Monday, October 24, 2005

Inside the 419

Inside the 419

An absolutely fascinating story in the LA Times about how the famous Nigerian 419 scams actually work.

I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry at the image of armies of scammers at work behind closed bars, while one of Nigeria's top pop hits, "I Go Chop Your Dollars" plays on the stereo:

"419 is just a game, you are the losers, we are the winners.
White people are greedy, I can say they are greedy
White men, I will eat your dollars, will take your money and disappear.
419 is just a game, we are the masters, you are the losers."

The story also includes this from an officer in the American Consulate in Nigeria:

"Kovacsics says he is awakened several nights a week by Americans pleading for help with an emergency, such as a fiancee (whom they have only met in an online chat room) locked up in a Nigerian jail. He has to tell them that there is probably no fiancee, no emergency."

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