Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Interview With a Convicted 419 Scammer

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the i-am-the-prince-of-your-heart dept.

Security 184

An anonymous reader writes "Scam awareness website www.scam-detectives.co.uk has published a two part interview with convicted Nigerian 419 scammer, 'John.' 'John' talks about his experiences of scam victims, how he gains their trust and convinces them to part with their money, and how he would go back for another 'bite' after the original scam, posing as a law enforcement official who has apprehended the scammer and recovered the funds ... for a fee, of course."

cancel ×

184 comments

Haha! (4, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30936240)

When was the last time you had to pay the cops for a stolen wallet or purse that belonged to you?

Very clever. I mean only those foolish enough to fall for the first scam could possibly be foolish enough to fall for that line. "John" clearly knows his target audience.

Re:Haha! (4, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | more than 4 years ago | (#30936526)

Once people like this find a mark, they will always keep coming back.

Re:Haha! (1)

mr_stinky_britches (926212) | more than 4 years ago | (#30936600)

When was the last time you had to pay the cops for a stolen wallet or purse that belonged to you?

Very clever. I mean only those foolish enough to fall for the first scam could possibly be foolish enough to fall for that line. "John" clearly knows his target audience.

There is nothing clever about it. How can you be surprised that they keep coming back for more?

Re:Haha! (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30936676)

Throwing good money after bad is hardly limited to 419 victims. It's like an IT project that you've invested a ton of money in and isn't performing and you've thrown out your Indian outsourcing team but this new team claims they can salvage most of it for a little more money. And they end up paying and ultimately still scrapping the whole system because it's hopeless but nobody wanted to admit the money is really gone. That part is really just human.

Re:Haha! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30938818)

Escalation of committment - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escalation_of_commitment

Re:Haha! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30936702)

When was the last time you had to pay the cops for a stolen wallet or purse that belonged to you?

Yeah, that part made me laugh. I've never heard of the cops returning anyone's stolen property. Including the one case I know of where they caught the crooks with the property. The cops wanted my uncle to ID his property to help convict them. They never returned it to him.

Happened to me (4, Interesting)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30937182)

I had the same thing happen with my car stereo. I ID'd the stuff at the station (it was recovered a week after it was stolen) and never heard from the police again. Trying to get in touch with anyone who could deal with the problem at the PD was a pain (they insisted evidence was *never* held for more than 30 days and treated me like I was crazy), and when I finally got a hold of the evidence room officer, she couldn't give me a straight reason as to why they were still holding on to it.

Years have passed and I now live in a different city, and sometimes I wonder if my $2000 of stereo equipment still continues to sit in that evidence room. Bullshit.

Re:Happened to me (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30937384)

I'm sure the evidence room officer has found a better stereo for his house by now. Your stereo equipment is in the dumpster.

Re:Happened to me (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30939184)

I guarantee that it's not sitting in the evidence room still. Thanks, btw!

Re:Happened to me (4, Interesting)

dubbreak (623656) | more than 4 years ago | (#30939368)

I worked for a retail store and we got a call from head office that the police were releasing some evidence from a previous theft and we should go pick it up. Apparently someone stole a few shipping boxes off the delivery truck.

I was nominated to go since I had a truck. I get down there and pick up two huge boxes, get back tot he store and open them up to find boxes of shoes from at least a decade prior. They had held the evidence for at least 10 years!

While in the evidence lockup there 3ft tall pile of marijuana on a pallet and a similar pallet of "shrooms". I bet those got processed a lot quicker.

Yeah they do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940604)

While in the evidence lockup there 3ft tall pile of marijuana on a pallet and a similar pallet of "shrooms". I bet those got processed a lot quicker.

They sure do.

Back when I was a stoner teenager, my dealer used to buy his large quantities from the chief of police from a neighboring town. Straight from the evidence room.

The main reason cops don't like criminals is because they can't stand competition.

Re:Happened to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30939426)

Your stereo equipment is more than likely in the PD "Party Wagon".

Re:Haha! (1)

Potor (658520) | more than 4 years ago | (#30938326)

I have some experience with stolen bikes in Belgium. If the cops find it, they will give it back. They invite you to their warehouse of found bikes, and give you all the time in the world to look for it. And people who report stolen bikes are invited to special auctions to buy bikes that have not been claimed after some time.

Re:Haha! (5, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30936784)

When was the last time you had to pay the cops for a stolen wallet or purse that belonged to you?

It's possible asking that question in Nigeria would get you a different answer than asking it in the US.

Re:Haha! (0, Redundant)

codegen (103601) | more than 4 years ago | (#30937542)

or Mexico (or any other 3rd world country) for that matter

Funny you should ask (0, Redundant)

Comboman (895500) | more than 4 years ago | (#30937004)

When was the last time you had to pay the cops for a stolen wallet or purse that belonged to you?

There's actually a very interesting answer to that question. If you send me a small shipping and handling fee (cash only please), I'll mail you the answer.

Re:Haha! (3, Funny)

CuriHP (741480) | more than 4 years ago | (#30937096)

It cost me $10 to get a copy of my accident report. A photocopy of one sheet of paper.

Re:Haha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30937488)

I had to pay an impound fee to recover my stolen motorcycle, despite the fact that I picked it up the day it was recovered. If I didn't I was told it would be auctioned off to cover the costs. Some serious bullshit.

Re:Haha! (4, Insightful)

sheph (955019) | more than 4 years ago | (#30939086)

Yeah, they do that with cars too. My truck was stolen, and the yard gets it at 9AM. They don't call me until 4:55 PM to tell me they've got it, but they close at 5. Then charged me for 3 extra days of storage over a holiday weekend. There isn't much distinction between the criminals and the "good guys" sometimes.

Re:Haha! (1)

billy8988 (1049032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30937854)

When was the last time you had to pay the cops for a stolen wallet or purse that belonged to you?

It happens all the time in India. You have to bribe the police to lodge your robbery case, bribe more to recover the stolen goods.
Here is a link to a popular newspaper in India which lists all such cases.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&q=site%3Awww.thehindu.com+police+inspector+suspended+for+accepting+bribe&aq=f&aql=&aqi=&oq= [google.com]

Re:Haha! (4, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30938534)

Well, "fool me twice... you can't get fooled again."

Re:Haha! (1)

PrepaidReviews (1732072) | more than 4 years ago | (#30938736)

This is social engineering at its finest - preying on the weakness of the human condition. We are not all stupid but a large percentage of us could stand to think things through a little better.

Eh, just last week? They promised it was in the ma (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30939128)

Eh, just last week, I lost my wallet? They promised it was in the mail and all they needed was my address and social security and bank details... mail is a bit slow but I am sure I will get my wallet back any day now.

What?

Come on, once a sucker, always a sucker.

Re:Haha! (3, Informative)

wurble (1430179) | more than 4 years ago | (#30939748)

Cops charge you big money when you're car is stolen. They put it in an impound lot and you have to pay to get your own car back after someone else stole it.

People familiar with impound procedure but never had any dealings with theft for fraud before, and are ignorant of the law, may simply think it's similar. The legal system is rife with fees.

Sounds credible (0, Flamebait)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30936282)

Are you a convicted criminal in your native country and unable to get a job there? Well, come to the UK, where we'll let in anyone with a sob story on a student visa, not check your background, pay you benefits for as long as you want, then if your sordid past is eventually uncovered after you seemingly inevitably revert to your criminal ways while over here, we'll pay one lot of government employees to try and kick you out while at the same time funding your legal defence to prevent them from doing their jobs.

Oh, would you like some free healthcare while you're here? No problem, all you can eat! Feel free to fly your family in as well - we wouldn't want them missing out. The White Guilt - it burnssss usssss.

Re:Sounds credible (1)

DarrenBaker (322210) | more than 4 years ago | (#30936318)

Noblesse oblige.

Re:Sounds credible (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30936586)

a student visa, not check your background, pay you benefits for as long as you want

When did Slashdot become The Daily Mail? Getting a student visa isn't as easy you think (they do check your background. You know, to make sure you're a student, for a start) and you can't claim benefits if you're here on a student visa.

I am going to school in the UK (1)

LockeOnLogic (723968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30938082)

Although I do not have recourse to all public funds with my student visa, and definitely do not have access to benefits, I still have unfettered access to NHS and other quite pricey public services.

Re:I am going to school in the UK (1)

DangerFace (1315417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940580)

Although I do not have recourse to all public funds with my student visa, and definitely do not have access to benefits, I still have unfettered access to NHS and other quite pricey public services.

I know we here in the UK have a pretty bad rep at the minute, and much of that is deserved, but I believe what you are referring to is a little known concept called civilization. It is the end result of the philosophical stance that people dying for no real reason other than not being fabulously wealthy is probably bad in some way. Similarly, many people that could probably survive without them can get certain benefits, such as housing benefit or Disability Living Allowance.

I believe a large part of the issue that isn't really talked about very much is the same problem that insurance companies face - the cost of checking versus the cost of just paying up. Of course, the more checking you do the greater the chance you will stop fraudulent claims, but unless you do it very very well you will catch a few needy people in there too. In fact, since the cost of checking these things is being driven down, while the amount of checking being done is necessarily increasing due to economic- and population-related issues, the quality of the checks decreases, forcing more and more deserving people off the benefits, to the net benefit of frothing-at-the-mouth fools who have neither a grasp of basic social theory nor a conscience.

Like I said, much of the bad rep is deserved. *sigh*

Re:Sounds credible (-1, Flamebait)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#30936648)

Just a few words for you: Fuck off you xenophobic, racist prick.

Thanks, have a good day.

Re:Sounds credible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30936758)

Hardly flamebait. 'John' has a criminal background and we let him into the country? huh?

Re:Sounds credible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30939614)

Are you a convicted criminal in your native country and unable to get a job there? Well, come to the UK, where we'll let in anyone with a sob story on a student visa, not check your background, pay you benefits for as long as you want, then if your sordid past is eventually uncovered after you seemingly inevitably revert to your criminal ways while over here, we'll pay one lot of government employees to try and kick you out while at the same time funding your legal defence to prevent them from doing their jobs.

Oh, would you like some free healthcare while you're here? No problem, all you can eat! Feel free to fly your family in as well - we wouldn't want them missing out. The White Guilt - it burnssss usssss.

Sounds like paradise!

Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime! (2, Interesting)

fantomas (94850) | more than 4 years ago | (#30936428)

Shock news. In a country where $100 a month is considered a reasonable salary and there's a lot of wealth inequality and corruption, some folk are tempted into crime when they see their friends earning $4000 a month...

So what's the solution?

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (4, Insightful)

quadelirus (694946) | more than 4 years ago | (#30936528)

And yet for every down on his luck guy that turns to crime there is a down on his luck guy that stays honest. Dealing with these people as anything other than criminals basically punishes the person who is honest while rewarding the person who isn't.

I don't know what the solution is, other than continuing to support anti-corruption movements within countries and provide any support to help governments clean up their acts. When the governments become less corrupt, everybody in the country wins.

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30937316)

But you can't deny that desperation can lead to crime. If the expected payout is $75K a year and I expect to make $2K a year at a legal job, that's $73,000 against the risk of getting caught. That's a choice between living in a shack, eating whatever you can afford that week, or having everything you ever dreamed. If you could find work making $10k a year, the difference then becomes being comfortable enough to raise a family without worying about your children starving or having everything you ever wanted.

I'm certainly not saying don't punish the criminals. If someone shoplifts bread because their child is starving I can understand that and defend that, these people make the local equivilent of a million dollars and do so year after year; they know what they're doing is wrong and there is no moral recourse for it, they deserve to be punished. But there is a cost (risk) and a benifit to doing crime, upping the risk of getting caught should be only one side of a two edged sword. Giving people legal opportunities to support their family and meet their dreams needs to be the other side of it.

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30939064)

While I agree with your points in general, I'd like to note that something you implied doesn't really hold true.

If someone shoplifts bread because their child is starving I can understand that and defend that, these people make the local equivilent of a million dollars and do so year after year; they know what they're doing is wrong and there is no moral recourse for it, they deserve to be punished.

People often say something along those lines when speaking about well earning people in the developing world. I think that the reason must be all those "Donate 10 dollars now and you'll feed a child for a month!" charity ads. And they are partially true: In poor countries, work is cheap and food is cheap (compared to our prices). But it only applies to piss poor folk. Remember that little things are manufactured in the developing countries (perhaps aside from nike shoes produced by child labor) and certainly nothing luxurious. Those things will need to be imported and their price are comparable all over the world.

So if you have 100 000 dollars in a developing country, you can buy A LOT of food. And probably a small spot of land area. Servants come cheap, too. But that's it. Want that Ferrari or Lamborghini as your car? It still is in the same price range as it is in the developed world. Same goes for computers, iPods, gasoline, etc. etc... They will be cheaper because of lower or nonexistent taxes but it is more along the lines of "20% cheaper" than "one tenth of the price". But even then you have the downsides. Things we take for granted (Good sewer infrastructure, fresh water, steady electricity, broadband access, etc.) might not be available in developing countries even if you have money. It might be that you can feed yourself very well and hire yourself a chef for the same price that it costs to get internet access. And then there are the higher risks of getting robbed and killed if you show off your money, etc.. Because of that, nobody who isn't a millionaire can't have the way of life we assosciate to millionaires, even in developing countries.

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (1)

quadelirus (694946) | more than 4 years ago | (#30939656)

This is true. When I lived in subsaharan Africa a pineapple was less than 10 cents whereas a coca cola was still about 50 cents for 300 mL.

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (1)

BradleyAndersen (1195415) | more than 4 years ago | (#30939758)

Be happy healthier foods cost less than unhealthy foods anywhere. It certainly is not the case in the USA.

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (1)

quadelirus (694946) | more than 4 years ago | (#30939700)

I totally agree. I feel that supporting the de-corruption of governments is the best way to give people legal opportunities. A big part of the reason wages are so low is corruption. Case in point: when travelling around Uganda in local taxis the drivers would stop every 15 miles or so at police checkpoints and pay bribes to the police. Those are wages being stolen by corrupt government officials from people who could really use it. And if they didn't have to pay bribes they could charge less and so their fares would in turn have more money to spend. Also a lot of the foreign government aid sent over never makes it to the people it is intended to help due to the corruption in the local governments.

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30936612)

Increase wealth inequality and corruption in the west so we can be more like them? Oh wait, that's already happening.

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (1)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 4 years ago | (#30936632)

So what's the solution?

  1. Close Western Union offices in Nigeria.
  2. Inform the public about those scams. I think the ISPs and Email service providers should send regular reminders by Email about those scams AND new variants that appear.

This way, there are fewer possibilities to send money to Nigeria, and we keep users informed about latest tricks.

And after that, if you get caught, you deserved it.

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30937616)

"Close Western Union offices in Nigeria."
You have no idea of the suffering that you would cause if they were to actually do this. Far greater than any Governmental aid is the money that gets sent back home back families living and working abroad. Stop that and you would have the deaths of millions on you hands.

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30938396)

And for a small shipping or handling fee, your ISP can block these e-mails from coming into your mailbox at all.

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (2, Insightful)

Skadet (528657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30936634)

some folk are tempted into crime when they see their friends earning $4000 a month...

The causal relationship you imply here doesn't exist. It isn't inequality that's at fault, its these lads' greed coupled with lack of morals. I'm not tempted into crime where I see a Ferrari on the street -- and I would guess that the same is true for most folks.

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (0, Flamebait)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 4 years ago | (#30936728)

Or it's their stupidity.

The could do what's done here in the US: become corporate executives!

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (1)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30937422)

It's their culture. They are all Robin Hood. Rob from the rich, and give to the poor (themselves). Just ask them, and that's what they'll matter-of-fact tell you.

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (4, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#30936942)

You're not tempted by the Ferrari because odds are, you can afford the transportation you need. OTOH, if you were living in the alley across from work because you couldn't afford a car or an apartment within reasonable transportation to work, you'd be a LOT more tempted, especially if the odds of being caught were next to nil. I'm not saying you'd take it, but you WOULD be more tempted.

If you grew up and lived in a society where the only people you ever knew who actually had their physical needs met were corrupt, you might never develop a proper sense of morals at all. Every life lesson would be that morals make you starve.

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (1)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 4 years ago | (#30937076)

I'm not tempted into crime where I see a Ferrari on the street

You don't play enough GTA. Man, sometimes I just want to hop in that Ferrari and find the nearest ramp so I can get a stunt bonus!

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30937476)

Frankly, I find your "lack of morals" comment appallingly ignorant: the fact that you are posting on slashdot means you have no idea what it's like to live in poverty. Let's throw out the Ferraris completely, and pretend you saw a loaf of bread on the street. Now imagine you and your family had no bread. Would you then be tempted to take the bread? Would this be solely driven by greed and a lack of morals?

Let me guess, you would "get a job" and "work hard" to support your family, not steal. Well, what if there were no jobs? What if the only job was to work for a scammer? You work for the scammer, and you start earning money and then you get sucked in by greed and corruption. But it doesn't start out like that. It's time people started looking at the deeper roots of poverty and its consequences (Nigerian scammers). Are you willing to say its greed and immorality? Because I'm not.

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (2, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | more than 4 years ago | (#30937582)

I'm not tempted into crime where I see a Ferrari on the street -- and I would guess that the same is true for most folks.

Which is why most folks don't own Ferraris, and most Ferrari owners have some pretty questionable behaviour in their past. You don't get that kind of money without doing something pretty slimey for a living, like being a bank executive or otherwise participating in the amoral circus that is the American financial system.

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (3, Informative)

shirai (42309) | more than 4 years ago | (#30939562)

Wow, seriously?

How do this get modded up? It seems like the only kind of people that you can stereotype and prejudice safely are the rich. "Most" people that I know who own expensive cars or boats are amongst the nicest and most moral people I know. Not everything is like television or the movies.

I'm not sure whether it's worth admitting but I own a Ferrari and I would consider myself having a very high moral code. I treat my employees really well (One of my companies was rated 2nd best company to work for in BC), I pay all my business taxes (in an audit we were caught something like $50 for an accidental missing receipt out of millions) and I declare every last thing at the border.

I know that anecdote (especially personal anecdote) is not data but also my accountant is quite wealthy (he is one of the most morally upstanding accountants I know and somehow his clients are all rich. He is also a philanthropist.), my financial manager runs the Vancouver branch of a financial firm and he is upstanding. And believe it or not (and you probably won't), my lawyer is one of the nicest and one of the most honest and upstanding people I know.

Ok, so those people don't own a Ferrari (I actually don't know any other Ferrari owners), but one owns an expensive classic car and another owns a nice boat and they all could probably afford one.

So are there bad versions of the same? Of course. But being somewhat rich, I don't find that being rich has anything to do with being slimey. I know plenty of people who are both rich and poor who are morally bankrupt and morally upstanding. Generally speaking, in my circles though, the rich people are more morally upstanding as a proportion. That being said, my sample size is small and I'm sure I have a huge selection bias in who I associate with.

Sunny

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30937982)

The causal relationship you imply here doesn't exist. It isn't inequality that's at fault, its these lads' greed coupled with lack of morals. I'm not tempted into crime where I see a Ferrari on the street -- and I would guess that the same is true for most folks.

I'm not either. Then again I drive a fairly nice, 5 year old VW, live in a multi-bedroom apartment, and have not wondered how I was going to afford three meals a day in a very long time. It's easy enough, when you are middle class, or even working class, to see these people and feel no sympathy. Hell, you'd even be right, they are criminals, and they are victimizing people. On the other hand, starving sucks. Is the criminal who steals a loaf of bread so he (or his family) can eat the same as the criminal who steals a car because he can, or the one who steals money so he can be rich? At best, poverty is a mitigating factor, not an excuse, but depending on the level of poverty it can be a pretty strong mitigating factor.

It's hard to quantify any of this, but there is a clear differentiation between stealing to take your basically good life and make it better, and stealing simply to eat. At what point the scale tips, and how much of a mitigating factor it will be varies from person to person, and situation to situation (I can't imagine this guy was *that* poor since he could attend school, but he may have still been quite poor), but it is a factor. There is also the question of: if you need to steal to eat, but then you steal much more than you actually needed, are you more or less guilt? Nothing is ever simple, but just boiling it down to a starving man stealing bread being the same as you stealing a Ferrari is overly simplistic in the extreme.

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30938002)

The causal relationship you imply here doesn't exist. It isn't inequality that's at fault, its these lads' greed coupled with lack of morals. I'm not tempted into crime where I see a Ferrari on the street -- and I would guess that the same is true for most folks.

If you were starving or had family in need of basic medical needs, you'll turn criminal really quick.

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30938150)

No sorry, as much as I would like to believe that you are correct. Your not. Yes I have been there and yes it is a cultural thing and the poster below stated to a large degree but you also mostly struggle to understand it because you don't understand poverty and deprivation that kills that they do. People die of starvation, not because there is no food, but because they can't afford it. There is no welfare system what so ever. If you are sick you must pay or die (kinda like the USA). And its not cheap. If you do actually succeed in getting a good education, well, there are no jobs so it don't matter. So get this right, you have a country with actually a lot of graduates and talent, but without jobs or a real outlet. What do you get - white collar crime.

Before you say something silly like, well if they were that smart then they would just make work.

Just stop. They live in a nation with so much wide spread corruption, at every stop someone is looking to charge you for something, they often have no real business charging. No stable electricity supply, it goes on and off several times a day(if you are lucky) the nation essentially runs off of generators. You can't have heavy industry without a decent supply. Things cost so much money because of the amount of hands you continually have to grease. The level of frustration for the average poor man is breathtaking.

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30936674)

punt?

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (1)

Scragglykat (1185337) | more than 4 years ago | (#30936700)

did you say $4000 a month? where do I sign up?

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30938484)

The US Military?

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (1)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 4 years ago | (#30936704)

You posed the problem, what is your solution?

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30936868)

Nuke them from orbit. It is the only way to be sure.

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30937192)

So what's the solution?

Send them $100B as compensation for the US burning coal to generate electricity. No scamming involved in that.

/end sarcasm

Re:Shock news! high income tempts youth into crime (0, Redundant)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 4 years ago | (#30939766)

So what's the solution?

Nuke Nigeria from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Perspective anyone? (5, Insightful)

dorre (1731288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30936626)

I really think that the 'journalist' failed miserably.

Although the story felt credible and added some insight into the scammers everyday life the story didn't provide any information. And in the end when the 'scammer' starts providing new information the 'journalist' get's angry and starts accusing him like a child.

What if the 'scammer' can feel better about himself after spreading information? I mean shouldn't people who have done bad things be allowed to make remorse and NOT have to feel guilty their whole lives???? I mean Jesus Christ.....

Re:Perspective anyone? (3, Insightful)

iyntsiannaistnyi (300753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30936900)

I agree and also was disappointed that the second part of the interview was conducted the way it was. I noticed in one of the early comments to the second part that the interviewer admits to not being a professional journalist, and that he is human and his emotions got the best of him. That alleviated my disappointment a little... but it is still a shame that this opportunity was lost. It would be interesting if "John" has the courage to contact another organization that might be willing to interview him.

Re:Perspective anyone? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#30936912)

"I mean shouldn't people who have done bad things be allowed to make remorse and NOT have to feel guilty their whole lives????"

That depends on what you mean about not having to feel guilty. Coming to terms with what put them in that situation, why they did what they did and how they can live a good life afterwards? hell yes.

Blaming the victim andmaking excuses about why it wasn't so bad and wasn't your fault? Less so. Those are excuses.

Re:Perspective anyone? (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30937244)

"I am not now, nor have I ever been, a trained journalist. "John" contacted me out of the blue and the first part of the interview was conducted with no preparation whatsoever, and I had no idea when (if) he would call again. I was, frankly, winging it."
The author responded to a similar comment in TFA.

Re:Perspective anyone? (1)

dorre (1731288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30937380)

Well, I guess neither the journalist should have to feel guilt all his life about a lost opportunity.

But a day or two wouldn't hurt?? :)

Re:Perspective anyone? (1)

Bluey (27101) | more than 4 years ago | (#30937356)

The story felt less credible to me. The interview read more like one guy asking questions and then answering them in guise, rather than two people going back and forth. It lacked authenticity and felt more like manufactured drama. I'm sure the overall information about how scams work is based on fact, but the relating of it just felt off.

Re:Perspective anyone? (1)

LockeOnLogic (723968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30938888)

A scam story about a fictitious scammer's history of scamming people. The blogosphere at it's finest!

Re:Perspective anyone? (1)

steve-o-yeah (984498) | more than 4 years ago | (#30937958)

I read both parts one and two and both (though two moreso than one) had the stink of bullshit all over it. The interview reads more like poorly constructed movie or television dialogue (George Lucas may be responsible here), the second part of the interview is full of very leading questions (possibly indicating an anticipated answer). Add on the fact that the interviewee doesn't really offer any insight into the world of 419 scams, and this adds up to a concocted interview. The intent of the publisher may have been to educate the innocent, but I feel friends that we ourselves have been 'scammed'.

My favourite part: "Do you think that your teachers at school had reported your talents to the gang master?". Yeaaaaahhhhh Right.

Re:Perspective anyone? (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30938834)

Not that I want to lead any credibility to the article, I also don't really believe the conversation took place, but is it really so hard to believe that in a country where the major export is a 419 scam that gangs wouldn't be asking schools for the names of students who are excelling in English?

You're laughing at what might be the most believable claim in the whole thing.

Re:Perspective anyone? (2, Insightful)

steve-o-yeah (984498) | more than 4 years ago | (#30939202)

I realize that is a viable strategy, what I'm musing about is why is the reporter asking that question in the first place? I'm no journalist, but I don't think you are supposed to lead an interviewee like that.

It showed to me that the person writing the article was using the "journalist" as a device to get pre-ordained responses from the "repentant scammer".

Re:Perspective anyone? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30938782)

Yes, the journalist is letting his personal issues get in the way of his work. To me one of the worst things a person can do is try to block another from healing. Damaged people don't do anyone good.

Re:Perspective anyone? (1)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 4 years ago | (#30939006)

What if the 'scammer' can feel better about himself after spreading information? I mean shouldn't people who have done bad things be allowed to make remorse and NOT have to feel guilty their whole lives???? I mean Jesus Christ.....

Funnily enough, forgiveness was one of Christ's greatest teachings. The article left a bad taste in my mouth also.

Good papers about 419 fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30939674)

The article told us nothing new. If you want good background information about Advance fee frauds, read these:

Re:Perspective anyone? (2, Informative)

BradleyAndersen (1195415) | more than 4 years ago | (#30939808)

What country do you live in? It is certainly not the USA, where, for every thing you ever do, a little mark is made on a credit report or a criminal report, and forever thereafter scrutinized by anyone you might want a loan from, a house from, a job from, etc. TANSTA protection from effective double-jeopardy here, friend. You pay, and you pay some more, and you keep paying, until you die. Then your children pay.

what a crappy journalist (1, Flamebait)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 4 years ago | (#30936666)

The interviewer got angry at the interviewee and hung up on them. Way to be professional.

Re:what a crappy journalist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30936796)

What? Where does it say that. It said John the scammer got upset. The interviewee.

Re:what a crappy journalist (1)

iyntsiannaistnyi (300753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30936848)

Part II of the interview is where the interviewer got upset and ended up hanging up on "John".

Re:what a crappy journalist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30936932)

Most likely because the whole interview is a fake and he ran out of ideas...

Re:what a crappy journalist (4, Insightful)

EricWright (16803) | more than 4 years ago | (#30937144)

If you read the comments after part 2, the interviewer freely admits he is not a trained journalist. Blogger != journalist, no matter how many people tweet to the contrary.

if he were a real pro ... (1)

porky_pig_jr (129948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30939152)

he would have offered him a help with having his conviction voided. for a moderate fee, of course.

NEVER trust ANYONE on the Internet (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30936732)

I know I'm preaching to the choir, but it just goes to show you. NEVER trust ANYONE on the Ineternet. Not even your friends [msnbc.com] .

Throw in some old adages about "too good to be true," "fool and his money," etc., and it ain't rocket science. Yes, I blame "John" for the evils of these scams. But you know what? There's plenty of blame to go around. I also blame the victims, too, for being so greedy and/or naive.

Re:NEVER trust ANYONE on the Internet (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30937474)

I know I'm preaching to the choir, but it just goes to show you. NEVER trust ANYONE on the Ineternet. Not even your friends [msnbc.com] .

It's not so bad. I trust my good friend AC here on Slashdot. I admit I haven't figured out yet why he's always posting these garbled text strings that include links to a website with a man radically deforming his own anus, however.

Maybe it's a secret code?

I would take your advice (2, Funny)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30939256)

But how do I know I can trust you?

"it's not crime" - it's informal parallel tax (2, Interesting)

h00manist (800926) | more than 4 years ago | (#30936790)

i once went to three police stations to denounce a fraudster, who i had phone, name, address and several victims for. all three police stations turned me away. one told me it's not crime, as people handed their money voluntarily, so it's actually just a civil case. he was later in the news for being arrested. http://manhattanda.org/whatsnew/press/2003-04-23.shtml [manhattanda.org] -- i don't really know what's the deal, but i did notice these cases are hard to prosecute. i'll never forget hanging out with sultan al-sabah as he trailed japanese girls, and later trying to get money back from the royal fraudster.

Re:"it's not crime" - it's informal parallel tax (0, Offtopic)

johofnovi (1667811) | more than 4 years ago | (#30937156)

Am I the only one that's bothered by the fact h00manist used commas and apostrophes but didn't bother to capitalize anywhere it would be required? I suppose maybe it's just his/her "style". Just hurts my brain to read it.

Re:"it's not crime" - it's informal parallel tax (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30937564)

Except for something like murder or something that affects enough people for the state to bring charges up, it's up to the victim to bring charges against someone. You can't just say "I know this guy is defrauding these people, and here's my evidence", the victim has to bring charges for the police to do anything. For example, if a woman is raped and you see it happen, no matter what you say the rapist will never be charged if the victim does not want to file charges.

It's just the way it works.

It's doubly bad for scammers based in countries like Nigeria, who won't extradite. Then there is absolutely no recourse. I remember a story about a woman who kept giving money to a scammer, over and over again, and everybody knew about it but she wouldn't stop. Her family even tried to get the sherrif to step in, but all he could do was tell her she was being scammed, and she wouldn't listen. She pissed away a $250,000 retirement account that way.

Re:"it's not crime" - it's informal parallel tax (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 4 years ago | (#30939586)

if a woman is raped and you see it happen, no matter what you say the rapist will never be charged if the victim does not want to file charges.

Unless, of course, the rapist is her husband. Many states now have mandatory arrest for spousal abuse. Its nice to know rapists are better protected than spouses.

No victim-free ways to catch potential fraud (1)

crazybilly (947714) | more than 4 years ago | (#30937686)

The last (and first) time I got a fake cashier's check I called the police both locally and in the town where I was supposed to send the money. Their response was that they couldn't do anything because until I cashed the check (for which I was liable), no crime had been committed.

Long story short, there's no way to catch potential fraud without the victim risking going to jail as well.

Ridiculous.

Re:No victim-free ways to catch potential fraud (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30937860)

Long story short, there's no way to catch potential fraud without the victim risking going to jail as well.

No, in your case there was no victim, and had you cashed the check knowing it was fake you would be an accomplice and the charge would probably be money laundering.

The only time fraud is commited is when someone has been defrauded. That means you had to cash the check without knowing it was fake, losing your money, and then going to the police. Then a crime has been committed and they can go after the guy.

It's a reactionary system, not a preactionary system, and it is almost always the better approach. Though, it does mean more people get scammed than should be.

This looks made-up to me (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30937142)

I don't believe this is real. There are a number of indicators such the language/wording/phrasing being extremely similar between both the interviewer and interviewee. Why would someone fake this? To get more traffic on their site? A con about a con...

Horrible interview (3, Informative)

deft (253558) | more than 4 years ago | (#30937214)

If you read the entire article you'd see he eventually just gets upset and cuts it off. No good prepared questions, just amateur personal anger. Really a fail.

There are far worse people, supposedly respectable (3, Insightful)

s-whs (959229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30937472)

The problem is the general attitude in Nigeria. This scamming is like a national pastime.

What causes it I don't know, but I'd like to point out:

1. Being stupid is no justification for being ripped off, so please no moronic comments that those were were duped deserved it.

2. There are far far worse people around you, from your own country, that are ripping off you and many others for far greater amounts of money and/or doing far worse damage in other ways. An example is of course many politicians. But on the whole, the entire layer of top management and politicians who often end up in those positions, are causing much more harm and sucking huge amounts of money out of companies and healthcare too. Did you ever hear of a manager who performed badly, was fired and therefore got no further payments? No? I haven't either. They make a mess of things, then get fired and get a bonus or severance pay, whatever you want to call it, higher than the first prize in the national lottery here... If you're a lowly worker, you get fired and need to request unemployment benefits and start applying for jobs immediately. Why don't they need to?

These people keep getting such jobs, probably because of friends in boards of various companies. Or if not real friends, then it's done as a mutual favour: I help you and in the future you will help me. Which is essentially what 'networking' is all about, i.e. a form of cronyism.

Another example I recently encountered made me think that there are lawyers who have found the perfect legal scam. The example I'm giving here is Pieter Lakeman, who set up a foundation "stichting DSB leed" for supposed victims of bad mortgages given out by the BSD bank. What is going on is as follows: He identified that there might be some bad loans, badly given advice, then extrapolates this to almost all loans, sets up this foundation, from which you can get help for a small amount of money, sa 50 euro. Now there's no guarantee that your loan is bad/badly done or you were given wrong information by the bank, so this foundation can 'check' loans, say "nothing we can do" and they don't need to pay back any money of that. I read that he and another guy who set up this foundation gave themselves a salary of 300 euro per hour...

That's a nice way of getting yourself self-employed at stratosphere salaries.

This asshole then proceeds to put the word out that people should remove money from DSB and in the end it goes bankrupt because of this (and because the finance minister doesn't want to help. Eh, why not after the billions of loans to other banks? Why indeed...)

It turns out, as checks after this bankruptcy have shown, that very few loans were bad (inappropriate, or given with bad advice etc.).

He has not only caused a great amount of damage, he's also legally scammed almost all the people who paid money for that 'review of their loan'.

It's a fantastic scam: You identify something that might be wrong somewhere, then set up a foundation, which people can become a member of or have something checked out by, for a relatively small amount, such that you wouldn't go to court over it... Then you just check loans or whatever that foundation would do, at 300 euro an hour (i.e. 10 minutes per loan in this case) and of course find nothing wrong or say "it will be included in the legal action". In the end nothing happens, and in this case, making the bank go bankrupt is a pretty good way to say you can't do anything any more as the executors now say what will happen with assets/loans etc.

I have suggestion for another ruthless lawyer: Set up a foundation to counter the scam of Lakeman. Charge 15 euro per case, then of course in the end you say after studying the foundation's charter that there's nothing you can do...

An Excellent Start (3, Insightful)

rebmemeR (1056120) | more than 4 years ago | (#30938184)

Dear Mr. Interviewer, I am Director of Research at The International Anti-Scam Association. Your interview of John is an excellent start toward uncovering the truth about these scams. There is so much more potential for investigating committed crimes and preventing future crimes. I would like to offer my services toward further interviewing John and his ilk. Let us cooperate toward this goal. The first thing we need to do is pretend to be scam victims. We will have to put up a little money at first to establish this, but this will open doors into dens of iniquity, providing ample opportunities for interviews. If this plan sounds good to you, please wire $1000 to my account (#2476-02) at The National Bank of Angola. Regards, Bruce L. Norris

Greed is blind, and people are dumb (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30938208)

I'm a news reporter, and recently saw the other side close-up. Over a period of months, a local woman had sent cash several times to a man who claimed she'd won a multi-million dollar sweepstakes. A couple of times, she called the cops, who came and talked to her, and tried to convince her it was a scam. Then she'd send more money. When she ran out of money, the scammer told her to buy jewelry on a credit card, and sent that "to be appraised." She was told the up-front payment was a "tax formality" and simply couldn't come out of her winnings, and that the jewelry would be returned to her when the transaction was completed. They also insisted she use FedEx or UPS, not U.S. Mail.

After they got the jewelry, they called and told her that a "courier" had flown into the local airport with her cash, but they hadn't been able to get a hold of her that day. So, they had put the money in a storage locker there, where it had run up another $1,700 in storage fees (in 3 days). When she went to put more jewelry on her credit card, the jeweler became suspicious, and also tried to convince her it was a scam.

Around this time, the woman called the police yet again. Working with the police in the city where she'd sent the jewelry, they raided the address and recovered her stuff. A local cop (who had been assigned to her case, and had been working with her for months) told her in person that the jewelry had been recovered and was being returned. A few hours after the police raid, the scammers called the woman, and told her they were sending the jewelry back to her (and that local police would be delivering it, to ensure it arrived safely).

Then! They told her that there had been a miscommunication, and the tax rules required the jewelry be appraised independently in two different states. The reason they were sending the jewelry back to her was that as the owner, she was the only one legally allowed to request an appraisal. The police returned her jewelry, and she sent it to the new address!

I talked with her several times over a period of weeks, corraborating everything with the police. Throughout that time, she was scared that:

1. If I wrote a story saying it was a scam, she wouldn't get her money
2. If I wrote a story saying it was a scam, the guys might come hurt her.

I, and the police, finally just gave up. People can be so blinded by greed (and dumb to start with) that they'll force this whole thing to make sense.

I call BS (2, Interesting)

ElSupreme (1217088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30938780)

The second part in particular did not seem legit at all. Rather a person posing a question and then answering it himself. There was no real detail in any of it. I know the basics of a 'Spanish prisoner' scam. There is nothing in there you couldn't make up after reading a Wikipedia article.

And honestly you get mad and hang up on the guy because he is scamming people that are desperate. I am sorry but desperate people get scammed all the time. Professional journalist or not come on getting upset is overblown in the situation the 'conversation' supposedly was going in.

This is just a scam by a 'help stop scams' website, and in my opinion much worse than running an upfront scam.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Prisoner [wikipedia.org]

Re:I call BS (1)

mindaktiviti (630001) | more than 4 years ago | (#30939518)

Yeah seriously... who the hell gets mad when they're interviewing someone? What a waste of time... and I (and you) read both articles!

Scary numbers (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 4 years ago | (#30939736)

FTA:

Maybe 9 or 10 out of every thousand emails. Then maybe 1 out of every 20 replies would lead to us getting money out of the victim in the end.

Those numbers are depressing. They're sending out literally billions of emails, and they're getting a response rate of about 1 per 20,000. No wonder it continues.

I suppose the bell curve has to have two tails, and so the dumbest .05% of the Internet is always going to be pretty dumb. It's aggravating that the remaining 99.95% of us have to put up with the barrage of spam so that they can locate that dumbest .05%.

It's even worse, though, of those vast numbers of emails, probably 99% of them never reach a human being, or reach somebody through multiple addresses. That suggests that the stupidity rate is 100 times higher.

Frontalot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940142)

This is just begging for a MC Frontalot quote.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...