Woman Loses $400,000 To Nigerian Email Scam

Why did this woman, a reverend and a nurse, give over $400,000 to Nigerian email scammers? It started with just $100. The emails told her a long-lost relative with the same last name had $20.5 million caught up in the banks of Nigeria. Janella Spears just had to help with a few processing fees…

As she sent the money, more and more obstacles would arise, each needing more money to solve. Driven by blind greed, she sent over $400,000 to the scammers, draining her and her husband’s savings, retirement fund, mortgaged the house and put a lien on the car.

Despite warning from family and friends for over two years that it was a scam, she was obsessed with getting the jackpot. Only after Department of Justice investigators happened across her $144,000 Western Union transfers while investigating a different money laundering did she stop. She only stopped because the DoJ told her if she sent any more money they would charge her with a crime

That’s why these emails will continue to clog our spam filters. There will always be someone greedy out there where the prospect of a huge payday with just trip something in their brain and they suspend all reason and let themselves get bled dry.

Woman out $400K to ‘Nigerian scam’ con artists [KATU]


Edit Your Comment

  1. XianZhuXuande says:

    I feel like I should feel bad for someone in this position, but the greed required to fall for something like this makes it oh so very difficult.

  2. organicgardener says:

    Good grief! How stupid can anyone be? Is she the last remaining person in America who doesn’t know that this is a scam? DUMBASS!

    • kevipants! says:

      @organicgardener: The thing that gets me about this, though, is that her family members were telling her that it was a scam over the two years it was occurring. Crazy.

    • blackmage439 says:

      @organicgardener: Agreed. Some people just do not belong on the Internet. Some people don’t deserve to breathe. This woman has ruined both hers AND her husband’s financial status, not to mention forget about her children ever receiving an inheritance.

      What. A. Dumb. Greedy. Hag.

    • mac-phisto says:

      @organicgardener: sadly, no. she’s not the last one to get taken by this scam. & it’s only going to get worse as people become more desperate for money.

      • res ipsa pasta says:

        @mac-phisto: True dat. And amazingly smart people do fall for this. I have a ex, a very intelligent former military officer, who went white as a sheet one day reading his e-mail and told me in whispered tones about this guy, in Nigeria, who needed this money, to get his friend, a political dissident out of jail…..etc. And I really did have to sit him down and type in http://www.snopes.com to convince him that, no, he should not send any money to anyone.

        • Ubik2501 says:

          @res ipsa pasta: Is that why he’s an ex?

          • res ipsa pasta says:

            @Ubik2501: Ha! No, but you do think you shouldn’t have to explain these things to someone of your generation, unlike say, other relatives who I routinely have to send responses to their forwarded e-mails like “um, no, actually, it turns out Barack Obama is not a Muslim” and no, carjackers are not waiting to prey on me outside the mall parking lot. I love Snopes.

    • innout3x3 says:

      @organicgardener: One word: moron.

    • RedwoodFlyer says:


      To be fair…she also believes the whole religion scam…

  3. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Off topic, but I think this woman looks a little like Neil Diamond. Anyone else?

  4. Ftp1423 says:

    What an idiot

  5. katylostherart says:

    you mean someone greedy and stupid.

  6. KyleOrton says:

    She wouldn’t have needed to if those damn Goonies didn’t steal her treasure!

  7. HIV 2 Elway says:

    There was a long and detailed scammer victim story in the New Yorker a few years back. Say what you want about the marks being stupid, if you read the article its hard not to feel empathy for them.

    • Murph1908 says:

      @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected:
      Sympathy, maybe. (Or not).

      Empathy, never.

    • sprocket79 says:

      @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: I read that story in the New Yorker. I just cannot understand that after everything that guy went through – including being convicted and sent to jail – that he would STILL send more money to the Nigerians.

      • Xerloq says:

        @sprocket79: There’s gotta be some kind of disease or syndrome that would cause this. I mean, I know people are greedy, but really?

        • Ber'Zophus says:

          @Xerloq: I think part of the problem is not really greed, but a refusal to admit ones own mistakes. Greed certainly is a motivator to start, but the moment he (or the woman above) was in it for anything, greed is less a factor (albeit still one). It’s much much harder for people to stop, cut their losses, and admit they were taken for fools than to keep reaching for the golden carrot no matter how far away it is from their nose.

    • weakdome says:

      @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: Yeah… sorry… that story is only sad because he went to jail and owes 600,000 dollars. But as for the other 5 pages, I just sat there thinking to myself: “IDIOT! IDIOT! IDIOT!”

    • Gatcha_Journalism says:

      @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: I receive similar solicitations almost monthly, and I am baffled that people actually fall for them. There has been too much media attention warning potential victims, so lets chalk her case as being Simple Stupidity.

    • ShizaMinelli says:

      @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: Unfortunately, it’s also not too hard for some people to take the “smarter than thou” approach to a ridiculous extreme, either, as evidenced by these replies.

  8. LionelEHutz says:

    If Woody would have called the police, none of this ever would have ever happened.

  9. chipslave says:

    America needs a bailout for Nigerian Scammers!

    • wickedpixel says:

      @chipslave: I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you. Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

  10. weakdome says:

    I called a nigerian scammer an asshole the other day and he sent back a hilarious reply:
    “Hey hey,please do not address me in that manner and i demand an apology from you for using such swear words on human being like you. Kindly have the item i paid for shipped because i want it to be with my pastor before his wedding ceremony and you know i can not afford to dissappoint him as i have already told him about this package.
    Please do not hurt my feelings here.”

    I never received his money order. Strange! I love fishing for them every once in a while, on craigslist.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @weakdome: I’m selling a pretty expensive item on Craig’s List and I got a scam email…I wanted to take advantage of the scammer and have them send me a money order, but I didn’t want to give out my home address. I briefly considered opening a PO Box just to make scamming the scammers a hobby, but I didn’t want to pay for a PO Box.

      • mac-phisto says:

        @IHaveAFreezeRay: why not just give them the address to your local fbi headquarters? find it here: [www.fbi.gov]

        • howie_in_az says:

          @mac-phisto: Make sure you find the proper fraud division head for them to address it to, and ask the scammer to include all their email correspondences with the fraudulent money order. I usually say that I do a lot of business with people and need to be reminded of who they are. It’s like I’m doing the FBI’s work for them!

      • weakdome says:

        @IHaveAFreezeRay: Luckily, I have an apartment that is not connected to my other, actual billing, addresses. If he/she really wanted to show up and challenge me there… well then… hooray for the 2nd amendment.

      • res ipsa pasta says:

        @IHaveAFreezeRay: Can’t you just report it to CraigsList?

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        @IHaveAFreezeRay: can’t you have it sent to the local post office, your name, c/o general delivery, then go pick it up? i’ve used that one hiking to send myself supplies at towns along the trail, but i don’t see why it wouldn’t be effective for a money order when you don’t want the scammer to have your address.

    • ideagirl says:

      @weakdome: I helped my sister sell her 1974 Dodge pick up on Craigslist last year ($1200). I was shocked at how many Nigerian scam responses I got it. At one point a guy told me he lived in Texas and was in need of my truck right away. My response was, “Riiiight….I forgot about the Great Texan Truck Shortage of 2007…”

  11. mrdeeno says:

    I wonder if she also signed up on Classmates.com because she received a message that someone was trying to contact her.

    • TCTH says:

      @mrdeeno: I wouldn’t recommend Classmates.com because I have no idea what it’s morphed into by now but several years back I used it to get in touch with a fairly large number of my old school friends including my high school sweetheart who dumped me and ran off with some guy ten years older than either of us and…
      Ah, never mind. %$#@ Classmates.com/

    • Segador says:

      @mrdeeno: Classmates.com seems like a completely untapped rescource for the scammers.

      “Wow! One of my former classmates moved to Nigeria and inherited $13 million dollars!”

  12. hhole says:

    Would like to have sympathy, would like to feel awful for this woman, would love to find the asscracks in Nigeria who looted this woman.

    With that being said, I can’t because this Nigerian scam thing has been going on for years and most people should know what the hell is going and her own family and friends tried to stop her.

    The thing I’m most pissed off about is that now that they got the 400k out of her it just pushes them to keep going for the next sucker!

    Yeesh! And a big FTW!

    • nicemarmot617 says:

      @hhole: I not only don’t feel sorry for people like this, I’m angry at them. Their idiocy causes everybody else annoyance and pain and increases the risk that somebody really vulnerable (i.e. senile elderly person) will fall for a similar scam.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @nicemarmot617: I think that’s why I don’t feel any sympathy for this woman. I think you hit the nail on the head there…I think people like this make it easier for criminals to take advantage of people who don’t have relatives and family members to tell them this is a scam. This woman blatantly fell for it, refused to listen to her loved ones, and not only lost $400,000 of money that was only partially hers (husband’s retirement money) and now gives scammers proof that their scams can work on a larger basis.

        This woman does make me angry, not only in her stupidity but because she affects her loved ones with her stupidity.

  13. Ryan Duff says:

    Janella Spears doesn’t think she’s a sucker or an easy mark.

    Obviously not! She never would have sent money if she thought she was a sucker! Dumb people will always be dumb.

  14. Snarkysnake says:

    Thanks,you dimwit.

    This big score will embolden the lowliest of Nigerian two-bit scammers to reach for the brass ring. This woman doesn’t deserve our pity at all. She has just guaranteed an ever increasing flood of these fucking emails.

    And yes, she does fucking look like Neil Diamond

  15. edicius is an acquired taste says:

    No pity for this woman. She’s dumb as a rock.

    Reminds me of the Doug Stanhope bit where he’s talking about elderly people getting scammed 11, 12 times in a row and then finally catching on.

    “No, it’s not because you’re old…it’s because you’re dumb as a rock and you always have been.”

  16. albear says:

    Somebody that stupid doesn’t deserve to have money.

  17. fredgar says:

    Neil Diamond really doesn’t deserve this kind of abuse! This babe is way more ugly…

  18. catskyfire says:

    Unlike some, I’m not going to insult this woman. Instead, I’m going to look at the sneakiness of the scammer. They don’t say “Hey, send us $100,000 and we’ll send you $400,000,000.” That would raise huge flags. Instead, it’s just a hundred bucks to start with. Processing fees and legal stuff. Then, oh no, we hit a snag, and need more.

    Part of it is pure greed, true. But it seems so earnest and honest… (Really, you read the letters, they are horribly misspelled, but drip with earnestness). Then comes the catch : There’s a point that the person is too far in to NOT hold out hope. If you stop now, admit you were scammed, you are a fool and out $400,000. But if there’s just a tiny chance it’s real…you’d have it all back…

    Greed, yes. But also some hope. And finally, and this is the one that makes the huge difference: Crushing desperation.

    • Rhayader says:

      @catskyfire: Yeah, I noticed that too. It actually takes some talent to properly string along a mark like that.

      Of course, if this woman had spent ANY time whatsoever thinking about what was happening, it never would have gone as far as it did.

      I hope that Nigerian dude is living well.

      • PlasmaMachine says:


        She was warned numerous times by friends and family that it was a scam. Hard to feel sorry for someone who chooses to trust a bunch of strangers instead of friends and family.

    • floraposte says:

      @catskyfire: Good observation. And there’s at least a rumor of heightened vulnerability in classes of people–doctors, lawyers, police–who take particular pride in being skeptical, because to them the fact that they didn’t identify something as a scam means it couldn’t possibly have been a scam.

    • savvy9999 says:

      @catskyfire: classic case of sunk cost fallacy: [en.wikipedia.org]

      She was in so far, she couldn’t stop.

    • god_forbids says:

      @catskyfire: Kinda like how admitting that Barack Obama is just another politician and not the messiah and saviour of all mankind is now impossible, seeing as how he bears the hopes and dreams of the entire world.

      He didn’t start by saying “Hey, I’m gonna turn this country inside out and charge you for the privilege”. That would raise huge flags. Instead, it’s just an election to start with. Change is coming, have hope, “yes we can”. Then, oh no, we hit a snag, and need more (taxes) before we can pay off your credit cards and mortgages.

      Part of it is pure greed, true. But it seems so earnest and honest… (Really, you heard his speeches, they are horribly irrational, but drip with earnestness). Then comes the catch: there’s a point that America is too far in to NOT hold out hope. If we stop now, admit we were scammed, we are fools and out our paychecks and personal freedoms for life. But if there’s just a tiny chance it’s real…we’d have it all back…

      Greed, yes. But also some hope. And finally, and this is the one that makes the huge difference: Crushing desperation. Desperation from 8 years of neo-con pantywaists in the White House giving conservatives a bad name, ushering in an era of insanity where an unknown Kenyan is given the keys to the country for promising the moon, stars and all the rich corporate evil white male capitalist pigs’ money (= $100M of royal Nigerian funds).

      God help us now.

      /hoping people will get the satire and not disemvowel me

  19. m4ximusprim3 says:

    It actually warms my heart a little to imagine how well off the nigerian who stumbled upon her is.

    She probably bought them a giant house, a couple cars, and enough of a nest egg to live out the rest of thier days without ever touching a computer again.

    And you know what? If she’s that dumb, they deserve every penny. That’s true capitalism, right there.

  20. blockbustarhymes says:

    It’s nice to be on the internet where you never make mistakes.

    Yes, this lady made a huge one ($400,000!!!), but I’ve seen some people who are just ideal personalities to fall for these things. They’re not bright, but if there’s some einsteins out there, law of averages tends to mean there are people who aren’t so bright. They are probably down on their luck because they aren’t really smart enough to make things happen for themselves. And they are just dumb enough to believe these things because of the promise of a better life.

    This lady could’ve had it pretty good if she had 400,000 “available” to her. The guy I knew who fell for the russian lady scam was so heartbroken. If you knew this lady, you’d say she’s crazy/stupid/etc, but you’d feel bad for her. It’s called senility, and it’ll happen to you.

    Way to kill human emotion, internet.

    • Anonymous says:

      @blockbustarhymes: @blockbustarhymes: The issue, as I see it, isn’t that this woman made a mistake. After all, we’ve all done that, and sooner or later had to own up and accept it as a life lesson. But this woman did not make a mistake and learn from it. She kept making the same mistake, escalating the issue. And this despite people telling her that it was a mistake.
      Another problem here is that her mistakes didn’t just impact herself. She depleted her husband’s retirement savings. Not to mention the mortgage and car lein.
      So, I don’t think it’s the Internet that makes people start blaming the victim in this case. If someone told me this to my face, I’d still call them all kinds of fool.

    • BrianDaBrain says:

      @blockbustarhymes: I would hardly call this desensitizing, nor would I call the audience desensitized. Simple fact of the matter is that she had friends and family warning her for two years that this was a scam, and she didn’t stop sending money. She had the DoJ telling her to stop, and she STILL didn’t want to. At some point in this whole shebang, her common sense should have kicked in. But it didn’t.

      Also, FTR, the article says she’s a nurse. Let’s hope she’s not senile.

      • Bargaineering.com says:

        @BrianDaBrain: If you get taken for a few hundred dollars, chalk it up to a mistake and most people will probably feel bad for you. When you send four hundred thousand dollars… there’s more to it. The element of greed comes in and no one feels bad for someone who loses a ton of money because of greed. No one feels bad that someone loses hundreds of thousands of dollars in the stock market betting on penny stocks. It sucks just the same but no one feels bad for that investor.

  21. WEGGLES90 says:

    I think in this case it’s ok to blame the victim.

    She’s a reverend too, shouldn’t she be firmilliar with that bible passage about gaining the world at the cost of your soul?

    Ah well. She’s made her bed, and now must sleep in it.

    • Rhayader says:

      @WEGGLES90: Agreed.

      For some reason the fact that she’s a reverend makes it really easy to blame her in this case. Probably my own prejudice, but hey. Reverend or not, this is one dull mark.

  22. tande04 says:

    Scammers recently got one of my e-mails recently. No idea how.

    Funny thing was that I was telling some friends that work in the IT field that I got an e-mail telling me that I won the UK lottery and I only had to send $X in to claim my prize and they asked if I was going to do it…

    *sigh* I need smarter f*****g friends.

  23. Murph1908 says:

    Didn’t Paul kill Annie?

  24. Nolarchy says:

    While it’s very easy to throw out labels for this woman, there may be more to this story than just stupidity and greed. My mother, a worldly woman in general, is experiencing significant money trouble. She got one of these emails and called me to ask my opinion. Obviously I told her it was a scam, but my mother’s desperation led her to give the email serious consideration. I guess the difference here is she listened to me.

  25. kairi2 says:

    LOL she thought she was going to get Britney Spears’ money.

  26. LoriLynn says:

    Ok, stupid question. Why Nigeria? I’m sure there must be regular honest people in Nigeria. Are the scammers really in Nigeria; do they not have laws there?

    I used to work at this teeny publishing company that published books about volunteerism and non-profits. That was it. We’d get credit card orders all the them from Nigeria that we wouldn’t process, and we always wondered why they would want to try to get books about volunteerism.

    • tande04 says:

      @LoriLynn: Yeah the scammers are in Nigeria and Russia and Atlanta and just about every other county.

      From what I understand the term just referes to one of the more popular scams. The term is still used (though maybe not as accurately as other names) for e-mails and criminals that have nothing to do with Nigeria.

    • Rhayader says:

      @LoriLynn: I’m pretty sure it has a lot to do with the legal environment. It’s not so much that they have NO laws, but maybe they are poorly enforced, or don’t cover digital fraud or something.

      Obviously there is some reason it’s always coming out of Nigeria.

    • Shadowman615 says:

      @LoriLynn: There seems to be quite a culture of scamming in Nigeria. There’s even a racket going on right within the country, where the successful scammers are selling “kits” to help get wannabe 419 scammers started in the business.

      Take a look at some of the sites like 419eater.com, the forums have quite a bit of information answering your question about what’s going on in Nigeria with this stuff.

  27. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I feel bad for victims in this case when (like many Americans right now) they are in debt, may lose their homes, and are desperate for a miricale (like playing the lottery).

    BUT, if she can get together $400,000 to send to scamers, then she doesn’t fall into that category. She wasn’t on the verge of forclosure, or have excessive medical bills…she was just greedy.

    And thus I don’t feel bad for her.

    Go Nigera!

  28. donopolis says:

    Her family should have had her committed just to stop the financial bleeding….

    I’m surprised no one has commented on the Department of Justice threatening to arrest her if she kept it up…so it’s actually illegal to to piss your money away? Where do send our complaints about lottery addicts?


    • Rhayader says:

      @donopolis: Hah. It’s probably illegal to wire money to Nigerian scammers, whether you were aware it was a scam or not. International commerce is regulated fairly strictly due to drug trafficking, terrorism funding, etc.

      Obviously they aren’t enforcing the law too strongly, or she would be behind bars already.

  29. HurfDurf says:

    Wow, if she did that to my money she’d be divorced and sued.

  30. Marshfield says:

    Just one word: [www.419eater.com]

  31. InsomniacZombie says:

    I agree with the posts above and their lack of sympathy for the ‘victim’ (idiot) in this situation. How could you not have even a single ounce of suspicion after being told to send money to someone you’ve never met, never heard of, and don’t know? One would think to request some type of documentation. If they have computers in Nigera, you’d think they’d have fax machines.

    These scams will always exist because there are people dumb enough to fall for them.

    ‘There’s a sucker born every minute, and two to take him.’ – PT Barnum

  32. Anonymous says:

    What really shocks me is that this woman went on TV to share her stupidity with the whole world. Or at least Portland, OR and the readers of Consumerist.

    • Rhayader says:

      @MeSoHornsby: Yeah no kidding. Did she expect an outpouring of sympathy and community support?

      • ajlei says:

        @MeSoHornsby: Yeah, agreed. When KATU posted it last week I was a little ashamed that someone that stupid lived within 30 miles of me. Of course, the same day KATU ran an article about a family whose child almost fell off a cliff at the coast because they were having their three year old pose by the rickity fence next to it. And the parents were blaming the government, not, you know, the total irresponsible nature of letting a three year old chill at the edge of a cliff.

        Point being, KATU seems to always be running articles that would seem like they should be categorized in the “Weird/Unusual” section of a normal news site. I still read them though, so that’s saying something.

        • VikingP77 says:

          @ajlei: Gawd those parents are too stupid to have kids. The nerve of them sending that tape to anyone! This lady makes me also feel a bit stupider for being an Oregonian :-(

  33. madfrog says:

    She kept sending money because she though that part of the bailout would be coming her way!

  34. madfrog says:


  35. DarkKnightShyamalan says:

    She spent $400,000 of her and her husband’s money… what… without his knowing? A few hundred or even thousand dollars, you might not notice, but after she’d spent $50,000 or so I think he should have taken specific legal steps to stop her. This woman is not of sound mind and he needed to protect himself from her.

  36. digitalgimpus says:

    I’m another one with no sympathy for this person.

    If your really so greedy for money that you can’t see this scam taking place (because they are dead obvious… it’s not an easy one to fall for) even when family warns you of the scam… your not getting any sympathy.

    It’s one thing when they get a 80 year old lady who didn’t know the “polite young man on the phone” was a con. It’s another thing when your greed makes you blind to common sense.

  37. Triborough says:

    I have no sympathy for someone who was duly warned by family and friends.

  38. GothGirl says:

    One day people will learn the simple lesson that if it’s too good to be true… it probably is.

  39. jgodsey says:

    I am having a hard time drumming up sympathy…these guys have been around for over 10 years now…one would think that ANYONE with an email account knows NOT to believe anything that sounds too good to be true.

    if she was that easy to bilk she would have been duped by someone eventually.

  40. craptastico says:

    i can’t believe she’s a nurse. the real victim is the poor hospital patient that has this moron overseeing their hearlthcare

  41. rellog says:

    I agree, I have NO sympathy for the woman… I do feel for the husband however. He may have been completely in the dark about this. This type pf stuff happens more often than people think. A spouse causes significant debt before the other realizes what’s going on. Personally, I think it should be criminal for that to occur.

    BTW, I didn’t see anyone mention that fact that this woman was a reverend… What kind of craptastic religous figure is she that her greed controlled her to this extent? Fayes, Robertson, Fawell…. makes me think religion needs to be outlawed…

    • Rhayader says:

      @rellog: Yeah religion has always been and still is a source of tremendous greed and ignorance.

      I have nothing against many of the principles encouraged by most religions — love thy neighbor and all that jazz. Something about the NEED to be right about religion really distorts people’s perspectives though.

  42. johnarlington says:


    A fool and their money….

    At least she’s providing economic stimulus to a third world nation. All that money should go a long way.

  43. aftercancer says:

    I would suggest that she receive a mental health evaluation. It won’t change what has already happened but she may not be competent to handle money.

  44. Segador says:

    Gambling Addiction FTL

  45. Petra says:

    I’m honestly trying to figure out how on earth people are still falling for these. Even if a person has no common sense, anything with the word “Nigeria” in it should be sending up huge red flags!

  46. ELC says:

    I’d like to know what kind of “reverend” she is. That type of greed and willful ignoring of advice doesn’t fit with the term “reverend.” Of course, neither does a woman in most religions, but that’s another topic. :)

  47. jeirich says:

    Leon Sumbitches, real name Brian Wheat.

  48. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    From the article, paragraph order switched for emphasis:

    For more than two years… Everyone she knew, including law enforcement officials, her family and bank officials, told her to stop, that it was all a scam. She persisted.

    She wiped out her husband’s retirement account, mortgaged the house and took a lien out on the family car. Both were already paid for.

    Frankly, I’m surprised the headline wasn’t “Man kills wife after she throws away their entire life savings”

    • BluePlastic says:

      @TinyBug: That’s horrible! Shouldn’t the husband have been able to transfer the money into a different account that she didn’t have access to? If my family member was doing this to me and wouldn’t listen to my pleas for it to stop, I’d be doing whatever I could to safeguard the rest of my money. Not sure what he could legally do to prevent her from mortgaging the house and taking out a lien on the car, though. Horrible!

  49. homerjay- Smiling politely says:

    If I was that much of a retard the last thing I would do was go on TV and tell everybody about it.

  50. mike says:

    If only there was some sort of filter, say one you can put on your e-mail that would delete these messages for you…

    • Rhayader says:

      @mike: I have the perfect thing for you. Just wire me $250 and I can release the project from development. I’ll put the multi-million dollar business in your name as soon as I receive payment.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Check out 419eater.com they bait the scammers, get them to do stupid stuff to waste their time, even turning the tables and sending them to other parts of Nigeria or war torn countrys so they can recieve money.

  52. Starfury says:

    I think Bugs Bunny says it all here.

  53. iheartapocalypse says:

    After reading the article I still don’t understand how people fall for 419s, but I do finally understand how our country got so messed up:

    When Spears began to doubt the scam, she got letters from the President of Nigeria, FBI Director Mueller, and President Bush. Terrorists could get the money if she did not help, Bush’s letter said.

    Geez, these people will do whatever even fake President Bush says.

  54. Nigromancer says:

    There are very few people who even open these emails let alone respond; let alone respond interested; let alone respond with money; let alone return to the well multiple times. This takes a kind of ingenius stupidity.

    Her efforts alone will lead to us recieving dumb emails for the next two years.

  55. Red_Eye says:

    She needs epic fail tattooed across her face.

  56. weakdome says:

    Oh my goodness, how did her know her last name? Let me guess… her email is probably firstinitial.lastname@cablecompany.com! There’s no way this could be a scam!

  57. dantsea says:

    Totally blaming the victim here.

  58. BrianDaBrain says:

    It’s always sad when people lose this much money to scammers, but when you are SO greedy that you cannot stop sending more and more money until the DoJ stops you… that is a new level of ignorance, naivete, stupidity, whatever you’d like to call it. I would very much love to feel bad for this woman, but I just cannot find anything. When you are this greedy, quite frankly, you deserve everything you get. I feel bad for her husband though. Can we say divorce?

  59. Roclawzi says:

    Moist Von Lipwig, your public awaits.

  60. cynical_bastard says:

    I wonder if AIG sent a similar email to Henry Paulson…

  61. concordia says:

    I wish I had access to $400,000 to give away.

  62. postnocomments says:

    Now with all that money, can the Nigerian scammers afford a spell checker?

  63. AletheaPhoenix says:

    I think the IQ levels of people with Spears last name seems to be way low. Maybe the money caught up of her relative was Britney Spears !!

  64. ironchef says:

    both the nurse and the scammer share equal blame.

    But something has to be done about Nigeria…pull the damn plug on that nation. Sheesh.

  65. BloggyMcBlogBlog says:

    Giving your money away to scammers is still a better investment than investing in GM.

  66. LordieLordie says:

    How does someone so stupid get to have $400,000??

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @LordieLordie: Not all of it was even her money. Some of it was her husband’s retirement account.

    • Julia789 says:

      @LordieLordie: In addition to spending her husband’s entire retirement acount, she also took out a mortgage on their house, a house which was already paid in full, to borrow the money to give the scammers.

      In addition, she took out a loan/lien against her car, which was also already paid in full.

      I still can’t believe she thought that President Bush and the director of the FBI personally and privately asked her to send money to people in Nigeria to “keep money out of the hands of terrorists.” Did she really think she was THAT special that the president and FBI contacted her for a secret mission? A secret mission that she had to pay for with her own money to stop terrorists?

  67. MyPetFly says:

    With her being a nurse, I’m glad she never cared for me.

  68. TerpBE says:

    Financial Darwinism.

  69. Julia789 says:

    “The scammers ran Spears through the whole program. They said President Bush and FBI Director “Robert Muller” (their spelling) were in on the deal and needed her help.”

    So she belived the PRESIDENT and the FBI were “in on the deal” and needed HER HELP?

    I’m sorry. This woman should not be a nurse. She should be in the psychiatric ward. This is just sad. She needs mental health counseling if she believes she is part of secret government conspiracies.

  70. frodo_35 says:

    If only she had been wearing her tinfoil hat. I wear mine daily and have never been a victim of a nigerian scam. When my russian bride gets here I will make her wear one also. Only 8 more payments to go and olgas all mine.

  71. kwsventures says:

    Stupid is, as stupid does.

    F. Gump

  72. Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

    Awesome… More to fuel the proof of the non-existence of “god” …

    Would “god” allow a reverend, one of “his” messengers, lose everything to a scammer?

    Religion: 0
    Atheism: 1

    I only wish there was a “hell” so these nigerian scammers could burn there.

  73. TedCopacabana says:

    Nigeria, What a country!

  74. OULAXER11 says:

    Let me guess… She’s from the south?

    • BluePlastic says:

      @OULAXER11: Yeah ’cause we’re all so stupid here in the South. Actually, she lives in Oregon. If she is originally from the South, I guess the extreme intelligence of all northerners failed to rub off on her.

  75. newfenoix says:

    April, 2001. The date which I received my first 419 scam mail. I was still a cop then and copied the email and took it to the local FBI field office. They knew what it was and told me that these scams had been around since the beginning of the internet.

    I will break my long standing rule about blaming the victim here…this women is beyond stupid.

  76. postnocomments says:

    What’s her email? I’ll get her money back if she wires me $8000 for the paperwork.

  77. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Normally, I’m all about defending people who get taken in by scams. However, this woman actually stole her husbands retirement account money (I feel comfortable saying that she stole from him since he was telling her to stop sending the money) to keep sending these people money.

    The reporter in the video said, “The scammers exploited her compassion.”


    Compassion does not mean destroying your husbands plans for retirement. You wanna help out a lady with cancer? (That bit is in the video briefly and they don’t really explain it.) Why not send the money to her instead of to Nigeria! Furthermore, it stops being charity when you’re hurting yourself.

    The scammers may have exploited something but it wasn’t compassion. Like previous commentors, I say they exploited that she has some kind of mental illness because if you need law enforcement to threaten to arrest you before you stop (and this after warnings from said law enforcement agents) then you have some serious problems.

    What kills me is that she still thinks she isn’t a dupe or an easy mark. That means that this could actually happen again because she still thinks she’s too smart to fall for it.

  78. NotATool says:

    Why did the reporter feel the need to throw this in there: “no relation to the well-known pop star”? Just because her last name is Spears and she’s, well, as smart as a box of rocks, then she must be related to Brittney?

    Also, what crime did the DoJ threaten to charge her with? Criminal stupidity???

  79. kwsventures says:

    How much U.S taxpayer money is given to Nigeria via foreign aid?

  80. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    if my spouse started bleeding the money out of the accounts, i’d withdraw it in cash and stash it in a safe deposit box that only i knew of. better to lose the interest than the principal.
    now if you’ll excuse me, it’s payday and i just got an email that the brooklyn bridge is for sale…..

  81. SegamanXero says:

    i don’t feel bad for her, but i feel bad for her husband and children who no longer have a retirement and inheritance.

  82. Jackasimov says:

    OK, now I think Genesis P. Orridge is taking this whole pandrogynous a bit too far. It just doesn’t age well.

  83. tanya.peacock says:

    Idiocy at its best.

  84. Floobtronics says:

    How is it that someone who’s obviously got an education can be this stupid?

    I’m not usually the “blame the victim” type, but come on. You’ve got to have rocks in your head to fall for this.

  85. Anonymous says:

    The only way these scams work is if the person being scammed is very greedy, and is willing to break the law. The idea of spending 400k to get an inheritence that does not belong to you, or for that matter, does not exist, is shockingly stupid and amazingly greedy for a supposed reverand.. Good Lord, Charlie Brown…………….

  86. squishyalt says:

    A perfect example of why letting every adult vote is a bad idea.

  87. GoVegan says:

    Driven by greed she spent 400 grand? I am betting that the casinos are sending her comps as we speak!

  88. whorfin says:

    yeah, well she doesn’t sound so dumb to me…some of us have lost more on the wallstreetian pretend-money scam.


  89. Meathamper says:

    Dumb shit. Being warned by family and friends and still doing this, I hate to say it, but I don’t feel any thing for her. This time, the Nigerian deserved it.

  90. coold8 says:

    Guys, I have a true story, I have 31 million in an Iraqi bank account that I can’t get tout. Who wants to send me $100,000 to help get it out? We’ll split it, I swear on my mother’s unused grave! How can people honestly be this retarded?

  91. Quilt says:

    $10 says she kept going along with the scam because she enjoyed the attention and was addicted to the thrill of it all.

    What a fool. Go to a casino lady, you might save some money.

  92. komodork says:

    Can we stop with the Nigerians scam post? You have to be a one mentally challenged person to fall for this kind of stuff.

  93. Mr. Gunn says:

    Hey, I have a deal on some property for her to help her make her money back. She can take out a 0% down loan on this great piece of investment property and then sell it in a few years when the house prices go up, like they always do. All she has to do is pay this little origination fee…

  94. Barney_The Plug_ Frank says:

    Someone this stupid, should not have 400K in the first place–especially after being told it was a scam– repeatedly.

  95. Anonymous says:

    catskyfire is correct in that most people once they give the first 100 bucks, will continue until someone forces them to stop , face it 400,000 grand to make 20 million .. thats a good trade off.
    The truth of it is , most people are so desperate for an easy out , then put common sense on the sidelines.
    Stupid idiot , that doesn’t cut it for me. I’d prefer greedy desperate easy out woman.

  96. my_imaginary_friends_bore_me says:

    I think everyone else has said everything that needs to be said

  97. BugDude10 says:

    Let’s take a poll! How many folks think that this woman had a “Sarah Palin” sign in her front yard?

  98. rtmccormick says:

    I never thought someone could be so stupid as to actually think that someone out there as $20 mil with their name on it as long as they pay a few hundred grand to get it out of hock. Amazing.

  99. bobcatred says:

    you know, with all the publicity these scams have gotten (hell, even our local news outlet has done bits on it, and they’re completely technologically inept) I really don’t have a whole lot of pity for the “victims” anymore.
    Publicity aside, who the hell sends money to a stranger without checking out the validity of their claims first?

  100. smint says:

    I accidentally my whole life savings, is this bad?

  101. CumaeanSibyl says:

    She looks like Richard Lynch to me.

    And I’m not saying she isn’t an idiot, but are we sure she’s not also a little cracked?

  102. bigmac12 says:

    I wish She was my Nurse!

    Where was “El Wimpo” Hubby during all of this?


  103. banmojo says:

    PT Barnum would be so proud ….

  104. SJRNWT says:

    Well all I can say is, I hope that events like this don’t make people racist towards Nigerians, or Africans in general, but unfortunately I know there are a handful of idiots that will…

    Either way, it’s a shame, but at the same time, it’s 2008, you have to be careful.

  105. MisterE says:

    Since this nurse is also a “reverend”, this verse is appropriate:

    MAT 23:25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but insidethey are full of greed and self-indulgence.”

  106. mountaindew says:

    A friend of mine also fell into such a scam sometime back. The promise of a good life with a successful Nigerian businessman was too enticing for someone in her situation – single and lonely, educated with a good job, plus a little savings. I feel sorry for her, but was surprised that she would be a victim of such a scam that has been going on for years.

  107. MightyCow says:

    Dear Stupid, Greedy People:
    If you hate your money so much, please send it to me. You still won’t get anything out of it, but I will buy myself some gourmet bacon and a bottle of really good wine, and send you pictures of me enjoying the hell out of them.

  108. r.hinojosa says:

    Wow. I can understand getting scammed once for $100, but when you start mortgaging your home for this…I just don’t know. I guess she wears the balls in the family, where was the husband?

  109. jcargill says:

    It only takes one of her for all of us to get these emails.

  110. Anonymous says:

    Are you kidding me? This isn’t about senility…

    This is just an example of how STUPID redneck white people can be. I’m white myself, so I’m well aware of these people, as they surround me daily with their blatant ignorance for any truths, believing anything that they hear.

    Just like the lady at the McCain rally that thought Obama is a terrorist… just complete unadulterated ignorance.

    In the words of David Duke, a KKK leader (whose views I personally do not agree with), “WAKE UP WHITE PEOPLE” – hahaha you morons… serves you right for being so ignorant.