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Nigerian "Scam Police" Shut Down 800 Web Sites

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the had-to-pay-shipping-on-them-first dept.

Government 200

Sooner Boomer writes "Nigerian police, in what is named Operation 'Eagle Claw,' have shut down 800 scam web sites and arrested members of 18 syndicates behind the fraudulent scam sites. Reports on Breitbart.com and Pointblank give details on the busts. The investigation was done in cooperation with Microsoft to help develop smart technology software capable of detecting fraudulent emails. From Breitbart: 'When operating at full capacity, within the next six months, the scheme, dubbed "Eagle Claw," should be able to forewarn around a quarter of million potential victims.'"

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200 comments

I'm a nigerian prince (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29842309)

Would you like to help me transfer millions of nira to me? You will be well paid!

A Niggerian Prince (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29842487)

What do you call a nigger with a stutter? A cocoon.

Re:A Niggerian Prince (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29842585)

compared to other racist acs...
...that's pretty funny

Re:I'm a nigerian prince (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843019)

I presume you are giving a significant portion of any money you 'earn' to the Nigerian police, in exchange for being left out of Operation "Eagle Claw"...right?

I just want to make sure my money will be with somebody who will be there six months from now, sending me more promises of "yup, the money is just about to go through, any day now".

Re:I'm a nigerian prince (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29843083)

Wherever there are niggers [419eater.com] , there is crime.

Re:I'm a nigerian prince (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29843087)

Please send me plenty of spam, especially ones of nude women. Ive never seen a naked woman before so it would be nice

Kind Regards,
Jack Thompson
amendmantone@comcast.net

Re:I'm a nigerian prince (1)

Venik (915777) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843199)

Please send me plenty of spam, especially ones of nude women. Ive never seen a naked woman before so it would be nice

At first I thought you made a joke. But this is Slashdot, so, who knows, you may be telling the truth...

In other news... (1)

russlar (1122455) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842315)

In other news, Americans now falling victim to fraudulent spam emails from individuals claiming to be members of the Royal Family of the Ivory Coast.

Re:In other news... (5, Funny)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842571)

What? You mean that some of those scammers were ACTUALLY Nigerian? I had always assumed even that was fake...

Re:In other news... (2, Interesting)

BKX (5066) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842927)

Yes, they even have a strange rap subculture over there, kind of like gangsta rappers in the US. Here's a youtube [youtube.com] music video of one of the more popular songs. The name of the song, yahoozee, is the name the Nigerians give to rich scammers. Oddly, the yahoozee seem to buy only American after they steal American money (hell, the entire song is in (very bad) English; they even stole our language.).

smart technology software... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29842331)

using the same smart technology software they used to track the rewards for all those Microsoft Giveways email forwards...
http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/nothing/microsoft-aol.asp

But but but! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29842333)

I didn't get my money from the Prince yet!

Finally! It's about time! (2, Interesting)

ad454 (325846) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842335)

Finally! It's about time that international police and anti-crime resources put the same effort in stopping online cross border crime that they do for offline!

Kudos to Microsoft for helping. Heck, I would accept help from Satan himself, if it reduce the spam and online crime.

Re:Finally! It's about time! (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842575)

Finally! It's about time that international police and anti-crime resources put the same effort in stopping online cross border crime that they do for offline!

Kudos to Microsoft for helping. Heck, I would accept help from Satan himself, if it reduce the spam and online crime.

Well, I suspect that even though the tech is not fully deployed yet, these sites were already showing up as scam sites in Firefox and the latest versions if IE.

I suspect the Nigerian police snarfed up the already useless sites and shut them down in a halfhearted show of being proactive even while on the take. Probably took the opportunity to get rid of a few competitors as well.

These guys have been operating there for so long that only a corrupt police force could have missed them. There is plenty of evidence these guys are less than squeaky clean: http://hubpages.com/hub/Nigerian-Police--bribe-and-fraud [hubpages.com] and http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?ReportID=76458 [irinnews.org] etc.

Re:Finally! It's about time! (3, Insightful)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842813)

I suspect the Nigerian police snarfed up the already useless sites and shut them down in a halfhearted show of being proactive even while on the take. Probably took the opportunity to get rid of a few competitors as well.

Never discount the possibility that a different organisation can offer a higher bribe.

This isn't going to help (5, Interesting)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842339)

Unfortunately, humans are quite stupid. Even smart people are often stupid outside their area of expertise. I know someone professor at a major university who almost fell for one of these scams. It is hard to draw the line between ignorance and stupidity but as long as ignorant or stupid people exist unethical will try to take advantage of them. And they'll just find new ways of doing it. More education is probably the key. But even then, they'll just modify the scams accordingly.

Re:This isn't going to help (5, Funny)

mc moss (1163007) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842411)

Was it this professor at Harvard who sent 600k to nigerian scammers?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/03/31/harvard_prof_scams/ [theregister.co.uk]

Re:This isn't going to help (1)

e9th (652576) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842771)

Maybe it was this law school professor [lawschool.com] , who "holds three doctorates."

Re:This isn't going to help (1, Insightful)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842799)

What do you say to the company that makes the software, that drives the worlds bad guys, that make careers spamming, scamming, and cracking? Thank you?

Re:This isn't going to help (2, Informative)

Artraze (600366) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842437)

Of course scams won't go away. But even if we accept that, should we just allow scams to continue unchecked? At least arresting scammers helps raise the "price" of the operation...

Also, for what it's worth, being scammed isn't about stupidity. The (Ponzi) scams that have been in the news tricked people whose sole area of expertise was investing, and they did it quite well (they had the millions to put in to these after all). Granted, dumb/ignorant people are easier targets, but they also don't generally yield as much per person (see pervious).

Re:This isn't going to help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29842483)

The Ponzi scams that tricked those investors was still through stupidity. The investors did not do due diligence for there investments, the evidence that these were scams was around for a long time and included multiple economists and researchers reporting them to the SEC, the numbers never added up, but peoples greed to believe that the profits were real overroad the evidence before them.

Re:This isn't going to help (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843137)

A fool and his money are soon parted. The question is how they got together.

Re:This isn't going to help (1, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842443)

Unfortunately, humans are quite stupid.

Compared to? Cats? An alien race you know of but the rest of us don't? A cherrypicked group of humans?

Re:This isn't going to help (2, Funny)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842705)

A cherrypicked group of humans?

Yeah it turns out that some people are much smarter than the average person. Shocker.

Re:This isn't going to help (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29842765)

I know some people here don't like xkcd, but this felt relevant [xkcd.com]

Re:This isn't going to help (1)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842739)

Dirt

Re:This isn't going to help (1)

ammorais (1585589) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842855)

Unfortunately, humans are quite stupid.

Compared to? Cats? An alien race you know of but the rest of us don't? A cherrypicked group of humans?

I bet he's talking about cats.
My cat will never fall for Nigerian scams.

Re:This isn't going to help (5, Interesting)

Joren (312641) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842861)

Unfortunately, humans are quite stupid.

Compared to? Cats? An alien race you know of but the rest of us don't? A cherrypicked group of humans?

Just try getting between a cat and a plate of tuna. They are fiendishly inventive... I have a cat that, while not necessarily socially intelligent, was quite clever at solving problems. He might fit in here at Slashdot ;) - One day when I was in my last year of high school, the cat, while wondering why in the world he was not getting petted and catered to, decided it was time to take matters into his own paws. Having carefully observed me using the computer over a long period of time, he figured out how to reset my computer - never mind the fact that the front panel had been completely removed and the reset "switch" consisted of a button deeply recessed into a 7mm opening in the grating, of which there were dozens to choose from. He had to stick his claw in that specific hole, and *bam* - there goes an hour of work. He seemed to think that without that pesky English paper on my screen, I'd have more time to pay attention to him. He got a lot more attention than he bargained for that day...

Re:This isn't going to help (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843061)

My cat tried to achieve the same results by installing Vista.

WHICH OF YOU SLAGS WANTS A LOAD OF HOT JIZZ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29842477)

blasted all up on your grill?

Re:This isn't going to help (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842485)

You seem to forget the role greed plays here. It, like ideology, usually trumps intellect and facts.

Re:This isn't going to help (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842693)

It doesn't even take greed. One US vendor got an order for $10,000 of equipment, accepted the $20,000 check that was "erroneously" sent and agreed to refund the difference. By the time the $20,000 check bounced, the scammer was already long gone, the equipment was gone off the loading dock and the check for the difference was long cashed.

Re:This isn't going to help (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842497)

Even smart people are often stupid outside their area of expertise.

That's the difference between knowledge and wisdom.

Re:This isn't going to help (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843017)

Is it? Even wise people are ignorant out of their area of expertise.

Re:This isn't going to help (1, Interesting)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842545)

Unfortunately, humans are quite stupid. Even smart people are often stupid outside their area of expertise. I know someone professor at a major university who almost fell for one of these scams. It is hard to draw the line between ignorance and stupidity but as long as ignorant or stupid people exist unethical will try to take advantage of them. And they'll just find new ways of doing it. More education is probably the key. But even then, they'll just modify the scams accordingly.

As long as our cultures pit our people against each other in competition for money, people will be 'unethical' and exploit each other.

I suggest we look to the roots and foundations of 'evil' and how we can circumvent its expressions in life; most cases indicate that 'money' should be destroyed and new cultures and ways of existence need arise.

You know it is your culture that taught you to be jealous of polygamy. It is your culture that taught you to put common man at opposition. It is your culture that prioritizes the individual over community. Very little in what is wrong with humans can be attributed to nature: nurture is where we go wrong.

Re:This isn't going to help (1)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842719)

So you value community over the individual?

That way lies tyranny, slavery, and genocide.

Re:This isn't going to help (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842849)

I suggest we look to the roots and foundations of 'evil' and how we can circumvent its expressions in life; most cases indicate that 'money' should be destroyed and new cultures and ways of existence need arise.

Ok, so how are we supposed to do that? In 2009 we still have finite supplies of everything, if I want a ham sandwich I can't magically produce ham by speaking "create ham", it isn't even digital where if you have one piece of ham you can make almost infinite copies without damaging the original ham or using any other parts.

You know it is your culture that taught you to be jealous of polygamy.

Um, I don't see how I'm "jealous" of polygamy, its hard enough work keeping one woman happy, let alone three or four.

It is your culture that taught you to put common man at opposition.

What are you on? In case you haven't looked at the natural world (as I'm assuming you are basically saying you think humans are nothing more than evolved animals) every animal wants to dominate all the other animals. We as humans at least can do it civilly without much bloodshed and still maintain a society where just about everyone can live without fear of hunger or their safety. Sure, we can't all afford 50 inch plasmas, a Ferrari and 5 Core i7 boxes, but in general most everyone in at least a semi-free society will know they are going to be able to eat tomorrow.

It is your culture that prioritizes the individual over community.

Yeah, and look at how well the cultures that prioritized the community over the individual. You know governments such as fascism like Nazi Germany where they felt they needed to kill a few "individual" Jews for the sake of the "community" and don't even try bringing in "modern science" because that is what they manipulated to get the German public to at least tolerate it. Other governments such as communism that end up being corrupt to the core, breed dictators like Joesph Stalin, people who don't care if their people starve like Kim Jung-Il, Which country would you rather live in? North Korea where the "community" comes first, or in the US which is "individualistic" where I can be pretty sure I'll have food to eat tomorrow, the day after that and the day after that and I can be confident I can have medical treatment whenever I need it (even if I might have to pay for it later), and I can at least have a few freedoms (though they are being taken away day after day by the government).

Very little in what is wrong with humans can be attributed to nature: nurture is where we go wrong.

Are you just a troll or have you not seen nature? In nature life is brutal, short and in general not much fun. While we have leisure time to think, to ponder and to have fun, in nature you always have to be perpetually looking out against predators, gathering food, and making sure that the members of your own species don't decide to kill you. If you have a sickness no one cares, you just die in pain. You mean to say that the "natural" way of doing things is "better" because we don't have this "evil"? I'd prefer to be sent these spam e-mails than to spend every day fighting to survive.

Re:This isn't going to help (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842879)

Good points, Darkness404.

Re:This isn't going to help (3, Funny)

abarrieris5eV (1659265) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843131)

Ok, so how are we supposed to do that? In 2009 we still have finite supplies of everything, if I want a ham sandwich I can't magically produce ham by speaking "create ham", it isn't even digital where if you have one piece of ham you can make almost infinite copies without damaging the original ham or using any other parts.

Did you try "sudo create ham"?

Re:This isn't going to help (3, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842935)

Money is not good, nor evil. Money is just a tool to exchange goods and services. Goods are limited, and so are your services. Money is the only tool we have to express value in something. If everything has the same value, then it is worthless.

The only time people are exploited in cases like this, is when GREED overcomes LOGIC and REASON, i.e. MONEY FOR NOTHING (and chicks for free).

People who are scammed like this deserve it. It is a cost of stupidity. Stupid should hurt.

Re:This isn't going to help (2, Interesting)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843203)

Money is not good, nor evil.

I disagree. Money is inherently good but like all good things has the capacity to be used for evil. It is an expression of value. As you say, it is a tool to exchange goods and services, service generally also being taken to be a good thing.

Re:This isn't going to help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29842553)

It's been said already but it's not just stupidity but greed combined with stupidity. I think both deserve a little punishment now and again. I feel worse for the people who get scammed 40 bucks for rogue antivirus, they just lack computer-savvy, as opposed to being part of a pretend bankrobbing.

Re:This isn't going to help (5, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842737)

Scams have always been around, and they have nothing to do with 'stupidity'. This is a conceit of our modern age, where we are desperately anxious to call other people stupid so as to relieve our anxiety that we might not be smart by comparison. Rather, it has to do with scammers who have made a study of human nature (the profession is ancient and goes back to the dawn of time). Calling people who fall for scams 'stupid' is not correct, calling them 'greedy and trying to screw the conman' is much more correct. Consider how many people in the current 'intelligent' audience would fall for the following:

You take an ordinary pack of 52 playing cards, spread them face up on the table, and offer to bet your victim that you can beat him at a game of draw poker, nothing wild, in which you both draw your cards from a face-up deck, taking any cards you wish. The game will be played according to standard rules except that you and he can help yourselves to any cards in the face-up deck both in putting together your initial hand and on the draw. You claim that your opponent will be unable to beat or even tie you even though each of you sees what the other man holds and even though you will allow him to go last.

The procedure, you explain, will be as follows: You will draw five cards from the face-up deck for your hand. Your opponent will then draw any five cards he wishes from the remainder of the deck to form his hand. You will then discard any cards you wish and draw cards from the remainder of the deck to complete your hand. Your opponent may then discard nay or all of his cards. He may take any cards remaining in the face-up deck to fill his hand. If he beats you, he wins the bet. Even if he only succeeds in tying your hand, he still wins. In order for you to win the bet, you must end up with a better hand than his.

Since your opponent gets to go last both on the deal and the draw, it would seem a sure thing for him to at least tie. After all, the best you can end up with is a royal flush, and he can tie that by taking another royal flush in a different suit. (Remember suits have no rank in poker.)

Actually, you have a mortal lock on this one if you employ the following strategy: In selecting your initial hand, take the four tens plus any other card. Your opponent will either give himself a higher four of a kind jacks, queens, kings, or aces or he will take a straight flush. (Note that the highest straight flush he can make is a five through nine of one suit. Your four tens preclude his building a royal flush or a straight flush higher than a nine.) Either way, he has you beat for the moment.

You now discard three of the tens and your odd card. Use that one ten to build the highest straight flush you can. For example, if he holds four aces, you give yourself a king-high straight flush. If your opponent holds a straight flush, you build a royal flush around the ten you hold. Now its his turn to draw, but there is no way he can make a straight flush as high as yours because you have killed the other three tens among the discards. Of course, your strategy will work just as well if, for some unaccountable reason, your opponent initially draws some other hand than the ones suggested above.

Letting your opponent go last, which seems to guarantee a tie for him, actually robs him of any chance of winning the bet. Take out a deck of cards and experiment for a couple of minutes and youll see that all your adversary can do is come in second best.

In my younger, more adventurous days, I often used this scam on a mark I had badly beaten at poker, if he still had any money left. As soon as he started bemoaning his bad luck, I would say, What do you mean luck? Youre the worst poker player Ive ever seen in my life. Its a wonder your mother lets you out of the house without a note pinned to your chest. You couldnt beat me at poker if I let you run through the deck and pick out your own hand. I would then pause as if suddenly getting an inspiration, and say, As a matter of fact, I bet you really couldnt. At this point I would then propose the face-up poker scam, giving the impression that I was making it up on the spur of the moment. It was usually a simple matter to goad him into taking the bait. The stakes would, of course, be whatever money he still had left after the beating Id given him at poker.

Keep in mind that this abrasive approach is not likely to win friends and influence people. I dont advise you to use it on your poker buddies if you want them to remain your buddies. Rather, I suggest that you introduce the face-up poker scam as a friendly challenge the next time there is a lag in one of your card-playing sessions. You should succeed in intriguing your friends with the ingenuity of the puzzle and perhaps make a little pocket money for yourself as well. I outline the above ploy only as an example of the kind of hard-edged, antagonistic approach that can be used so effectively to draw play by a hustler whose only concern is to get the money.

Re:This isn't going to help (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842991)

omg it's not a silver bullet, so let's just throw our hands in the air and do nothing! i hope your not in charge of anything more important then washing jock straps.

What are the odds? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842341)

So what are the odds the "smart technology software capable of detecting fraudulent emails" is just spamassassin ?

Re:What are the odds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29842419)

about zero or perhaps a little less. Spam assassin does nothing to differentiate scams from normal spam.

Re:What are the odds? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842621)

Well, not exactly true, since SA support all sorts of plug-ins that can catch this type o spam, as well as generic spam, such as Cloudmark plugins and various blackhole lists.

The test list http://spamassassin.apache.org/tests_3_2_x.html [apache.org] shows many that might be useful for this.

Re:What are the odds? (1)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842743)

grep -R "$100000" *

Re:What are the odds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29842869)

That'll give you a few false positives, unless you'd previously set $100000 to be a pattern that matches scam emails...

Love those letters (5, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842353)

I rather enjoy getting those letters. The last one I replied that I was extremely interested but that I had recently had a dispute with my Internet Service Provider and my access to email would be shut down soon. I would be more than willing to help them if they could send $98.43 to Time Warner Cable referencing account number ################.

There are other variations. Such as I can help them get the money out of the country but I need more money to pay my lawyer to settle some estate disputes. Buy me a ticket to Nigeria and I will come there personally. My rich family members think this is a joke and I have been cut off from the family money but I can show them if I can just get to Nigeria and show them that this is real.

My record so far is stringing these guys along for 2 weeks. They finally give up frustrated. I actually had one of them write me back asking to be left alone and stop sending him emails.

Re:Love those letters (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842617)

A wonderful story, but please don't stop there and put those emails themselves up on the Net!

Re:Love those letters (1)

p3n1x420 (1189573) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842655)

Hello Dear I can see you that you are joker please i not here to joke please for God sake don't email me again Bye den dawg wrote: But dont you see the windfall sum we will both make? as a gesture of your good faith take out a loan and advance at the least 2.5% to me on good faith. with the sum we both make on this, you can buy the BANK you got the loan from! that sounds enticing! this is of most urgent priority. Truly Dennis --- Thompson Doudou wrote: > From Thompson Doudou > Avenue 5 Lot 172 Sogefia Cocody Quarters > Abidjan Cote d' Ivoire West Africa > Tel+22508445366 > > Hello Dennis > Greeting to you Dennis,and how are you today, i > hope all is well with you together with all the > member's of your family. > Well i can say thank you once again for kind > respond to my mail the content is well > understood.why are you keep on asking for 3%? while > i have made you a promise i have told you that this > money is suspence account i don't have right to take > a cent out of it onless it transferd into a foreign > account,please i will like you to through the > deposit bond the agreement the bank and my late > father has made the time he made this deposit so > that you will unerstand me well.if i may ask have > you contacted the bank? as i told if you have done > that what is your discussion with the bank director. > My dear Dennis i wan't you to get this in mind i > can not promise you and go back on it for God sake > this money will be transfer to your account why so > worry about 3% just keep your fingers cross and help > me to transfer this money to your account i believe > every thing will ok. > Thank you and God bless more over send my regards > to your family. > Still your best regars > Thompson Doudou >

Re:Love those letters (1)

Samah (729132) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843143)

Amusing email, but learn to format.

Re:Love those letters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29843139)

Agreed, these would be fun to read.

Re:Love those letters (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29842769)

So in other words, they now have your name, the name of your ISP, and your account number with that ISP. A little social engineering (and these guys have had the practice at that), and I wonder what other details about you they could glean...

Re:Love those letters (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842977)

So in other words, they now have your name, the name of your ISP, and your account number with that ISP. A little social engineering (and these guys have had the practice at that), and I wonder what other details about you they could glean...

Wow. You thought I would actually give my real name, my real ISP, and a real account number? LOL. If that's true, I have bridge to sell you.

Re:Love those letters (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842819)

Classic, just classic. I got one those emails a week ago, and immediately junked it, (I think I'll go fishing in the Junk folder). I think I'm going to enjoy having Nigerian Princes paying my utilities, and bank loans.

Re:Love those letters (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842881)

I rather enjoy getting those letters. The last one I replied that I was extremely interested but that I had recently had a dispute with my Internet Service Provider and my access to email would be shut down soon. I would be more than willing to help them if they could send $98.43 to Time Warner Cable referencing account number ################.

There are other variations. Such as I can help them get the money out of the country but I need more money to pay my lawyer to settle some estate disputes. Buy me a ticket to Nigeria and I will come there personally. My rich family members think this is a joke and I have been cut off from the family money but I can show them if I can just get to Nigeria and show them that this is real.

My record so far is stringing these guys along for 2 weeks. They finally give up frustrated. I actually had one of them write me back asking to be left alone and stop sending him emails.

screenshots or it didn't happen.

Re:Love those letters (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842947)

screenshots or it didn't happen.

Yes, because screenshots can't be faked, ever.

Noooo.... (5, Funny)

u4ya (1248548) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842369)

Some king just died and his cousin needed my help and promised to repay me half a million dollars for my bank account information, which I sent of course, because I'm not an idiot. But just how the hell am I supposed to contact him now?

In other words.... (2, Interesting)

Rod Beauvex (832040) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842381)

In an effort to make their products look good, Microsoft paid off a bunch of Nigerian police who have known about these people for years and didn't really care.

Re:In other words.... (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843007)

You've got it all wrong. The Nigerian police have always cared; the actions they take are linked to the amount they're being paid.

Microsoft simply paid them more.

Somebody mod me up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29842391)

Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither.

Did I do it right? Will I get more mod points if it's in bold?

Ok.... (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842401)

Technology cannot eliminate human stupidity. What person doesn't know not to go double clicking on random EXEs, install random Active X controls, etc. yet the number of virus infested Windows boxes shows that most people don't follow that advice. Seriously, how many people think they can make millions by following the directions in these e-mails?

The success of these e-mails is a testament to human stupidity in and of itself.

Supply and Demand (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842493)

Once my supervisor told me, there is no need for doctors if there is no disease. If everybody is smart as you said, keeping their computer free of viruses, all IT people will be out of the street, waiting for people to throw pennies to the cup, hope to able to buy something to eat at the end of the day.

Re:Supply and Demand (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842515)

Not all IT people are "geek squad" types. Most of us who aren't in high school work on functional machines and functional networks. Hardware needs to be replaced and upgraded, new machines are added to the network, the need to keep up-to-date with the latest software, testing the latest software, eliminating security vulnerabilities, even if all the computer users in the world had a virus-free PC very few real IT workers would be out of a job.

Re:Supply and Demand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29842549)

I replace you with a small shell script that does everything you doing and you will lose your job. Humans are not necessary, scripts can do anything these days.
And besides, if all users in the world got viruses-free PCs what would be of our geek lives as to clean some viruses that won't go away is the only opportunity that most of us have to get very close and INTO THE BEDROOM of a hot, blond, curvaceous and young chick.

Re:Supply and Demand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29843185)

I replace you with a small shell script that does everything you doing and you will lose your job. Humans are not necessary, scripts can do anything these days.
And besides, if all users in the world got viruses-free PCs what would be of our geek lives as to clean some viruses that won't go away is the only opportunity that most of us have to get very close and INTO THE BEDROOM of a hot, blond, curvaceous and young chick.

And then you can easily replace the malware with your own trojan, with webcam support.

Re:Supply and Demand (1)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842753)

By your logic *nix sysadmins would never get employed.

Re:Ok.... (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842749)

In that case /. should run a 401 scam email drive to soak up any stupidity money before it goes to waste to real crooks. There shouldn't be a problem- we'll be doing them a service by putting their money to good use stimulating the economy where otherwise it would go down the drain.

Dammit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29842441)

How am I supposed to get my share of the money now that they have arrested the Nigerian prince who was going to transfer millions of dollars using my bank account?

Obligatory Fallout 3 (1)

Aerinoch (988588) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842447)

"Funny business? Why, Miss Chase, you hurt my feelings. I mean, there ain't nothin' funny about...the EAGLE CLAW!"
- Argyle, "stalwart Ghoul manservant" of adventurer Herbert "Daring" Dashwood.

Obligatory STFU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29842569)

Just shut the fuck up, you wanna-be karma whore.

Re:Obligatory STFU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29842665)

Just shut the fuck up, you wanna-be karma whore.

I take that back. I lash out at people because no one accepts me.

Microsoft's scam detection strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29842461)

Step 1: Was the email sent via "Genuine Microsoft Outlook 2009"?

Step 2: If not, it's clearly a scam. You know how those "free software" people are.

Re:Microsoft's scam detection strategy (2, Funny)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842759)

Explains hotmail...

forewarn them? (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842511)

I hope the message they send out is "you're an idiot if you believe the crap they're sending you." That's all the warning most people need.

A lot of talk about "stupidity (2, Insightful)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842513)

The "victims" of these scams aren't as stupid as they are greedy. Combine the two, and you'll understand how Wall Street works.

Re:A lot of talk about "stupidity (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842527)

The "victims" of these scams aren't as stupid as they are greedy. Combine the two, and you'll understand how Wall Street works.

The implication is that if you're greedy to a fault, it's because you're stupid. Otherwise, you'd see that greed as a problem and would work to change it, and in the meantime, would recognize the weakness of it and carefully guard against its exploitation (i.e. by scammers). In other words, "Know Thyself." The failure to do that is the real stupidity.

Re:A lot of talk about "stupidity (2, Insightful)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842581)

I like what you're saying, but the "smart" ones recognize its strength and work to exploit it (i.e. by scamming) to the max. Greed produces both winners and losers.

Re:A lot of talk about "stupidity (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842641)

I like what you're saying, but the "smart" ones recognize its strength and work to exploit it (i.e. by scamming) to the max. Greed produces both winners and losers.

If the scammers truly knew themselves, they would lose their desire for ill-gotten gain. So yes, it does work both ways.

Watch the Nigerian ecnonmy go bad (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842521)

As the result of this "eagle claw" operation, Nigeria will experience a 25% reduction of their GDP and seeing trade deficit for the first time in their history.

1/4 million out of how many internet users equals? (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842543)

1,668,870,408 [internetworldstats.com]

I'm no rocket surgeon, but that doesn't seem like much of success rate.

Re:1/4 million out of how many internet users equa (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842821)

I am no rocket scientist either but even I know in real terms that is a MASSIVE success rate, better than most legitimate spam marketting campaigns.

Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29842557)

Just a quick note. Most "smart" people assume giving the person the account information is the scam. When it isn't. They just use that info to make some official looking forged documents.

They make money by having small charges that they need paid. Transfer fees that if you pay (from a couple hundred bucks upwards of 10 grand) will help make the process go far quicker. Then even more charges show up.

They don't need to manually drain your account when you'll do it willingly.

Sooner or later they disappear of course. And you're 30 grand poorer.

Wow! Shut down 800, did ya!? (3, Funny)

buss_error (142273) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842595)

Well, there goes about a quarter of the scam email I see on my servers.

Per HOUR.

The new messages (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842613)

Greetings, I was referring to you by my dearest friend, my name Bendo Haoraabn and I am writing you in great confidence from Nigerian prison...

DEAR ESTEEMED SIR OR MADAM (4, Funny)

adageable (972913) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842667)

I AM A LOWLY CIVIL SERVENT RESPONSIBLE FOR CLEANING UP AFTER THE GLORIOUS OPERATION 'EAGLE CLAW' AND HAVE DETERMINED THAT YOU HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY DUPED INTO GIVING $ 77, 056 USD TO NIGERIAN SCAM OFFICER. AS A RESULT OF THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT TIRELESS SEARCH OF TRUTH AND JUSTICE, I AM HAPPY TO SAY THAT WE WILL BE RETURNING ALL OF YOUR MONEY.
PLEASE FAX US ALL OF YOUR CURRENT BANK ACCOUNT AND IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTS TO 01-234-419-23222 AND WE WILL IMMEDIATELY BEGIN TO PROCESS YOUR INFORMATION, AS WELL AS ADDING A $5,061 DOLLAR REWARD FEE AS REQUIRED BY THE NIGERIAN FEDERAL COURT. TO FACILITATE THE PROCESSING OF YOUR INFORMATION, PLEASE INCLUDE THE ROUTING NUMBER, ACCOUNT NUMBER, AND SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER ASSOCIATED WITH YOUR PRIMARY BANKING ACCOUNT (FAILING TO INCLUDE THIS NUMBER WILL DISQUALIFY YOU FROM CONSIDERATION FOR THE $5,061 REWARD).

YOUR FAITHFUL CIVIL SERVANT,
MOGWAH MUBUGASHS

Re:DEAR ESTEEMED SIR OR MADAM (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842793)

Dear Mr Mubugashs,

I am very eager to work with you in your effort. Thank you for recognizing your error and I gratefully accept your compensation. Please e-mail me further details.

Sincerely Interoperable,

Reply to: abuse@127.0.0.1

Feel free to distribute my e-mail to any of your colleagues that may wish to do business with me in the future.

Why they really got busted (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842685)

Given Nigeria's cash-poor economy, they probably forgot to bribe a policeman. Given that they 800 web sites, it was probably only a few servers or desktop machines. We can expect this scam to be in force until their upstream connectivity is willing to do _anything_ about such abuses.

Eagle Claw? EAGLE CLAW? (2, Funny)

Shag (3737) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842687)

That's no eagle claw, it's just the way Wikus's hand grew back, you insensitive MNU clods.

Bless you dear. (1)

Speare (84249) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842707)

I know that you will be shocked to have received this notice,but let me explain.I am Mr.Officer MUGABE AKINSO TSUKWAME with the Nigerian National Police Force,Special Internet Fraud Task Force.Following a recent raid on the offices of Mr.OLOSEGUN OBASANJO,President of Nigeria,we have secured illicit funds in the amount of FOURTEEN MILLION (US$4,100,000.00).We are certain these funds are tied to illegal fraudulent activities including electronic mail fraud,fiduciary embezzlement,and blackmail.To ensure that this evidence is kept securely until the trial,due to the risk in the Nigerian Government,we are seeking your assistance in holding these funds in a bank in your country.Please provide the standard necessary information NAME,DOB,NAME OF MOTHER,NEXT OF KIN,BANK ACCT NUMBER,ROUTING NUMBER,PIN,ZIP CODE,FAVORITE COLOR,COLLEGE MASCOT,FINGERPRINT,NATIONAL ID SOCIAL NUMBER,MIDDLE INITIAL.May God shine upon your soul for helping Nigeria rid itself of corruption and fraud.

That's great news! (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842709)

> "Nigerian police in what is named Operation 'Eagle Claw' have shut down 800 scam web sites..."

That leaves only 9,262,341 to go...

I have an important message for those arrested... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29842777)

Ahem...

BURN!

Damn, They we're just about to send me a check.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29842817)

Damn, They we're just about to send me a check....

MY DEAR SIR (1, Redundant)

jrumney (197329) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842823)

i represent the late james smith esq of lagos, nigeria. the late mr james left a substantial amount in his will to fund the development of a network of wireless sensors atop lampposts here in lagos, however due to a bug in the software that generates the front page of popular website slashdot.org, the money has mistakenly gone to cambridge, ma instead. i seek your assistance in paying for urgent legal counsel in your great country of america as to transfer the lawyers fees from here would take several months due to the bureaucratic and corrupt nature of our public servants. in return, we will award you 10% of the amount we recover. please send the amount of usd5000 in cash to our lawyers office address at an anonymous dropbox in netherlands.

YOURS GRATIOUSLY,
MR GEORGE BURNS III

What?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29842825)

I don't know why people are complaining. I've made millions helping out these poor people transfer their money! I'm sure you can all pitch in. Nigeria needs all the help it can get. I'm moving to my private island next week. Ta-ta!

The Nigerian letters are a scam???!! (2, Funny)

mookiemu (1268090) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842875)

Aw man! That must be why the Honorable Mr. Ngoti Mbutu is not returning my calls. He happened to know my uncle, the esteemed Doctor Alfred Mookiemu, who unbeknownst to me was rich and was sitting on $9,764,546.56, when he was killed in a car crash with his whole family. Fortunately for me Mr. Mbutu was managing his account at the time of his death and found me in the International business archives. He is taking a great risk by contacting me to help me get my uncle's money. All he asked for in return was my bank account numbers, my personal info, and my Social Security number! Sadly, I haven't heard from him since I gave him my info. Gee, I hope the little fella is OK. He seemed like such a nice guy with his endearingly bad grammar and spelling.'

Scamming the Scammer: The P-P-P-Powerbook (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842911)

One of my alltime favorites on getting back at the scammer:
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/ [zug.com]

Can't trust western media (1)

BhaKi (1316335) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842969)

I've got a feeling that Nigeria will be the next country to enter the US's list of "evil nations".
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