[Ads-l] The Nigerian Scam revisited

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM
Sun Oct 2 17:02:17 EDT 2016


Well, to be picky, the Nigerian 419 scam, specifically a web-based phenomenon,
is a variant on the Spanish Prisoner Con.  Pushing it back to England in the
1600s, I suppose guinea dropping could be considered a slighter variant of the
same business, as Guinea Droppers, Spanish Prisoner Conmen, and Nigerian [not
necessarily from that physical area, but so-called from the first identified ISP
address associated with the phenomenon] Scammers all appeal to the mark's
cupidity, thus in each case there being a hint of impropriety, never quite
reaching the level of illegality, in what the mark is expected to do to get
Loadsamoney.

Hey, let's not knock it -- it worked (well enough) in 1600, and it still seems
to work often enough today for it to be still worth practicing.

Sad old world, if you can bear to think about it. The Web seems intent on (among
other things) replicating, while spinning the electrons, scams which prolly
reach back to the time when a sharp chimpanzee first conned a silver-backed
gorilla out of his [sic] territory, while a couple of  bonobo monkeys looked on
disapprovingly.

Robin

(Aside: In the scale of primate social co-operativeness, homo sapiens as a whole
sits on a level with chimpanzees, above silver-backed gorillas but well below
the heights achieved by bonobo monkeys.  Puts us in our place, that does, in
more ways than one.  Bonobo monkeys are apparently even happy, or at least,
willing, to welcome immigrants from other tribes.  R.)

> 
>     On 02 October 2016 at 21:23 Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> 
>     Isn't "Nigerian _letter_" the older term for this particular scam, which
> is
>     two days older than water?
> 
>     Esquire - Volume 77 - Page 184
>     https://books.google.com/books?id=gWJXAAAAYAAJ
>     William S. Burroughs - 1972 - ā€ˇSnippet view
>     A typical _Nigerian letter_. The correspondence closes with three
>     "references of long standing business" and the illegible signature of a
>     "Director." I answered. "Dr. Mr. Director:
> 
>     "Many good thanks for your letter.
> 
>     "We at X-Pando are not financially equipped to send $400 [approx.
>     $3700, today] worth of free samples sight unseen even to such a
>     well-established firm as yours. We promise you that the X-Pandotite in the
>     one-pound can is exactly the same X-Pandotite as in the 100-pound drum.
>     Only more of it.
> 
>     "We have checked your three references. At present writing two have
>     answered:
>     "We do business only on the basis of an irrevocable letter of credit."
> 
>     I thought that had ended it. Yet I am surprised by yet another letter.
> 
>     On Sun, Oct 2, 2016 at 11:18 AM, Margaret Winters <mewinters at wayne.edu>
>     wrote:
> 
>     > The "IRS" has been sending threatening emails and - even worse -
>     > threatening phone calls for quite a while now. One version demands
>     > payment
>     > by gift cards (!) for a 'student tax', targeting undergraduates new to
>     > grown-up finance, but there are many versions. We get a call once or
>     > twice
>     > a week and delete from our answering machine - no spam filter equivalent
>     > there.
>     >
>     >
>     > sigh,
>     >
>     > Margaret
>     >
>     >
>     > ----------------------------
>     > MARGARET E WINTERS
>     > On Leave
>     > Office of the Provost
>     > Wayne State University
>     > Detroit, MI 48202
>     >
>     > mewinters at wayne.edu
>     >
>     >
>     >
>     > ________________________________
>     > From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of
>     > Robin Hamilton <robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM>
>     > Sent: Sunday, October 2, 2016 11:06 AM
>     > To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
>     > Subject: OT: The Nigerian Scam revisited
>     >
>     > I've just had an email (which my ISP rightly decided, with acute
>     > disdain,
>     > to
>     > relegate to my Spam folder) threatening [sic!] me with legal action from
>     > everyone from the IRS to the United Nations, if I don't send them at
>     > least
>     > a
>     > token payment on an overdue debt.
>     >
>     > I don't remember coming on this particular variant on an old-established
>     > ritual
>     > before.
>     >
>     > Anyone else had one of these? Or am I the only sad person on this list
>     > who
>     > checks their Spam folder?
>     >
>     > Robin
>     >
>     > ------------------------------------------------------------
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>     > of the English language in North America, and of other languages, or
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>     >
>     >
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>     >
> 
> 
> 
>     --
>     -Wilson
>     -----
>     All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
>     come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
>     -Mark Twain
> 
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>

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