How fucking stupid do you need to be to fall for a Nigerian 419 email scam in 2011? I can imagine a time-travelling hillbilly from the days of yore being more suspicious of a scam email than some of these educated, technology-familiar over-trusting fools. Take this for example:
An Irish man was kidnapped after falling for an email fraud scam only to fly to confront his scammers face to face (like a totally arrogant, fat-walleted turd) where he was held ransom for even more money.
James Lafferty, 49, from Ennis, Co Clare in Ireland, fell for a typical email scam – you know the type – I am professor Charles.c. Soludo governor, [sic] central bank of Nigeria (CBN ), some soldier died and turns out he was rich – bla bla bla – made you the beneficiary of a package containing 10 million US dollars – no next of kin – complete stranger would like to single you out via your email address and share the spoils with you, 50-50, Jesus be with you.
Well, although you might be thinking “fuck this” and delete such and email with no second thought, James Lafferty, in his 49 years of learning about the world, watching the very birth of the Internet and online business take off, and no doubt learning about the trustworthiness of total strangers in the 21st century, decided this was all so believable he sent scammers from Ghana his money without so much as asking a verifying question.
Realising weeks later he had been scammed, James decided to pay the expensive airfare to travel directly to the west African country of Ghana, locate his scammers – unarmed – in an attempt to recover money he had paid them. The kidnappers took him hostage, then contacted his address book full of family and business associates in Ireland and demanded more money or they would kill him. It probably went a little something like this:
“Greetings in Jesus name! I am most please to inform you of the kidnap of your son. He is unharmed, and I am prepared to release him for the sum of £100,000 (one hundred thousand pounds). You may contact me at this email address: [email protected]”
However, following an expensive international police operation involving Interpol, gardai and Ghanaian police, officers raided a hotel in the capital of Accra where he was being held captive, after receiving a tip-off.
“He is currently safe and well in the Honorary Consulate in Accra after being freed by local police, a spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs told the BBC. “He is due to meet with local police to provide them with additional information regarding his detention.”
One man was arrested. The kidnappers were unarmed. James was safe. Another potential Darwin Award lost.
One commenter had this to say:
You know what, I don’t need to know anything about current scams because I engage my brain. Random person you don’t know contacting you… check… wealth beyond wildest dreams for nearly no work/outlay… check… hmmm might be a scam!
I’m convinced school is basically not working. For me, it should include 3 hours every Monday morning where kids are writing out “If it seems too good to be true, then it is” over and over again.
Unfortunately the bad guys realise that there’s one born every minute. Hell, a friend of mine who lectures in chemistry at university got caught on that “women empowering women” pyramid scheme despite me saying “it’s a fucking pyramid scheme”.
Why do social engineering scams work? Because people are morons Why do 419 scams work? because people are greedy morons. Why do alternative therapists make so much money? Because people are spiritual morons.
Man I wish I was heartless enough to take advantage of all the wallies out there waiting to be fleeced but I’ve got too much dignity. Maybe I should convert to a religion, then I could fleece people then be admonished of my sins….
This broadcast has been brought to you by the “Everybody in the world is a fucking moron” party.