419 – Behind the Scenes

08 Aug 2005

Finally some news from Nigeria that doesn’t start with a ‘dear friend’ or ‘congratulations’ ! Yes, it seems the Nigerian government itself is slowly turning in the right direction to combat an icky soar of the internet. The 419-scammers are battered on their homegrounds. At last. Still I’ve always been wondering what the day of such a scammer looked like. Heheh. I could picture the dusty streets with some crooked international telephone stores and internet cafes already. Some funky coloured folks sitting in chairs outside on the curb, chatting… bragging about their latest theme. And every time the outlook says ‘ding’, they race for the-recuperated-pc-formerly-known-as-western.

From [Yahoo!News]:

“Festac Town is where communication specialists operating underground sell foreign telephone lines over which a scammer can purport to be calling from any city in the world. Here lurk master forgers and purveyors of such software as “e-mail extractors,” which can harvest e-mail addresses by the million. Now, however, a 3-year-old crackdown is yielding results, Nigerian authorities say.”

“In the con that Internet users are probably most familiar with, the e-mailer poses as a corrupt official looking for help in smuggling a fortune to a foreign bank account. E-mail or fax recipients are told that if they provide their banking and personal details and deposit certain sums of money, they’ll get a cut of the loot.”

From the life of a scammer :

Kele B., who won’t give his surname, says he couldn’t find work after finishing high school in 2000 in the southeastern city of Owerri, so he drifted with friends to Lagos, where he tried his hand at boxing.

Then he discovered the Web.

Now he spends his mornings in Internet cafes on secondhand computers with aged screens, waiting “to see if my trap caught something,” he says.

Elekwa, a chubby-faced 28-year-old who also keeps his surname to himself, shows up in Festac Town driving a Lexus and telling how he was jobless for two years despite having a diploma in computer science.

His break came four years ago when the chief of a fraud gang saw him solve what seemed like “a complex computer problem” at a business center in the southeastern city of Umuahia and lured him to Lagos.

He won’t talk about his scams, only about their fruits: “Now I have three cars, I have two houses and I’m not looking for a job anymore.”

Read the entire story on [Yahoo!News] and the related entries on Coolz0r :

[Mikhail Khodorkovski Needs Me] & [419 Scam, A Bridge Too Far]

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Posted by Miel Van Opstal in Humor, Spam & Scam


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