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Nigerian Scam Artists Taken For $33,000

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the respectfully-for-your-most-elegant-attention-and-regards dept.

Crime 229

smitty777 writes "An Australian woman who was being used by a group of Nigerian scam artists stole over $33,000 from the group who employed her. Her bank account was being used to funnel the cash from a dodgy internet car sales website. Irony aside, it makes one wonder how these folks ever got the nerve to go to the police with this matter. Those of you wondering, this article offers some answers to the question of why so many of these scams originate from this area."

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Hello, I am a Nigerian Prince and you're a mark (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39139999)

Those of you wondering, this article offers some answers to the question of why so many of these scams originate from this area.

There was also a Fortune article [cnn.com] on this from years ago. It's hardly anything new. Anytime you combine poverty, internet access, and police/political corruption--you're going to get fraud. That's true in Nigeria. It's true in parts of eastern europe. It will be true about anywhere someone who makes $1 a day gets internet access and can suddenly interact with people who make $50,000 a year. Welcome to one of the downsides of a flat earth [wikipedia.org] .

Bet it pays a helluva lot better than trying to farm on unfertilized poorly-irrigated soil with some crappy non-GM seed that Sean Penn gave you.

Re:Hello, I am a Nigerian Prince and you're a mark (3, Insightful)

Smauler (915644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140251)

It will be true about anywhere someone who makes $1 a day gets internet access and can suddenly interact with people who make $50,000 a year. Welcome to one of the downsides of a flat earth

Oh, I agree, the big downside of a flat earth is that rich people are in contact with poor people. I see that, now. If only we could get back to a system in which there could be no interaction. Those systems are generally the best for humanity.

Re:Hello, I am a Nigerian Prince and you're a mark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140383)

Oh, I agree, the big downside of a flat earth is that rich people are in contact with poor people. I see that, now. If only we could get back to a system in which there could be no interaction. Those systems are generally the best for humanity.

Why yes, it sure is a whole lot easier to try to scam people than be enterprising and clever and provide something economically useful.

Re:Hello, I am a Nigerian Prince and you're a mark (4, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140639)

Why yes, it sure is a whole lot easier to try to scam people than be enterprising and clever and provide something economically useful.

Uh, yeah, actually it is.

Re:Hello, I am a Nigerian Prince and you're a mark (2)

a_fuzzyduck (979684) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140427)

yeah, we just need a way to wall off all these rich people so the rest of us can get on with things

Re:Hello, I am a Nigerian Prince and you're a mark (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140909)

why not just a good old fashoned uprising? It worked for the French! Or are all the poor people just to lazy now days?

Re:Hello, I am a Nigerian Prince and you're a mark (2)

aynoknman (1071612) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140539)

It will be true about anywhere someone who makes $1 a day gets internet access and can suddenly interact with people who make $50,000 a year. Welcome to one of the downsides of a flat earth

Oh, I agree, the big downside of a flat earth is that rich people are in contact with poor people. I see that, now. If only we could get back to a system in which there could be no interaction. Those systems are generally the best for humanity.

<irony>Well, you don't want to settle for no interaction, Let's just go back to slave ships and colonisation. Life was so much better then!</irony>

BTW, aynokn is Nkonya in reverse. I've lived in the milieu for the better part of 20 years.

Re:Hello, I am a Nigerian Prince and you're a mark (4, Interesting)

Megahard (1053072) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140541)

“Politics is the art by which politicians obtain campaign contributions from the rich and votes from the poor on the pretext of protecting each from the other.” -- Oscar Ameringer

Re:Hello, I am a Nigerian Prince and you're a mark (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140595)

Well, I'm sure if this were a Hollywood movie, the plucky noble poor kid in Nigeria would teach a valuable life lesson to the middle class couple. And at the end of the movie he and his wisecracking friends would get the money to build that new pipeline for his village, the middle class couple would start voting Democrat, and the evil industrialist would have his toxic waste dumped on his head in a comical fashion.

Re:Hello, I am a Nigerian Prince and you're a mark (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140609)

Hi there, I believe this is your baby I found mixed in with this cinereous soapy water.

Re:Hello, I am a Nigerian Prince and you're a mark (0)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140411)

t pays a helluva lot better than trying to farm on unfertilized poorly-irrigated soil with some crappy non-GM seed that Sean Penn gave you.

I am pretty lazy. Can somebody else come up with a Facebook joke?

Re:Hello, I am a Nigerian Prince and you're a mark (5, Insightful)

bkmoore (1910118) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140637)

....Anytime you combine poverty, internet access, and police/political corruption--you're going to get fraud....

And millionaire investment bankers / corporate raiders don't ever scam people? When poor people do it, it's criminal, when the wealthy do it, it's a free market.

Re:Hello, I am a Nigerian Prince and you're a mark (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140987)

Oh, other people do it too? Well, that makes it okay then.

Re:Hello, I am a Nigerian Prince and you're a mark (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140811)

To put the 419 economy into perspective, realize that Nigerians, like all Africans, have learned for hundreds of years that success comes not from hard work and investment, but from power, corruption, theft and scamming. For every hard working, honest European and American who's gone to Africa, there's been 100x more who went there to make a fortune off the backs of those $1 a day people you don't want to interact with.

I've worked in Nigeria for a few years. It is a very large, hard-working, and historically industrious country founded from old trading kingdoms. Nigeria's commercial middle class largely survived colonial times. But the discovery of oil destroyed any sense of hard money. If every foreigner coming to Nigeria gets to drive a large SUV, goes to expensive bars and restaurants, and it's clearly based on a system of massive theft of resources from Nigerians, to benefit foreigners and their local partners, then what system of ethics can stop fraud becoming a massive industry?

419 fraud is not just a random pastime, it's become a profession with entire families living off it, and doing well.

If you want to lecture Africans about ethics, start at home and look how the West treats Africa: a pool of resources to be extracted at the cheapest possible cost with the least possible investment. If the middle class complains, send guns and soldiers to kill them. If there is a politician who tries to get a better deal, murder him or start a civil war to topple him.

There's a reason so many Africans still live at that $1 a day level and it's driven by greed and theft on a huge scale. Fix that, then go and lecture Africans about their morality.

Re:Hello, I am Ayn Rand and you're a mark (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140955)

Is it possible to have a post on /. anymore that does not contain pseudo-libertarian neo-con propaganda?

I mean for chrissakes, I used to read this site for techie issues, now it's all "GM seeds are patriotic" and "Al Gore broke your toilet" and "nuclear power makes you healthy" in every fscking post.

I keep looking in the browser title bar to see if I accidentally typed "Drudge Report" or something.

Re:Hello, I am Ayn Rand and you're a mark (1, Insightful)

Squidlips (1206004) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141091)

Izzat so? Well why don't you try doing business with Nigerians. Better yet, why don't take a nice vacation there...

Re:Hello, I am a Nigerian Prince and you're a mark (2)

Shadowkahn (633450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140975)

Apparently the latest incarnation of this scam is that they troll online dating sites like match.com and strike up an internet romance with lonely single women. They convince the women they're in international construction, or import/export, or some other field that would take them out of the country. Then they claim to be working a project (some of them even say it's in Nigeria, which I think is rather brazen) but will fly to the woman's city as soon as it's done. They get her excited about meeting their "boyfriend," and then write her saying the project got screwed up, they didn't get paid, and they can't make the trip unless she can send them money for the plane ticket.

It's really amazing how many women fall for this, too.

Re:Hello, I am a Nigerian Prince and you're a mark (0)

Muramas95 (2459776) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141055)

They could of fertilized people's crops in farmville for money.

Re:Hello, I am a Nigerian Prince and you're a mark (2)

instagib (879544) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141079)

crappy non-GM seed

What is this? I don't even

If you steal money that has been stolen .. (4, Informative)

roguegramma (982660) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140025)

.. you end up in jail and the money isn't yours either.

Re:If you steal money that has been stolen .. (5, Funny)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140801)

Serves her right... she was stealing from Artists!

Sure, musicians have the RIAA, moviemakers have the MPAA... but those poor Scam Artists don't have a lobbying group with high-powered lawyers protecting their interests!

Actually, the Nigerian scammers got away... (5, Insightful)

Dzimas (547818) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140039)

The Nigerians didn't get scammed. She merely diverted the funds stolen from the unfortunate Australian car buyers for her own use.

It’s still fraud. (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140497)

IMNAL, Illegal contracts are still contracts. i.e., if you sign an illegal contract, you can’t benefit by squelching on your end after you have received payment. So she committed fraud twice. Once by helping the scammers and then again be defrauding the scammers.

There have been cases where people who have signed illegal contracts have had to uphold their end of the bargain. (But they don’t get their payment, police seize they assets, etc.)

That being said, I don’t think the Australian police are going to try to extradite some quasi-anonymous fraudsters – but they could.

Re:It’s still fraud. (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140619)

This sounds like complete BS to me. What court is going to force someone to perform an illegal act just because they have a contract? Got any citations?

Moral Hazard (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140991)

It’s not a matter of enforcing the contract; it’s a matter of benefiting from it. The courts don’t want people entering into illegal contracts, benefiting from them and then disclaiming their reasonability because it’s illegal. That encourages moral hazard.

I can’t pull up the cite right off the top of my head, but the case I am thinking about involved a husband who was in the middle of a divorce proceeding who won a substation lottery prize (100k I think). He did not want to split the prize with his ex-wife, so he “sold” the winning ticket to his mistress for a cut of the future prize money. The mistress then squelch on the deal and the husband sued.

The court ruled that the contract was illegal because the purpose was to defraud the husband’s wife. However, they still enforced the contract, so the mistress got her cut. They restored the wife’s 50% share. The husband, who instigated this fraud, got no benefit from this illegal contract.

I have heard of similar cases involving hourly McDonnalds workers who win big Monopoly prizes – and can’t claim them because they are employees – and the various tactics used to get around this.

Re:It’s still fraud. (4, Interesting)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140651)

IMNAL, Illegal contracts are still contracts. i.e., if you sign an illegal contract, you canâ(TM)t benefit by squelching on your end after you have received payment.

Oh no, they are not. A contract to commit a crime is void. If I kill your wife and you refuse to pay, no court will convict you for refusing to pay. And if you paid in advance and I refuse to kill her, no court will make me kill her _or_ refund the money.

One purpose of contracts is to make people work together. You couldn't sell a car if there was no way to make one side hand over the money and the other side hand over the car. Contracts to commit crimes are void intentionally to make that kind of collaboration harder.

Re:It’s still fraud. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140891)

And if you paid in advance and I refuse to kill her, no court will make me kill her _or_ refund the money.

Refunds? The contract explicitly stated no refunds. If you don't kill her, you'll be held in contempt of court. So I think you know what you have to do.

Re:It’s still fraud. (1)

phrostie (121428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140667)

Seems like the Nigerians should be required to appear in court.

What?!? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140045)

FTFA :

The car buyers who were ripped off reported the matter to police, who traced the account to Cochrane-Ramsey.

From the fucking Summary:

Irony aside, it makes one wonder how these folks ever got the nerve to go to the police with this matter.

Because they didn't.

Oy vey!

Re:What?!? (1, Informative)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140283)

My grandma went to the fbi after being scammed by nigerians. They told her to contact homeland security. She did and nothing came of it.

Re:What?!? (1, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140353)

Which has anything to do with however put that idiocy in the summary (eg a question the damn story linked to explicitly answers)?

Re:What?!? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140461)

We can't bust heads like we used to. But we have our ways. One trick is to tell stories that don't go anywhere. Like the time I caught the ferry to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for m'shoe. So I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt. Which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. Gimme five bees for a quarter, you'd say. Now where was I... oh yeah. The important thing was that I had an onion tied to my belt, which was the style at the time. You couldn't get white onions, because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...

Re:What?!? (1)

rot26 (240034) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140699)

fffuuuuuuuuuuuuunny

Re:What?!? (2)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140557)

They told her to contact homeland security. She did and nothing came of it.

Really, the majority of drone strikes are largely undocumented. It works out best for all parties involved.

Seth

Re:What?!? (5, Funny)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140633)

My grandma went to the fbi after being scammed by nigerians. They told her to contact homeland security. She did and nothing came of it.

wrong homeland

She needed to contact the office in Nigeria.

If she's having problems getting ahold of them, I have a contact over there, let me know and for a small fee I'll arrange to get them in touch with her.

Funny story... (3, Funny)

Dogbertius (1333565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140935)

I'm sure a lot of fellow /.'ers have heard of scambaiting (ie: scamming the scammers, but it usually is for fun or to make a point, rather than make money off the scammers).

The link won't load at this moment sadly, but here is an interesting story from the BBC a few years back where one guy works as a professional scambaiter. I would NOT recommend this kind of thing in general, as you end up being on the shitlist for some less than reputable people, to say the least.

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/3887493.stm

In short, the guy convinces the scammers that he has no money, but he can steal some expensive stuff from his employer and send it to them if they pay for shipping and give him $50. So, he convinces them he's shipping tens of thousands of dollars worth of stolen Cisco equipment, when he's really shipping them e-waste, used electronics, old monitors, broken microwave ovens, and stuff that you typically have to pay to recycle or drop off at the dump. Pretty funny actually. I think his record is $80,000 of garbage recycled for free so far, including shipping costs.

Re:Funny story... (1)

crispylinetta (1639533) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141051)

I think his record is $80,000 of garbage recycled for free so far, including shipping costs.

That is funny, but I am having a hard time picturing the scammers receiving crates of garbage and then shaking their fists and shouting, "Grrr, now we have to properly and responsibly dispose of all this waste!!!" :)

Misleading summary on /.? That's unpossible! (5, Informative)

oneplus999 (907816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140049)

She didn't steal it from the scammers, she stole it from the victims and then just didn't forward the money to the scammers like she was "supposed" to. This isn't a story of comeuppance or anything... just someone other than Nigerians ending up with the money. And of course the Nigerians didn't file the complaint... the victims did.

Re:Misleading summary on /.? That's unpossible! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140137)

Let's say a hooker keeps some of a John's payment from her pimp. Do you think the pimp would think "No, she didn't steal from me, she stole from the John"

Re:Misleading summary on /.? That's unpossible! (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140221)

Let's say a hooker keeps some of a John's payment from her pimp. Do you think the pimp would think "No, she didn't steal from me, she stole from the John"

That's a horrible analogy because the hooker was paid by the John, she didn't rob him. Couldn't you think of a car analogy? Something along the lines of "car buyers were scammed and the woman who was funneling the money didn't forward it to the scammers"? Oh, wait ... never mind /Emily Litella

Re:Misleading summary on /.? That's unpossible! (2)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140229)

Who cares what the pimp thinks? Unless there is a law (there isn't) or a valid contract (there isn't) stating that the hooker owes the pimp, she doesn't legally owe him anything. The victims in this case are the people who were scammed, and the criminal is the person who has their money. The fact that someone else was attempting to take the money doesn't make them 'victims'.

Re:Misleading summary on /.? That's unpossible! (4, Funny)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140501)

Whoa, we don't use terms like hooker, john, and pimp; they are not politically correct.

hooker -- sex worker
john -- extra legal customer
pimp -- executive level sex worker

Re:Misleading summary on /.? That's unpossible! (2)

batkiwi (137781) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140897)

In australia prostitution is licensed and legal, so there's nothing "extra legal" about a customer of sex workers.

They even have a union!

Re:Misleading summary on /.? That's unpossible! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140237)

That's a highly flawed analogy. The John got what he paid for. If someone *pretended* to be a hooker and didn't actually do the purchased act, but still answered to a pimp for some reason, then you'd be a bit closer.

Re:Misleading summary on /.? That's unpossible! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140419)

Let's say a hooker keeps some of a John's payment from her pimp..."

Happened to me once many years ago...Brazil..oh what a fantastic trip, she upped the price when we got back to the hotel and I didn't care...great memory...great times...Totally worth it...who says you can't make a little extra on the side...
And yes this will be posted under Anonymous Coward...

The more interesting question... (1)

sohmc (595388) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140859)

Is why the women needed the Nigerians in the first place. She was doing the legwork. Little the Nigerians could do to find her.

Then again, the smart criminal is a rare breed.

Re:The more interesting question... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140951)

"Then again, the smart criminal is a rare breed."

Not really, they all work at banks and wall street. They know that you need to scam big time to get rich.

Another view of the reason. (5, Insightful)

LoyalOpposition (168041) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140063)

...why so many of these scams originate from this area.

I asked that same question of a missionary who had just come from Nigeria. His answer was that there is a culture there of "you're a clever individual if you can get the other fellow to pay for your lunch." For what it's worth...

~Loyal

Re:Another view of the reason. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140153)

...why so many of these scams originate from this area.

I asked that same question of a missionary who had just come from Nigeria. His answer was that there is a culture there of "you're a clever individual if you can get the other fellow to pay for your lunch." For what it's worth...

~Loyal

That ideology is very common all over the world. It is practically the basis of modern capitalism.

Re:Another view of the reason. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140327)

Go read Wealth of Nations (the whole thing, not just the laissez-faire beginning) and stop trotting out this retarded meme.

Re:Another view of the reason. (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140373)

...why so many of these scams originate from this area.

I asked that same question of a missionary who had just come from Nigeria. His answer was that there is a culture there of "you're a clever individual if you can get the other fellow to pay for your lunch." For what it's worth...

~Loyal

That ideology is very common all over the world. It is practically the basis of modern capitalism.

She was robin' the hoods and keeping it. Its called good PR.

Re:Another view of the reason. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140401)

No I don't think it is the same everywhere.

You can see a difference in the folk heroes different cultures have.

The English have Robin Hood and King Arthur.

The Middle East has Alladin (basically a thief) and Ali Baba and the 40 thieves.

I am guessing the Nigerians must have similar folk heroes that outwit and steal from their opponents.

Re:Another view of the reason. (4, Insightful)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140827)

I like how you state that Alladin was "basically a thief" but don't mention how Robin Hood was exactly a thief.

Re:Another view of the reason. (1)

Arterion (941661) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140807)

I was going to argue that it didn't start out that way, but then I realized that in some ways it did, and that you said "modern" capitalism.

Re:Another view of the reason. (-1, Flamebait)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140205)

"His answer was that there is a culture there of "you're a clever individual if you can get the other fellow to pay for your lunch." For what it's worth..."

A good reason never to support any sort of foreign aid to the buggers, and I don't.

Re:Another view of the reason. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140289)

Amen. Same reason I refuse to support the Chinese and avoid goods with Chinese components like the plague. They'd rob us blind if they could, it's just the culture.

Re:Another view of the reason. (5, Funny)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140395)

> I refuse to support the Chinese and avoid goods with Chinese components like the plague.

You're not doing a very good job of it, unless you're posting articles to Slashdot using smoke signals.

Re:Another view of the reason. (5, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140231)

I asked that same question of a missionary who had just come from Nigeria. His answer was that there is a culture there of "you're a clever individual if you can get the other fellow to pay for your lunch." For what it's worth...

My cats must be considered geniuses.

Re:Another view of the reason. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140367)

Or perhaps tasty appetizers

Re:Another view of the reason. (4, Funny)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140387)

They're disqualified from the term. Geniuses don't lick their own backsides.

Re:Another view of the reason. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140625)

They would if they could.

Re:Another view of the reason. (4, Funny)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140415)

You have lousy cats.

Mine bring me tasty mice and birds regularly, generally missing the choicest parts (liver and breast muscles respectively).

Re:Another view of the reason. (2)

GSloop (165220) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140335)

I'm not exactly trying to knock you or your missionary friend...but let me say this.

There are just as many scammers that live in the USA or anywhere else for that matter.
There are just as many honest Nigerians too.

People are people.

Some are greedy liars, some are really nice folks.
It doesn't really matter if they're black, white, male, female, gay, straight, or whatever.

I do wish we'd start to question the premise of thoughts like this more.

Rather than "Why are Nigerians such scammers..." perhaps we ought to ask ourselves - "what has gone wrong that causes people to do these things.

The answers probably would be a lot more useful.

-Greg

Culturally acceptable to scam people. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140403)

Rather than "Why are Nigerians such scammers..." perhaps we ought to ask ourselves - "what has gone wrong that causes people to do these things.

....because when people do sleazy things is because they must be a victim of something? Is it inconceivable that a person may rip someone else off because it's the easiest way to get big money?

What I gather the GP is saying is that in Nigeria, it's culturally accceptable to scam people.

Like in other societies is culturally acceptable to treat women as property or charge interest on loans.

Re:Another view of the reason. (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140413)

While what you say does have some truth to it, different cultures have different rules for what is acceptable conduct. From what I hear about India (From people from India who now live in Canada) is that to get anything done in India, you have to be willing to pay the bribe money. Everybody accepts bribes for everything. Whereas in Canada, Bribing is not common practice, and apart from things like bribing the door-man a club, I don't think it's really done. Most people who get stopped for a ticket don't try to bribe the officer, but in India, this is common.

Re:Another view of the reason. (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140493)

There are just as many scammers that live in the USA or anywhere else for that matter.

[citation needed]

That would be nice to believe and ideally there would be an even distribution. Do you believe that crime rates are the same in every city and every neighborhood too? I think you'll find the statics to show a heavily skewed demographic of scammers in Nigeria vs the US. Cultural and economic differences come into play quite heavily when you're figuring out the odds of a person being willing to commit crimes.

Re:Another view of the reason. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140549)

You can't possibly expect to answer that while ignoring culture and environment.

Re:Another view of the reason. (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140863)

So pretty much the same as those people on Wall Street.

Did not steal from scammers (1)

Sqr(twg) (2126054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140075)

She stole from people who were defrauded on the car sales website, not from the Nigerians. They never lost a penny, as it was not their money to begin with.

The Nigerians did not go to the police. The ripped-off car buyers did. (Smitty777 obviously did not read TFA before writing TFS.)

Re:Did not steal from scammers (1)

atrain728 (1835698) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140371)

This. In fact, the money she took was her cut. It was an agreement she set up with the scammers. As in, she's complicit in their crimes.

This means (1)

denshao2 (1515775) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140083)

Some of those offers to send me money could be real?

Not an explanation... (4, Insightful)

s-whs (959229) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140107)

Those of you wondering, this article offers some answers to the question of why so many of these scams originate from this area."

No actually, it doesn't. Poverty is not a reason for scamming. It might be a reason for stealing food or other things. Scams show a particular mindset, and that the most common type of Nigerian scam has originated elsewhere is irrelevant. What matters is how many people do it, and the information I have is that scamming is commonplace in Nigerian culture, so they do it to themselves, not just to others with a 'lot' of money outside Nigeria. This means poverty has nothing to do with why they all seem to be Nigerians. Though I suppose, being a Nigerian, seeing some scammer from your country make a lot of money, might influence you to do the same thus giving a flood of such people, but as I said, it seems to be commonplace behaviour in Nigeria itself.

Re:Not an explanation... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140177)

Those of you wondering, this article offers some answers to the question of why so many of these scams originate from this area."

You need rocket science to figure that one out?

N-E-G-R-O-E-S

Re:Not an explanation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140303)

You need rocket science to figure that one out?

N-E-G-R-O-E-S

No, you just need a double-dose of racism and the knowledge that you'd be beaten to a bloody pulp by people of all colours were you not hiding behind a keyboard. It's pathetic little cunts like you that give the species a bad name.

Re:Not an explanation... (2)

black3d (1648913) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140363)

Your response to someone speaking words that you don't like is to kill them? No, you give the species a bad name.

Re:Not an explanation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140417)

He didn't say "say that to my face, fucker, not online and see what happens," which is the ITG standard. No, he said, "say that in public where black people will hear you, and see what happens." Which at best is just a colorful version of "you're a racist coward" and at worst, is just a sort of ITG-by-proxy.

Re:Not an explanation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140529)

Which at best is just a colorful version of "you're a racist coward" and at worst, is just a sort of ITG-by-proxy.

I was going for the former. I'm not actually one of the targets of the OP's comments, just someone who'd take no small measure of guilty pleasure in seeing someone like that getting what's coming to them. Killed? Certainly not, merely beaten on a little. In retrospect my initial rage produced a comment that was somewhat more florid than I initially intended. I suppose racism is just one of my buttons and the parent pushed it... hard.

Re:Not an explanation... (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140865)

Chill man, he be straight up trollin'

Re:Not an explanation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140995)

Truly, I wasn't. Just overstating.

[Citation needed] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140227)

What matters is how many people do it, and the information I have is that scamming is commonplace in Nigerian culture, so they do it to themselves, not just to others with a 'lot' of money outside Nigeria. This means poverty has nothing to do with why they all seem to be Nigerians. Though I suppose, being a Nigerian, seeing some scammer from your country make a lot of money, might influence you to do the same thus giving a flood of such people, but as I said, it seems to be commonplace behaviour in Nigeria itself.

It's not that I don't believe you, it's just that it sounds a lot like the story I heard recently about Jews kicking out and disowning family after "three strikes" at "making it rich with the help of the family and the Jewish community".
Also, how they orchestrated the World War Two just so they could get Israel and chase out the Muslims from Palestine.

You know.. A tad bit racist with a dash of cultural and other kinds of ignorance.

Re:Not an explanation... (2)

owlnation (858981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140439)

No actually, it doesn't. Poverty is not a reason for scamming.

Absolutely true.

It really annoys me to hear people (champagne socialists, usually) talking about poverty being the source of crime. It absolutely is not.

Some of the world's greatest artists, humanitarians, scientists and social reformers have come from poverty far worse than anyone currently living in the West has ever experienced, and probably far worse than most Nigerians too, for that matter.

There's proportionally just as much crime committed by rich people as poor people -- there's just a lot more poor people.

Crime is a lifestyle choice for most people who commit it -- it's not borne out of desperation, nor out of need.

Re:Not an explanation... (2)

brainzach (2032950) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140853)

You are far less likely to get robbed living in a rich neighborhood compared to a poor one. There isn't much incentive for wealthy people risking jail time over committing crimes especially when they have the means to live a comfortable life.

In developing countries, there is far less jobs and opportunities for people to make money. You have many people who have college degrees and speak English with no job opportunities to become productive citizens. Scamming people online becomes a way to make money to support a middle class lifestyle.

Sure there are other cultural factors that affect crime, but you can't ignore poverty. When traveling anywhere in the developing world, you have to be aware of being scammed or taken advantage of. People who are used to making $2 a day will find ways to get money from rich foreigners whether legitimate or not.

Re:Not an explanation... (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141003)

This is news because it is Nigerian or because it is a scam. Because scams are nothing new. It all comes down to selling a product that is not real in any meaningful sense. R. Allen Stanford, Madoff, and who knows how many others are on trail for doing exactly the same thing, advertising products that really did not really exists. Stanford is trying to win an acquittal by saying the products did exists sufficiently to satisfy some overly broad level of financial responsibility, i.e. not fraud. Really it seems that the nameless nigerian scammer, Madoff, and Stanford all operate on the same principle. Appealing to peoples greed so due diligence is not performed prior to a financial transaction.

Really the US is full of borderline scams like this. My mother would get beautiful catalogs of beautiful photographed items at very low prices. When she ordered then they invariably turned out to be junk and after shipping charges were not even cheap junk. Nothing illegal about that, just sophisticated enough to not be legal.

So the only difference between the so-called nigerian scammers is the ability to gain capital to run a sophisticated scam like Stanford. The difference, of course, is that stanford did it not survive, but just for kicks.

This Makes No Sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140133)

She didn't steal anything from the scam artists because the money they had was stolen anyway. In fact, as far as she knew, she was stealing from a legitimate company.

Some journalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140149)

"not all scams originate in Nigeria"
"according to Wikipedia"
"not all Nigerians are criminals"
"Disclaimer: This column is not a master's thesis"

Good for her! (5, Interesting)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140179)

I tried to scam some scammers once, for far less money. I can definitely see how that would feel like a huge triumph.

I had gotten a response to an ad looking for a roomate. This fuckwad strung me along for days before revealing that they intended to pay for the first months rent and security deposit with a travelers check and "could you please cash it and forward the balance to....".

Oh I was fuming. I put the room back on the market, and continued with the scammer as if nothing happened. I told them the first set of travelers checks never arrived, even though they had and i already verified with the post office that they were fake.... then I got the second set....and admited I knew it was a scam.

At this point, things took a turn for the hilarious. Immediately he switched over to admitting it was a scam and....trying to recruit me to help! He claimed he needed a mailing address in the US, and needed someone to send out packages....claimed he would pay $500 per package of letters!

So of course, I told him I would do it but I needed the money up front...fully intending to keep the money and spend the next decade gloating over how I scammed the scammer.... he even told me he could get counterfit bills.... which got me thinking how fun it would be if this all resulted in my getting to report him to the SS.

Of course, the whole thing broke down when he wanted to talk on the phone....and I wasn't willing to give out my real phone number. I suppose he already had my address so it hardly mattered, but, I didn't want harassing calls either.

its the internet (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140265)

Not that I give any weight to your story, but I think if the only thing that stood between you making 500$ was a telephone number, anyone would go buy a 30$ burner with 10$ of minutes on it.

Re:its the internet (2)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140833)

Well it was what made me sit back and think. I had to A) worry that they might get mad and retaliate...afterall they had my address and B) Would they even send a real $500 or would they just send counterfits anyway?

Its not like it was a sure thing. Also, this was several years back.... hmm I probably still have the IM logs somewhere....

Guy was trying to contact me for weeks. It was pretty amusing.

Re:Good for her! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140287)

Google voice?

Re:Good for her! (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140857)

I am pretty sure it didn't exist then, if it did, I didn't know about it. This was at least 6 years ago, possibly more.

Re:Good for her! (2)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140389)

The problem with this is she wasn't scamming the Nigerians. She took money the Nigerians scammed from the victims. I welcome scams that part the scammer of their money, but stealing money from those defrauded by their scam is in pretty poor taste. Not only that but the article seems to indicate she didn't even know it was a scam, which means she thought she was stealing $33,000 from her employers.

Mixed with her history of theft before this even happened, this is one classy lady.

Re:Good for her! (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140921)

Yup, reminds me of the friend of mine who got in trouble with the bank because he noticed an extra $500 in his account (a lot for him at the time), and immediately withdrew it and spent the money. The bank then took the money back from his account, leaving him negative, and demanded the money.

Dumbass. Though, at the same time.... I don't know if I feel right calling what she did stealing. It was her account, if someone is moving that kind of money in her name, I think she should feel she has every right to take that money and, at least, "hold onto it". Maybe not keep it, but, put a kabosh on the activity at least and hold it to find out whats really going on.

She may be wrong to keep it.... but, certainly not to put a stop to grab the money and hold onto it until an explanation can be found for why it is there, regardless of who put it there or why.

Re:Good for her! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140913)

She didn't scam scammers, she just didn't pass along stolen money to them. She's still the recipient of stolen goods. Don't make her out to be some sort of saint.

Re:Good for her! (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140933)

At this point, things took a turn for the hilarious. Immediately he switched over to admitting it was a scam and....trying to recruit me to help! He claimed he needed a mailing address in the US, and needed someone to send out packages....claimed he would pay $500 per package of letters!

So of course, I told him I would do it but I needed the money up front...fully intending to keep the money and spend the next decade gloating over how I scammed the scammer.... he even told me he could get counterfit bills.... which got me thinking how fun it would be if this all resulted in my getting to report him to the SS.

Of course, the whole thing broke down when he wanted to talk on the phone....and I wasn't willing to give out my real phone number. I suppose he already had my address so it hardly mattered, but, I didn't want harassing calls either.

Using any real life info with scammers is a very bad idea - just because they are thousands of miles away doesn't mean they don't have friends who are a lot closer. You're pissing off people who already engage in crime, why risk it?

a great site to visit is 419eater.com - a vast world of scam baiting exists; some of the stories are very funny.

Re:Good for her! (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141013)

I tried to scam some scammers once, for far less money. I can definitely see how that would feel like a huge triumph.

Obligatory scam baiters link: http://www.thescambaiter.com/ [thescambaiter.com]

These guys have turned scamming the scammers into an art form.

Lets count the ways the summary is wrong (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39140253)

...a group of Nigerian scam artists

While this is technically correct (the scam artists were from Nigeria, therefore they were Nigerian), this scam was very different from the typical "Nigerian Prince" scam. It sounds like they were just running a fake online car dealership, and got two people to pay for a car based on pictures on the internet.

...it makes one wonder how these folks ever got the nerve to go to the police with this matter

If you're talking about the scam artists, they didn't. The article makes it very clear that it was the people who tried to buy cars who went to the police, which is why the Australian woman is the only one on trial--she's the only one who was in the local jurisdiction.

... why so many of these scams originate from this area.

It's possible that there are a bunch of fake online car dealerships originating in Nigeria, but I think it's more likely that the author of the summary thinks this is about a Nigerian Scam [wikipedia.org] . If they had actually read the article, they wouldn't be making that mistake. I understand that slashdot is all about not reading the article, but is it too much to ask that submitters read the articles they submit?

Re:Lets count the ways the summary is wrong (1)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141071)

...is it too much to ask that submitters read the articles they submit?

Yes, yes it is.

She didn't steal any money from the Nigerians (2)

StoutFiles (2471680) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140339)

She took money they would have stolen and kept it for herself. She's no better than they are.

She did steal from the scam victims... (2)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#39140905)

This works as follows: People buy something which never gets delivered. Money from the sale goes to a finance agent (the woman in this case) and then is transferred to the criminals with Western Union or some other money laundering service. The finance agent will always be the one that takes the fall. The difference here is that this woman was actually guilty, not just naive.

So, no, she did not take the money from the Nigerian criminals, she took their place in the scam. And yes, I hope she gets punished for that.

419eater (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141017)

No one's mentioned 419eater.com yet? Usually any popular site tangentially related to a story gets posted fairly quickly.

Personally I'd prefer to steal $33k from them, rather than make the pose naked with a stupid sign.

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