Isn't the 419 scam Darwin's theory of evolution at work on the inernet?
Dutch police have arrested 111 suspected 419 scammers. The arrests on Saturday follow the end of a seven-month investigation - dubbed Operation Apollo, AFP reports. Eight of those detained were carrying false papers. Many others among the group of West African (mainly Nigerian) suspects are reckoned to have entered the …
Hey, they're stopping an important part of evolution!!! Anyone stupid (or greedy) enough to fall for a 419 or Nigerian Scam deserves to get scammed.
Those who go for the "transfer 100 million bucks through your account" deserve it more, as they themselves are usually trying to scam the "solicitor", but end up duped themselves.
The Nigerian Scam is nothing more than the evolution of the common scam targeted at wise-guys who think they know better.
On the one side I understand that what the 419ers is doing is wrong. On the other side the people they are preying on are terminally stupid, and as they say stupidity is its own punishment. If it wasn't for the spam factor in how they do their work I would view them as an amusement rather than a problem.
We live in a world where being stupid or gullible is a source of malicious glee or gloating. Where victims who, at the very least, should evoke our sympathy instead provoke a kind of malicious glee or gloating in others.
When did this appalling schadenfreude become an acceptable response to misfortune? How are these people not ashamed to live in our society?
I hope that if some of the above posters find themselves the victim of crime the people they know won't chuckle to themselves, "Heartless bastard, he probably deserved it."
But then again , in the land of the free and wanked , I believe one woman victim of this type of scam , and who lived in the state of Tennessee , gunned down and killed her preacher husband with a shotgun at under 10 ft gets a mere 60 days and a restful stay in luxurious accommodation at a mental home(the stressful effects of the trial may have jolted her lonely brain cell), and after release gets to keep the kids and all his assets too!
Ah , life is full of strange surprises indeed!
has always been, is and always will be a source of amusement for those smart enough not to have been taken. It has nothing to do with the times we live in, and everything to do with the social need to recognize one's place in the ladder and be recognized for it. This is a basic law of human behavior that is probably studied in the first year of psychology.
Even if the Social Darwinists here think that it is all fun and games when a "dupe" falls for a 419 scam, what about the innocent victims?
Spouses and children of the "idiot who clearly deserve it" will suffer too, as the household income is depleted. A larger network of friends and associates can also lose money - Like when a Harvard professor sub-scammed his friends by claiming he was using the money for his research: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/03/31/harvard_prof_scams/
Would've been better if you had added the fact that left wing politicians where outraged by what they called was nothing more then a raid. Those people where crying that this approach was inhumane and that agreements where already in place which would prevent raids of this kind.
I'm personally stunned by these comments, i'd give the policemen and women who worked on this case a pat on the back, yet many politicians where not so kind when speaking of this matter.
Am i stupid here?
As any good conman will tell you (or would if it wouldn't damage his business model), it's the people who think they can't be conned who are the easiest to con.
When you gloat about the gullibility of others, you lose sight of your own weaknesses and one day, if you're unlucky, some conman will find your buttons and press them all at once. After a full spin cycle, he'll have you completely cleaned and dried out.
either by email or snail mail when you see the damage that can be done to the elderly and infirm.
Once they get their hooks in they bombard their victim by phone and mail and circulate details to all the other scams. one elderly gent I know on a very limited pension got taken for his entire life savings, £18k, and had to take out a mortgage to clear his credit card details.
He was not trying to defraud anyone just believed all he was told. He still does and thinks that those of us who put a stop to it are telling lies.
please ..... scams are as old as time, people carved nutmegs when that was worth it, greed as usual is a factor. People who think they can get something for nothing deserve everything they get.
@anon - so he must have felt he was getting something for his 18k ? He didnt hand it over for "nothing" did he. He thought he was getting THE deal. As you say, "he still does".
I think these scammers should be caught and prosecuted, but excessive hand wringing over "victims" is also not warranted.
People who are greedy (smuggle money out of country), and gullible (lottery) will end up too poor to afford the interweb. Sooner or later they all leave the net making the scams fruitless. All the scams stop. One less bout of spam to put up with.
Now we just need to get really cheap 'Viagra' in the chemists to stop the rest of the spam.
Okay, it'll never work, but the hope will never die.
Humans above evolution? Not a good thing. Evolution is removing the weak genes from the species given the environment. Keep all the weak genes in and sooner or later you'll see the effect.
I'd argue that susceptibility to scams is influenced greatly by the victim's upbringing and education. The person's intelligence is influenced by their genetics, but not everyone who has been scammed through these methods has had a room-temperature IQ - some surprisingly intelligent people have fallen for them. Is greed a known genetic trait?
"As any good conman will tell you (or would if it wouldn't damage his business model), it's the people who think they can't be conned who are the easiest to con.
When you gloat about the gullibility of others, you lose sight of your own weaknesses and one day, if you're unlucky, some conman will find your buttons and press them all at once. After a full spin cycle, he'll have you completely cleaned and dried out."
Are you not aware that there is a difference between a well thought-out con, that can work on even the most intelligent of people, and a 419 email?
Those who fall for 419 scams are not taken in by a clever scam, they're stupid and greedy.
"If it wasn't for the spam factor in how they do their work I would view them as an amusement rather than a problem."
Hang on, let me get this straight:
You would find the work of a whole breed of scummers, robbing other people, amusing if they didn't occasionally spam your email?
To some extent you have managed to encapsulate the train wreck that we jokingly call society; a selfish, self-obsesed lack of concern for those less fortunate than ourselves along with a willingness to let the perpetrators go unpunished, celebrated even, as long as they don't cause you any suffering.
Sunshine, somewhere in your accommodation there is a front door to the outside world. Give your PC a rest for a few hours each day and please, go get a life.
are those who believe they are so clever they will never do anything really stupid.
While I have very little sympathy for the successful business person who fall pray to such scams because of greed – There are a lot of people vulnerable to this type of con because of their personal circumstances/mental health – won't happen to you? Picture yourself physically and mentally frail through ill health/accident/old age, cold because the cost of heating is so expensive to keep you warm now you feel the cold more - and it isn't just a description of someone in their 80's
I'm batin a 419er at the moment. Good old William Anker the white supremicist who given all Frank Powells money for charity will donate to the NRA, WWF and BYOB2BBQ. Unfortunantly William doesnt have access to his passport as his wife kicked him out the house after finding him having sexual relations with his peg dog Ben Dover.
I just find it very difficult to give any credibility to anyone claiming to be ignorant of 419 scams. They have been publicised widely on national news, newspapers and the internet. There are methods to avoid them published in too many places to list.
So, you have won a lottery you never heard of without buying a ticket. Are you rally this stupid ?
Some kind soul you have never heard of offers you a large sum of money for taking part in a money laundering opportunity. Dont you realise that money laundering is a crime, dont you understand why it is so difficult to open a bank account, do you ever think why these regulations are in place. Perhaps you, too, deserve prosecution for conspiracy.
Every (legal) investment advert carries a warning about not getting your money back. Mortgages carry a warning about losing your home. So, receiving an email from someone you have never heard of carries no risk at all, well, it didnt have any warning on it.
I have no sympathy for victims of 419 or associated scams. They are trying to help in perpetrating a fraud, whether the fraud is genuine or otherwise. They deserve their losses, in precisely the same way that others would lose if they had been successful. They show a willingness to defy the law of the land and are extremely lucky not be prosecuted for it. Perhaps this is what it takes, prosecute the next person to complain of a 419 scam.
If someone wanderd up to you in a [Street | Pub | Cafe] and asked you to open a bank account for them, would you do it, would they. If they then asked you to deposit £1,000 of your own money in the said account, would you do it ? If they promised you millions in exchange for it, would you do it? If you wouldn't do any of these things, then why do you do it when you cant see the person making the offer and do it because it is an email.
People do not fall victim to 419 scams, they fall victim to their own greed !
We block all Nederlands access to our systems. 88% of the computer attacks on our systems came from the Nederlands and most attempts reaching the firewall still do. SPAM was another issue.
Repeated requests to the ISPs over there fell on deaf ears. It was easier just to block the entire country. It is their loss -- not ours. If the country ever decides they want to play nice on the net, we may relax our policies but until then, they are banned.
There are two types of victims. The greedy and the gullible. The greedy I have no sympathy for. They include such "victims" as the public official who embezzled several million dollars from city/county coffers to keep his "relationship" with a 419er going. The gullible are typically those who don't understand when they are being scammed. The elderly are victims of this both on the internet and in person. A local con man was recently arrested for running a Ponzi scam at a local retirement city (Sun City). He took "investors" for about $8 million. And investigators can only find about $600,000.
I was surprised to read that 111 were arrested for internet fraud. That would have been a Major investigation !
Reports in the dutch media are a bit different however. The police raided a cafe where illegal immegrants hang out. Some of them were probably involved in internet fraud. However, they will not investigate this, but simply deport the illegals caught.
My dear old mother taught me, amongst other things, that you never get something for nothing and that people do things to help themselves, not you.
If you live by this, you're not going to fall for many scams -- I'l repeat: falling for a 419 makes you greedy or stupid -- even the senile have à healthy level of paranoia.
It is appalling and embarassing when you read stories like this. Especially if you are an African and a Nigerian at that. Fine, if you don't sow, you don't reap - You can't win a lottery you never played and attimes i wonder why people still fall for such things. How can a supposed head of an organisation be using 'yahoo' and 'hotmail' to communicate official details to you...?
That said, this undesirable elements are making things difficult for people who just want to do the right thing and it's painful.
I hope the Nigerian government will try harder to nail as much people as possible in the quest to help resolve things with regards to this 419 thingy.
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