419 Scams As A Way Of Keeping Up On Current Events

from the how-do-you-keep-up? dept

I’m beginning to think that it could be an interesting subject to study what cultural/national situations are referenced by 419 “advance fee” scam emails. While the most common such email comes from Nigeria, they’ve adjusted over time to pick up on other countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, they’re trying to pick up on events, like the Olympics. They all look pretty much the same, though – and if your pattern matching ability is so weak that you can’t realize this is the exact same scam you’ve got other problems. Still, some people continue to fall for such scams on a regular basis.

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Comments on “419 Scams As A Way Of Keeping Up On Current Events”

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Ed Halley says:

No Subject Given

(You seemed to invite/encourage such correction posts earlier, so here goes.)

and if you’re pattern matching ability is so weak

“your” – None of the possessive pronouns use an apostrophe: my, mine, your, yours, his, her, hers, its, their, theirs, our, ours, whose.

Conversely, if it has an apostrophe and a pronoun, it is a conjunction two words: I am, he is, it is, they are, who is, etc.

Remembering that one rule can save you a lot of similar homonym mistakes.

Ed Halley says:

No Subject Given

Oh, and more on-topic, …

I was thinking the same thing a year ago, when I wrote some spam rules just for finding these things and filing them separately. From all of the deposed dictators throughout Africa, to all of the shenanigans of the middle eastern families, you could learn a lot of geography. Maybe that’s a cheap way to introduce some of these topics to the email generation in school. (Or are we past the email generation, and well into the im generation?)

Michael Ward (profile) says:

419 aka Spanish Prisoner

Times change but scams are all the same donkey with different kinds of ears pasted on. A couple of years ago I ran across a humor piece that made me laugh outright, so I scanned it and put it up on the web. It’s from 1910 (!) and it’s called — what else — “The Spanish Prisoner.”


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