Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Nigerian Scams Seem To Be Increasing...

Or at least, I am getting way more of them in my inbox than I did a year ago--like three to five a week. This raises an interesting question.

Northern Nigeria is heavily Muslim, and parts of it are definitely under the sway of the fundamentalist branch of Islam. A woman has been sentenced to death for extramarital sex; sentence is delayed until she weans her baby. (Yeah, I linked to the National Organization of Women's accounts just to irritate the liberals, who spend 90% of their time telling us to appreciate diversity, and 10% of their time upset when that cultural diversity includes oppressing women.)

Is this increase in attempts to bamboozle stupid Americans out of their money part of an al-Qaida effort to increase funding? It would certainly be interesting to track down some of the scammers, and figure out if they are disproportionately Muslims, and if so, if there are connections to terrorist groups.

By the way, these scams must take in very, very stupid or very, very greedy people. Even before I read any accounts of these scams, I would get these emails and immediately recognize them as scams. (Indeed, I am sure that my 14 year old son would recognize the best of them as scams.) The scam emails that have been popping up in the last year are even more clumsily and obviously scams than the ones I received in 2000 and early 2001.

Tell me: where do these scam artists find people stupid enough to be conned?

Update: if you want to know more about these scams, here's a good explanation. An amusing examples of scamming the scammers is here.

Make sure that you also read the letter by G.T. Gobena in this Salon letters column in which the scam artists are explained as victims of colonialism, reduced to this because of the evils of the West.

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