Nigerian Official Blames The Victims Of Nigerian 419 Advance Fee Scams
from the blame-the-victim dept
It still amazes us that people still fall for so-called Nigerian advance-fee 419 scam emails. I’d actually noticed that I’d stopped getting such emails offering me millions for helping smuggle gold out of the country, but in the last week there’s been a new bunch of them — and apparently people still fall for them. According to a Nigerian diplomat in Australia, he’s just as amazed, and thus thinks the victims are equally to blame and deserve jailtime. He claims that the government “frowns” on these scams, and spends plenty of time trying to track down the scammers — but we’ve been reporting on Nigerian gov’t claims for years and years and they never seem to get very far in stopping the scammers. But, still, he claims that the victims are equally at fault.
While it’s true that most of these scams prey on people’s greed (they’re basically roping people into “stealing” money), it’s a bit extreme to claim they should be thrown in jail for being conned. If you read a book like Drake’s Fortune, which describes a similar scam nearly a century ago that was incredibly effective, you realize how easily people are fooled into these things. And we’ve even seen cases where victims still believe the scammers after they’ve lost everything and the whole scam has been explained to them. That’s how thoroughly convincing these scams can be.