Software To Catch Nigerian 419 Scammers

from the next-up-420-scammers dept

If you’ve ever received an email from Nigeria asking for a small sum of money in order to get millions, you know what the 419 scam is. (Or you’re still waiting for a lot of money that hasn’t quite shown up yet.) The ‘419’ comes from the Nigerian criminal code section against fraud, and to prevent the scams, Nigeria is looking into using software to help track down the scammers by scanning emails for keywords. This brings up plenty of privacy issues over who determines which keywords are used and what is done with the flagged emails. And while this proposal is probably better than passing a completely new law that would probably be ineffective, the enforcement against this scam may be a bit late as scammers have modified their scams and moved to places other than Nigeria. So scams are here to stay, and although one would hope that public education could take away the incentives for scammers, there’s a sucker born every minute.

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