OK. OK, glibly said. But Yes, they can be dangerous. It is fun to mock them and to tease them but when there is big money involved people can get very serious about it. And the duller their minds, the blunter their methods.
I take some comfort that they do not seem to be in Australia. Certainly they have never tried to arrange a meeting in Australia. Yet.
[An aside: my wife was given a free small tub (tublette) of one of these anti-wrinkle eye creams and told to try it for a month; told she would be amazed at the difference. She used it for the allotted month and then returned to the cosmetics counter where the girl oozed enthusiasm for how much better she looked. "Fine" said my wife, "tell me which eye I used it on." You see, for one month she had diligently applied it to only one eye. There was no difference.]
I have more respect for the Nigerians working these schemes than I do for the victims who fall for them. They fell for the story but it was their greed that got them there. If no one took up the 'offers' then the whole thing would fall over. Remember: it is not money that is the root of all evil, but the love of money.
Ask yourself the question: if you had knowledge of a pile of money (say $25 million) and needed someone somewhere to provide an account to receive that money...would you trust a stranger you found by potluck on the internet? Or would you quietly broach the subject with family and friends that you knew and could trust? Exactly!
Even if they really did have the money, it is not yours and to participate in the 'transfer' is to participate in a criminal act. That is why I suspect so few of the actual victims report that they have been had.
Apply the J Cosmo Newbery Scam Test Click here.
I did get four banknotes to the value of 180 Naira from Kenneth (Felicity Primm story) - equivalent to US$1.25. Lovely banknotes, I'll be seriously out of pocket as I will have them framed.
So, yes, a good deal of good red wine has been consumed discussing the possibility of doing the reverse scam but I am not optimistic.
From July 31st to December 15th, 2002 I have received 121 faxes from them. All different letterheads, all different names and all cold calling. Coincidence?
But it is self-defeating for them. If you got a fax and were dazzled by the prospect of early retirement, before you could respond you get another offer, and another,and...it does nothing for their credibility.
The first sting is often just a few thousand dollars (just!) but I have been asked for as much as $35,000 on the first bite. Just where they think I keep money like that is anyone's guess. Probably reflects a broad misunderstanding of the Western lifestyle. (Mine, at least!)
They may start to change their techniques as they shift from tackling small companies and move on to the general public. They are dealing with a different disposable income.
Look at it from the Nigerian's point of view. They have spent a lot of time corresponding with the character and I purposely try to build emotional (love or hate) links to the Nigerian. If they get to the final push to get the money and find out that the character has died it has a much greater 'jolt' to their system than just having the character say 'You dopey bastard, I always knew it was a scam. You're not getting my money. Piss off.'.
It has an even better effect if the character actually dies because they are getting the money; it may give the Nigerian a twinge of guilt (albeit quite small) that they wouldn't get if the character didn't die. Until they realize that they have been 'had' of course. And then the deeper their concern for the character's well-being, the harder to swallow the news that they never existed at all.
Things are less frenetic now and I only do one story at a time and probably put in an hour every second night.
All things considered, my favourite story was Don Quixote.
But my favourite character was Princess Tikka Masala.