The UK website Scam Detectives has published a two-part interview with a self-described former Nigerian 419 scammer. Take all of this a healthy dose of skepticism–the author admits he has no way of verifying if anything the guy says is true. Oh, and the reason I call it a short interview is because halfway through the second call, the author tells the scammer he doesn’t like him and wants to hang up. Before that happens, though, you get to read about foot soldiers, something called a wash wash, and the response rate on scam email blasts.
A reader received a weird message from a fellow Match.com member last night—it was a fairly transparent attempt by someone to establish contact with her via a false identity.
Are you a student looking for a summer or long-term tutoring gig? Be sure to stay away from the foreign tutoring scam, especially if you’re looking for work on Craigslist.
Last week, “This American Life” featured a 30-minute piece on people who scam the scammers—in this case, three guys who prey upon small-time Nigerian con men and try to trick them into placing themselves in mortal danger. “This American Life” tells how they almost got a guy to enter a Western Union office in Chad carrying an anti-Muslim/pro-Bush note that announces his intention to rob the place. Whether you think these stunts are funny probably depends on your level of empathy even for criminals, and whether you think the avengers ever fully succeed. But c’mon, getting someone in another country to hold up a sign that’s offensive in your language is pretty much always funny.
Timothy, our hapless eBay seller who kept having problems listing his laptop on the auction site, was contacted by a Real Live Human from eBay the day after we posted his story. “Garrison” apologized for the frustration, and said he’d be making a note on Timothy’s account to keep it from getting shut down by other agents. He also suggested several listing options that were pretty well-covered by our commenters in the original thread.
Bankrate has an extensive round up of the most common internet pet scams, including the infamous “Nigerian Puppy Scam.” (Yes, apparently this exists.)
Diagnosis: chronic greed. The latest dupe in the Nigerian email scams may be a renowned psychiatrist from UC Irvine who frittered at least $1.3 million of his family’s fortune in payments to internet con artists.