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29000035)

I wonder, though, if the District 9 movie [imdb.com] will help (reasonable) people make the connection between scammers and our oft-ignorant American society. It's not just a sci-fi flick about oppressed aliens...

Interesting Difference in Genetics (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29000053)

The Japanese contribute significantly to engineering and applied science. Half of the patents for technology in your HDTV are owned by Japanese companies. The Germans contribute significantly to engineering and the pure sciences: Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize for his work in general relativity. The British contributed significantly to political science and the pure sciences.

Africans? They build scams to sucker the rest of us. That is their "contribution" to humanity.

Does genetics explain the differences in human accomplishments?

Re:Interesting Difference in Genetics (2, Interesting)

Usually Unlucky (1598523) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000147)

I tend to believe it is warfare not genetics.

Both Japan and Europe at one point in time had the feudal system.

When you have hundreds of sovereign neighbors who want to kill you it gives you good motivation to develop educational instututions which help you develop both hard and soft power through innovation.

Probably also why the greek city staes had a reputation for innovation.

Meanwhile the African tribes were lucky to ever even come in contact with each other and never needed to develop educational institutions.

Re:Interesting Difference in Genetics (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29000443)

You need to look at African history again - I am certainly not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but warfare (and incidentally slavery) in Sub-Saharan Africa is as old as civilization in Sub-Saharan Africa. For example: Military History of the Mali Empire [wikipedia.org] . The scale of the conflicts was never what it was in Europe and Asia until the 20th century, but that Africa was a collection of totally peaceful isolated tribes until Europeans arrived on the scene is a myth.

Re:Interesting Difference in Genetics (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000553)

It's ironic, actually, the (arguably legitimate) western reaction against the excesses and cruelties of imperialism and colonialism ended up, in a fair number of cases, actually weakening understanding of the local populations, cultures, and history(and in a way oddly similar to the one that colonialism itself did).

The stock "history" of the bluntest anti-imperialist position is basically "And the noble savages lived happily in idyllic little tribes and Harmony with the land, until the British showed up and shot everyone and nicked their stuff." is almost exactly as reductive as the stock "history of the bluntest pro-imperialist position, which is basically "And the barbarious savages lived in primitive tribes, practicing devil worship and savagery, until the British showed up and civilized everybody and put the land to productive use."

"Agents of the colonial powers arrived on the scene of what was already, and had long been, a complex political and social stage, full of all kinds of various actors and groups, and had to shrewdly navigate a complex web of political interrelations and interactions in order to get anywhere." is much less cleanly satisfactory to either party; but is arguably much more accurate.

Re:Interesting Difference in Genetics (5, Insightful)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000585)

I think that last bit could be a bit more accurate..

"Agents of the colonial powers arrived on the scene of what was already, and had long been, a complex political and social stage, full of all kinds of various actors and groups. And then they showed them how gunpowder works, whereupon the natives were so impressed they fell over and died."

Re:Interesting Difference in Genetics (2, Funny)

Philip_the_physicist (1536015) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000815)

Whatever happens, we have got
the Gatling gun, and they have not

- from a poem about the Abyssinian campaign

Re:Interesting Difference in Genetics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29000903)

HAHA

Re:Interesting Difference in Genetics (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000505)

I'm sceptical: there is plenty of evidence of contact and conflict between populations, tribes, and whatnot in Africa. Further, there are known instances of innovation in the service of success in those conflicts(Shaka's career in empire building being perhaps the notable example).

I'd be more inclined to blame quirks of geography and environmental biology. Africa has a massive interior area compared to its coastline, and IIRC, the worst ratio of navigable rivers to interior area of any inhabited continent. It also has few usefully domesticated animals. There goes most of your trade, beyond seriously high value/unit weight stuff.

The continent also, because of its climate and biology, has an enormous disease load, which imposes a substantial toll on all activities of life, particularly dire for dense populations(of the sort almost always associated with division of labor, and intellectual, technological, and social development).

Re:Interesting Difference in Genetics (4, Interesting)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000905)

    As others have pointed out, you need to review history a bit more. For about 1200 years, the "Moors" (derived meaning "Black") were the conquerors, taking millions of europeans and middle eastern people. Some estimate the number to be approx 40 million. When the Moors sided with the Arabic people, it was very very bad for the Europeans.

    Not to say the Europeans were exactly innocent. The "political" systems in place lead to slavery of the general population by the nobility. Needless to say, border disputes were anything but friendly for centuries.

    It's easy to believe that the Africans were simple people running around in small tribes who knew nothing but peace and avoiding being eaten by lions, but the Euro/American slave trade triangle was just another very dirty chapter in human history, not the only one like it.

    But, if you'd prefer to believe your way, that's your decision. I must quote...

    "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
    George Santayana (1863-1952)
    The Life of Reason (1905-1906)
    Volume 1, Reason in Common Sense - pg 284

    I like to believe that humanity had a kind, gentle history at some point, but in reality there's been an awful lot of blood shed and oppression. It's important for us to know the mistakes we've made before, so we can be better in our future.

    Genetics have nothing to do with behavior. All humans are the same. They do learn from their environment. Greed has spread like an epidemic around the planet, and we're seeing the collapse of that system now. It's funny that the scam artists are now complaining that their marks are all running dry.

Re:Interesting Difference in Genetics (3, Informative)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000279)

Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize for his work in general relativity.

Not so. He won the Nobel Prize [wikipedia.org] for his explanation of the photoelectric effect.

Re:Interesting Difference in Genetics (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29000629)

The Germans contribute significantly to engineering and the pure sciences: Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize for his work in general relativity.

BZZZZZZT WRONG. Thanks for playing. Einstein was a JEW who ripped off much of his work from Aryans. Get your facts straight.

Re:Interesting Difference in Genetics (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29000753)

I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:Interesting Difference in Genetics (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000879)

You forgot to include American funding to the third world, mainly Nigeria.

Re:breaking my heart (3, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000635)

I was going to make a post that indirectly pointed out that "Internet Scams" would be a little out of place on a Class Schedule, but then I realized that school calls it "English 101".

Well, obviously... (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28999933)

If these Nigerian scammers were any good, they'd be working at Goldman Sachs, not pulling penny-ante internet operations...

Re:Well, obviously... (3, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000171)

If these Nigerian scammers were any good, they'd be working at Goldman Sachs, not pulling penny-ante internet operations...

What makes you think the difference has anything to do with differences in ability and is unrelated to geographic opportunity?

Re:Well, obviously... (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000373)

My post was a combination of whoring for "funny" and impotently expressing my displeasure with Goldman's more or less perfect execution of regulatory capture.

If anything, I suspect that the Nigerian scammers are, on the whole, smart, motivated and fairly unprincipled, guys working in a tough competitive market. I have no love for scammers, and I'd be delighted to have them all hunted down; but underestimating the capabilities needed for crime, particularly fraud based crime, is just silly.

Re:Well, obviously... (4, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000401)

If anything, I suspect that the Nigerian scammers are, on the whole, smart, motivated and fairly unprincipled, guys working in a tough competitive market.

And the difference between those people and Goldman's employees is?

Re:Well, obviously... (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000425)

The former live in a backwater that escapes the label "dystopian" only through lack of technological development, while the latter have a revolving door between Wall Street and government all across the first world?

Re:Well, obviously... (1)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000631)

a backwater that escapes the label "dystopian" only through lack of technological development

And this is different from the federal government how?

Re:Well, obviously... (1)

ParticleGirl (197721) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000873)

If anything, I suspect that the Nigerian scammers are, on the whole, smart, motivated and fairly unprincipled, guys working in a tough competitive market.

Why "unprincipled"? I mean, Robin Hood was principled... Maybe you just mean that they don't value your values.

Re:Well, obviously... (-1, Offtopic)

Rozine (1345911) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000245)

I hope you're not implying that Goldman Sachs are a bunch of scammers. They're pretty much the only major financial institution to make it through this crisis without falling for the scams and without needing government money. In fact, they were forced to take it by the government so that people wouldn't single out companies receiving bailout money as being failures, not because it was necessary for Goldman. I'm getting really sick of this meme - if you don't know what you're talking about, don't talk about it.

Re:Well, obviously... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29000285)

without needing government money

No, they just needed the billions of dollars in credit swaps to cover their losses. Of course, those credit swaps were with AIG, who needed billions of dollars of government money to cover their credit swaps.

Re:Well, obviously... (1)

Rainbird98 (186939) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000333)

So I guess gold-plated bonuses of over one million dollars each to over a thousand employees are justified? I think not!

Re:Well, obviously... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000391)

I'm doing exactly that. The fact that they "made it through the crisis" and many of their competitors didn't(and the guys who owed them money were bailed out, allowing those debts to be paid in full, so it isn't directly government money) merely makes them the most successful of the scammers.

Re:Well, obviously... (2, Interesting)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000449)

Everyone needed government money, if AIG had failed Goldman would be dust in the wind (their hedges wouldn't have paid off, because no one would have had money). Also, they only are making money because of the cheap FDIC loans which are still providing government subsidized loans.

Re:Well, obviously... (3, Interesting)

citizenr (871508) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000513)

They're pretty much the only major financial institution to make it through this crisis without falling for the scams and without needing government money.

Thats cos THEY were the ones running scams, GS almost single handedly crushed Polish currency at the beginning of this year.

Misudnerstanding (3, Informative)

aepervius (535155) | more than 5 years ago | (#29001053)

If you mean this : Media misunderstanding on GS and zloty [polishmarket.com.pl] it was more like media not making real research on a subject and repeating hearsay. IOW business as usual, as media these day , except for a few rare exception, are glorified parrot.

Re:Well, obviously... (4, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000673)

Meme or not, you and everyone in the Western world needs to get used to the idea that a very small number of Golden Boys on Wall Street, in cahoots with a somewhat larger number of politicians, managed to STEAL billions of dollars from small investors and taxpayers.

There has been little secrecy regarding deregulation of the securities and exchanges over the last 16 to 20 years. The democrats played ball with Wall Street when Clinton was in, then Bush came along and got serious about deregulation. Wall Street knew all along that they were selling worthless paper to fools who were happy to buy that worthless paper on credit. The emperor had no clothes, but no one wanted to recognize that fact.

Look at the events that brought down Wall Street in 1929, then look again at our recent crisis. Really look at them, then come back to explain any substantial differences.

If, and I emphasize IF, we really have reached the bottom, and we are on our way up again, then we have been far more lucky than we deserve. There were blatantly obvious signs of how much trouble we were in, as far back as the Enron scandal. A decent economist with a real education should have seen what was happening as much as 5 years before the Enron scandal broke.

Fools and crooks. To hold Goldman Sachs out as being better than the rest of Wall Street is to admit that they were fools, if lesser fools than their buddies sitting in offices all around them.

Don't be sick or the "meme". Instead, get sick of, and get outraged at our economics "experts" who dug the hole that we are in today. The meme is here, and it will be around for quite awhile. The only question is, are we going to learn from it, or will we do this again in 20 to 50 years?

Go on, call a spade a spade. Bigtime thieves and fools put the screws to all us little fools. And we are still damned fools, for allowing the bastards to have their bonuses. Plain English defines a bonus as something earned for superior performance. There is no one on Wall Street who has earned a bonus in recent history.

Re:Well, obviously... (1)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000781)

The worst is yet to come my friend. Once those a-holes realized they have not broken the bank, they'll do it all over again for more money.

Re:Well, obviously... (2, Interesting)

jhol13 (1087781) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000487)

Are you implying guys in GS are any good?

I do not know GS particularly, but the idea is the same: few get money (bosses), no real money is involved ("dyed money"/"futures") and the customer are lied.

Re:Well, obviously... (4, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000615)

Damn straight. Nobody scams better.

USA! USA!

Damn.

Re:Well, obviously... (1)

yogibaer (757010) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000957)

Which would also entitle them to a government bailout. Problem solved. Bonus saved.

Too bad, niggers (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28999935)

Africa is a shit-hole because it is infested with niggers.

Re:Too bad, niggers (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29000015)

Possibly, but have you ever considered that perhaps Africa is infested with niggers because it is a shit-hole? I suppose some questions can never be answered with absolute certainty.

Re:Too bad, niggers (1)

Cartack (628620) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000027)

Most internet fraud happens in the US and the Eastern European countries. Nigerian Scammers account for such a small percentage of overall web fraud.

Re:Too bad, niggers (0, Offtopic)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000201)

Africa is a shit-hole because it is infested with niggers.

Who is the fucking jackass that modded this 'insightful'?

Re:Too bad, niggers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29000545)

This is what meta-mods fix. Whoever modded that insightful will lose their mod points if that ever ends up being meta moderated. Which if the meta mod algorithm is any good, a lone insightful mod among a dozen troll mods would get scrutiny.

Re:Too bad, niggers (0, Troll)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000929)

I keep getting mod point's and I always mod trolls up, never down.

The /. system is totally broken how often do you see an informative post modded down because some asshole happens to disagree?

Re:Too bad, niggers (2, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000605)

Don't be a bitch Shakrai. It's funny as hell when that happens. You deserved that offtopic mod for crying to momma.

As perverse as it sounds, it's a good indicator that Slashdot isn't entirely composed of groupthinking zombies. Pull that stick out of your ass and have a couple laughs.

And to the rest of you folks who can see this post - Shakrai is my fan and I am his friend.

Re:Too bad, niggers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29000923)

That would be me. I always mod trolls up.

I would have suspected the opposite (4, Insightful)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 5 years ago | (#28999941)

I would have suspected that Americans might have fallen prey more easily. Hard times can lead to more desperate measures.

Or maybe people are turning off their Internet service...

Re:I would have suspected the opposite (3, Interesting)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000011)

I don't think the number of victims has decreased, just the payouts.

Re:I would have suspected the opposite (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29000077)

Buried way down in paragraph six of the Post article:

Now financially squeezed, Americans succumb even more easily to offers of riches, experts say.

Re:I would have suspected the opposite (3, Interesting)

ahabswhale (1189519) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000623)

Nah, Americans are just fucking stupid. Our education system breeds retards who aren't expected to think more than what "OMGWTFBFF" text message they are going to send next. Set low expectations and that's what you'll get, so we got it. And if you think I'm just trolling or flame baiting, do some google searches and see what simple shit questions the typical American can't answer. It's shocking. FYI...I'm an American.

Re:I would have suspected the opposite (1, Interesting)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000747)

do some google searches and see what simple shit questions the typical American can't answer. It's shocking. FYI...I'm an American.
--

it's amazing how dumb you can make someone look when you write questions with the idea of seeing how dumb you can make them look. (Some dumb British comedian even made a movie about it a few years back.)

Most of the questions you'll see asked are simply irrelevant to an American's life. And as such, if you ask them right off the head, they often as not won't have an answer. This is not a sign of poor thinking -- it's a sign of INTELLIGENCE.

Want to really test American IQ? (Or, hell, anyone's IQ, for that matter.) Offer a non-trivial cash reward. And ask the same questions. Watch the relative "intelligence" of Americans go up.

I can stop this! (5, Funny)

assemblerex (1275164) | more than 5 years ago | (#28999987)

Hello I am a Nigerian judge Mumbasa Mfune III. I am collecting funds to create a task force to reclaim lost monies in Nigeria.

If you have lost monies in Nigeria, for the low donation of $2500, I can reclaim ALL lost assets.

Please contact me immediately at Judge.Mufune@yahooze.ng

Re:I can stop this! (5, Funny)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000063)

Hello I am a Nigerian judge Mumbasa Mfune III.
I am collecting funds to create a task force to reclaim lost monies in Nigeria.

If you have lost monies in Nigeria, for the low donation of $2500, I can reclaim ALL lost assets.

Please contact me immediately at Judge.Mufune@yahooze.ng

Dear honorable Mumbasa Mfune III,

Please relay your GPS coordinates so that I can send you a package from orbit..Err I mean airdrop the cash.

Kind regards,

TGR2

Re:I can stop this! (5, Funny)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#29001059)

47.639619,-122.129928

Mumbasa Mfune III

Re:I can stop this! (4, Funny)

cbraescu1 (180267) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000105)

Your honor,

Could you please reclaim monies lost by Madoff?

Awaiting your reply,

John Doe

Why didn't the interviewer kill the guys? (2, Insightful)

Whatsisname (891214) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000003)

How did this interview take place? Why did the interviewer not do the world a favor and kill the guys on the spot, or at least identify him to authorities that will shut them down?

Re:Why didn't the interviewer kill the guys? (1)

Robin47 (1379745) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000017)

He probably thinks of himself as a neutral party just reporting the news.

Re:Why didn't the interviewer kill the guys? (4, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000081)

He probably thinks of himself as a neutral party just reporting the news.

"With enemies you know where they stand but with neutrals? Who knows! It sickens me."
"What makes a man turn neutral ... Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?"

Tell my wife Hello. (1, Informative)

attemptedgoalie (634133) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000467)

Futurama. What an awesome show.

Re:Why didn't the interviewer kill the guys? (1)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000471)

Ugh...Zap Brannigan.

Re:Why didn't the interviewer kill the guys? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29000037)

I am sorry what happened to you. There's a guy on this thread, Judge Mumbasa Mfune III. He can help you to recover your lost money!
Stop having these feelings of revenge. You can have your money back, now! Just Call Judge Mumbasa!

Re:Why didn't the interviewer kill the guys? (1, Insightful)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000045)

because when all is said and done, the Interviewer gets to fly back to his airconditioned condo in New York, drink expensive Hawaiian coffee and tool around in his BMW. The Interviewee gets to stay and sweat like a pig in the swampy hellhole called Nigeria, where he gets to slap some stupid jitney driver in the unending clusterfuck they call traffic, and suck down a lukewarm coke in the muddy concrete and cardboard dump he calls home, as the interviewer operates from the "there but for the grace of god go i" theory of social justice.

Re:Why didn't the interviewer kill the guys? (4, Funny)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000099)

I don't know... living in New York myself, sweat like a pig in the swampy hellhole, where he gets to slap some stupid jitney driver in the unending clusterfuck they call traffic, and suck down a lukewarm coke in the muddy concrete and cardboard dump he calls home sounds exactly like here. You get those locales backwards or something?

Re:Why didn't the interviewer kill the guys? (4, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000565)

1) The correspondant writes for the WASHINGTON post, and SHE lives in SOUTH AFRICA. Where does it say anything about New York?
2) I think you seriously overestimate what a print journalist makes.
3) I think you seriously underestimate the conditions the Nigerian scammers (and the middle/upper class in their country) live in

Did you evern RTFA at all before you spouted your drivel!?

"young men with fancy cars, designer clothing and beautiful girlfriends -- scammers all"

"In good months, he said, he has made $30,000, which he blew on clothes, hotel rooms and Dom Perignon at "VVIP" clubs. These days, he lamented, proceeds are down 40 percent."

Yeah. Cry me a river. Poor starving Nigerian scammer, who I'm sure makes more in 3 months than the journalist made in a year. I bet it was LUKEWARM Dom Perignon, though! The agony!

Re:Why didn't the interviewer kill the guys? (0, Redundant)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000975)

Did you evern RTFA at all before you spouted your drivel!?

This is /., of course not.

Re:Why didn't the interviewer kill the guys? (1)

raehl (609729) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000981)

Ok, so a bad month is, what, $20k? So $240,000 a year? And down 40% of that is still $136,000 a year?

In NIGERIA?

Dude probably owns a village or two by now.

Re:Why didn't the interviewer kill the guys? (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000125)

Probably for (in the broad sense) the same reasons that an undercover cop doesn't attempt to arrest the mob boss, and a spy is a diligent worker, not a slacker, at whatever facility he is infiltrating.

Journalists, ideally, are a society's way of getting and broadly disseminating certain types of information. In this case, the value of the public knowing more about Nigerian scammers is easily higher than the value of one scammer possibly getting a slap on the wrist, or even a bullet in the face. There are all sorts of situations where doing the proximate "right thing" will mean losing the broader advantage: taking down the little fish and missing out on the expose of the little fish's boss.

This is especially true in situations where the journalist is operating against the currents of official interest/motivation. If the feds, either here or in Nigera, really cared(about anything other than the highest profile and most exceptional or publicly emotive cases) they'd find it trivial to hunt down large numbers of these guys. Just get a whole bunch of spamtrap accounts, scattered randomly across common webmail services, ISP email offerings, and the like. When the inevitable submissions come, act like marks until you have enough info to track the guys down. In general, interest is limited. Thus, raising interest/awareness in the issue, and possibly helping people protect themselves more effectively, is a lot more valuable than just identifying some minor player who could have been identified already if anybody cared. (In the context of internal political reporting, the situation is similar. Corruption at the low levels is generally a symptom of much more serious high level corruption, and exists because the powers that be don't care. Raising the issue of a single corrupt cop or DMV chair warmer, or whatever, is nice; but is like trying to empty a lake with a shovel. You really want journalists to go for the core of the problem.)

Re:Why didn't the interviewer kill the guys? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000525)

Journalists, ideally, are a society's way of getting and broadly disseminating certain types of information.

Namely, their employer's opinions.

Re:Why didn't the interviewer kill the guys? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000559)

I snuck "ideally" in there to cover exactly this contingency...

Re:Why didn't the interviewer kill the guys? (4, Insightful)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000685)

The FBI et. all don't actively pursue Nigerian scammers for the simple reason that they cannot pursue Nigerian scammers. It has nothing to do with "taking down the boss". If those Nigerians lived in the US they would be in jail. Period.

First, the US cannot go after Nigerian scammers because they live in frickin Nigeria, the US has no authority there and at best can only exert a moderate amount of pressure to encourage Nigerian officials to pursue the scammers.

Second, every US citizen has the right to be a dumbass. There was a story here on /. a few months ago of a woman who sent around $450k to a Nigerian scammer. She blew her husband's retirement on it even. The entire community knew it was happening, and tried to stop her, told her she was being scammed, hell the sheriff even asked her to stop, but there was nothing they could legally do to stop her from pissing her money away. She was convinced each time that she was just "one more payment" away from getting those millions of dollars. Where the hell her husband was this whole time I have no idea, but if someone wants to be a dumbass nobody has a right to stop you unless you are doing something illegal.

Getting scammed is not illegal.

Nigerian officials obviously aren't going to do more than a token attempt to go after these guys to improve US relations, because they boost the Nigerian economy. Think about it, they are getting US money by exporting idiocy. And Americans buy it in droves, unfortunately.

Re:Why didn't the interviewer kill the guys? (3, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000145)

So he would live and be able to write about it?

Re:Why didn't the interviewer kill the guys? (1)

microbee (682094) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000173)

Yeah, like that would solve all the problems.

Re:Why didn't the interviewer kill the guys? (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000399)

you might be interested in my comedy novelet, where this slashdot guy, call him whoseisname, just hates nigerian scammers and performs a social engineering experiment. He responds to several of their spam scams, gets their instructions and strings them along getting them to believe large sums of money are coming their way. But slashdot guy starts sending them responses leading them to believe one scammer group has interfered with and intercepted the funds meant for another. Thus he gets the Nigerian scammers to kill each other off. Hilarity ensues.

Re:Why didn't the interviewer kill the guys? (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000611)

"How did this interview take place? Why did the interviewer not do the world a favor and kill the guys on the spot, or at least identify him to authorities that will shut them down?"

Case study: It's ignorance of this level that makes Americans the easiest scam targets.

Dear Nigerian scammers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29000021)

I'm in charge of 35 million in US bailout money and I feel your plight. I can't use government money to pay for fund transfers due to red tape but if you could arrange for a 5% transfer fee I can forward the money. Thank you my friends!

The Sting (3, Interesting)

bolt_the_dhampir (1545719) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000033)

I wonder if any nigerian has ever tried it? By the way, about the 419's, check out http://www.419eater.com/ [419eater.com] Scambait is great!

Re:The Sting (2, Interesting)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000665)

OMG.

Thanks for the link.

Monty Python's "Dead Parrot Sketch" performed by Nigerian Email Scammers. Truly priceless. Almost worth the price they were promised.

The link. Make sure you follow the story all the way to AT LEAST the video on page 3.
http://www.419eater.com/html/bigman.htm [419eater.com]

Fools and their money.... (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000075)

Evidentally, it's even possible to run low on fools. Or at least fools who have not yet been separated from their money. P.T. Barnum must be rolling in his grave.

Re:Fools and their money.... (3, Insightful)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000745)

Oh, no. They're not running low on fools. The fools are running low on money.

Tough indeed... (4, Funny)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000085)

There must be some kind of famine or something in Nigeria, I've received about 15 emails in the last 3 months, all from people telling me their father/brother/uncle/etc. had "caught death". Terrible!
And to make matters worse, they can't get the money that's rightfully theirs from the banks! Honestly, something should really be done about this.

I would like to help. (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000191)

Who should I make the check out to?

You can make it out to me! :) (3, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000219)

Who should I make the check out to?

My name is 'Shakrai' but my good friends call me 'Cash' :)

Re:Tough indeed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29000417)

bailout of nigerian scammers? though that would probably cause some trouble for obama...

Sigh (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000095)

Well, once this recession is over they'll have their business back, people being none the wiser. It doesn't matter what experiences humanity goes through. There will always be at least a small fraction who is unequivocally stupid.

I say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29000123)

Bailout! Just like the banks and insurance companies, which take your money, perhaps it's time to bail out these scammers. While they may be from a foreign nation, we can't forget the trickle down effect.

An Inconvenient Truth (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000187)

Scamming works, even for schemes widely known from years. Be an scammer and will be pretty rare that you get caught, in your country will make songs about you, and even the Washington post will put your name in big letters. And money flow so much that even in this troubled economic times is still profitable, even with the amount of people doing it.

A bit remembers me the amount of people buying what is offered by spam, and making it still a profitable activity, but this one goes some levels deep into the illegal realm.

Always a scammer to top them all... (5, Insightful)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000223)

Anyone else see the poetic justice in some back-jungle Shaman fleecing these guys out of their hard-swindled cash?

$300 for mojo powder...probably ashes from the fire he burns his extra cash in...Turtles on a string. I love it.

This is the place for (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29000229)

Hours of hilarious reading, pics and audio- these guys get very creative. Freight baits ROCK!!

http://www.thescambaiter.com/

Scammers scamming scammers. (1)

blool (798681) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000343)

But in these tough times, the scammers said, they are relying more on a crucial tool: voodoo. At times, Banjo said, he has traveled six hours to the forest, where a magician sells scam-boosters. A $300 powder supposedly helps scammers "speak with authority" when demanding payment. A powder, rubbed on the face, reportedly makes victims viewing the scammer through webcams powerless to say no.

Dell laptop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29000349)

Did he say the scammer used a Dell laptop?

We must ban the use of Dell laptops immediately!!

Sympathy? (1)

bigt_littleodd (594513) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000351)

Scammers having a hard time in this economic climate? Boo-fscking-hoo.

Agreed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29000461)

Now, if only we could block them from responding to craigslist ads, or kijiji ...

Why doesn't Yahoo subsidize them? (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000387)

Google, Yahoo, msn, all you guys...

1. Figure the expense of Nigerian spam
2. Ask Nigerians to stop
3. ????
4. Profit

If you lose money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29000455)

to these fucktards you don't deserve to have any.

419 is just a game... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29000517)

How can you have sympathy for anyone who falls for this crap? In Nigeria 419 is viewed as a game. Anyone who plays (poor innocent Americans) is just greedy themselves. How dumb do you have to be to think that you can get something for nothing ? I hate the fact the Nigeria is given a bad rep for this, but Americans are xenophobic to anything especially from that country "Africa". Just wait until American realize Nigeria has a large Muslim population.....

I need help your help! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29000521)

It is stories like these that make it impossible for businessmen like me to transfer millions of dollars to their rightful owners.

YOUR HELP IS URGENTLY NEEDED!

BBspot (1)

MrMonty (366322) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000625)

I read this [bbspot.com] days ago.

Penis product makers aren't the only ones having to change their pitch. Awi Tagakangi of Nigeria runs 419 scams through email. "It takes more than an uncle who was a prince, now I've gone to claiming that I'm the son of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and have access to all the cash in the Federal Reserve," said Tagakangi.

6 years ago (5, Interesting)

AnAdventurer (1548515) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000671)

in 2003 I recovered $15,000 for someone who lost their money to a web based computer scam. It was not easy and I didn't kill anyone (at the request on my client). Africa is a dangerous place. I have been doing stuff for a while, the odds of you getting all your money back are pretty much 0%. In fact I would say I did not get my clients money back, I probably got them someone else's money.

Re:6 years ago (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000847)

Your webpage says: I had 1 1/2 boxes of target ammo for that plus a Box of Buffalo Bore (for bears) and a box of Hydroshock (for people).

Are you arming bears while you bear arms?

Scammers getting scammed (5, Funny)

mnemotronic (586021) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000701)

When I read the article, the thing that struck me was that the scammers are so desperate, they trying voodoo majic to boost their believability. One guy has a live tortoise hanging around his neck to boost his mojo. Sounds like a market ripe for a new product idea:

Your sma11 unit sales got you down? Bulk up that member ship!

Girls find you more attractive with our herbal honesty reproduction enhancer. Get more faith-time from those gullible Americans with new ultra power Premier gold medal deluxe Truth Be Told powder. Distilled from the pulverized testicles of tobacco company lawyers, this is genuine disingenuity at it's most potent concentration. Guaranteed to have them eating out of the palm of your hand, you will be invincible in email encounters.

http://gxzyxkqkdjh.cn/ [gxzyxkqkdjh.cn]

Blame Nintendo and Rare software. (5, Funny)

dicobalt (1536225) | more than 5 years ago | (#29000711)

Imagine being tricked by a con artist named Banjo. I wonder if he has a friend Kazooie.

Get over it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29000939)

I refer the Nigerian (and any other scammers) to one of my favorite Eagles tunes entitled "Get Over IT!

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