Tuesday, May 04, 2004

419 Scams

Check out 419 Eaters for some interesting reading. For some background, 419 is the code designated in Nigeria to a type of scam that is prevalent on the internet. You probably have all seen them:

Hi my friend,

My name is Ugo Bella and I am the Under Secretary for some-dumb-department here in BumFuck, Ivory Coast and ... blah blah.

He will go on to tell you about a pile o' money he needs a foreigner to get out of the country and he will split it with you 75-25 or some such deal. Of course, the kicker is you have to pony up some cash for them to use to bribe people or acquire permits or some other bullshit.

Anyways, sites like 419 Eater do something called scam-baiting in which they pretend to be interested and get these would-be con-men and con-women to do stupid things like pose with fish on their heads (in the name of religion!). It's oh so much fun, and I currently find myself in the midst of a baiting process. Once it is complete, I will end up posting my results on 419 Eater (if they will have me, that is).

Now, I read a story, also on 419 Eater, about a man who was actually taken in by this scam and lost thousands of dollars. Good riddance. If anyone gets fooled by this lame con then they didn't deserve to have the money in the first place. It isn't like this is, in any way, believable.