Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The 419 Scam: You can’t Cheat a Honest Man.

The advance fee letter scam a.k.a ‘419 scam’ has wreaked a lot of havoc worldwide, even in Nigeria. Victims have lost tens of millions of dollars to the fraudsters many of whom have been described as Nigerians. While it is not my intention to defend this scam- I will never defend the acts of the wicked, I have grown impatient of reading day and night how some in their ignorance, or denial, have heaped the blame on the Nigerians, majority of whom don’t even know how this scam works.

I have always wondered what could make someone fall prey for this scam, after reading this New Yorker article: “The Perfect Mark”- which offers excellent insights into the scam from a victim’s perspective, I remain convinced in my opinion that greed is the key that opens the wallets of the victims, and it is the is the reason why several people have fallen for this scam. Greed is the only reason anyone would believe a ‘business opportunity’ exists in a scheme that involves money laundering- the foundation upon which all 419 scam plots are built.

The truth is no one can cheat an honest man! This is food for thought for those taking cheap shots at Nigerians for a scam/scheme whose greedy and gullible victims have ironically helped perpetrated.