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Nabbed Nigerian scammers

By Prefbid II ·
I just read an article about some scammers who were recently arrested for having run a Nigerian Scam ring. I'm not overly concerned about the capture (its about time), but what really gets me is that they are known to have soaked up $1.2 million from gullible people.

Is is just me or do we need to enact a "stupidity law" that imposes an extra penalty on people who are so DUMB as to reply to these scammers? Isn't the basic premise of most of these scams a solicitation for help in violating international and national bank fund transfer laws? Seems to me that the victims are not so clean in this. But, then again, maybe being relieved of some cash is penalty enough for being gullible.

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It is more politically correct

by jdclyde In reply to Nabbed Nigerian scammers

to make excuses for stupid people than to hold them accountable for their own stupidity.

Some scams I can see people falling for, such as a ficticious sale on Ebay.

The nigerian style scams play on the stupid and the greedy.

If possible, most of their money should be returned, MINUS the costs of the investigation and processing fees to do the return.

On the other hand, the BANKS should be doing a better job of protecting it's customers from themselves, questioning ALL overseas transfers and large amounts to anywhere.

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Reconsider

by amcol In reply to Nabbed Nigerian scammers

There's a very big difference between stupid and ignorant. And there are a host of reasons why people get suckered.

Yes, many are stupid. And greedy, and foolish. But many are also desperate, so at the end of their ropes that they'll grasp at anything, no matter how far-fetched, to get themselves out of the trouble they're in. There are those who for a variety of reasons can't distinguish between fact and fantasy, and those who are so blindingly naive to the dark side of human nature that they can't believe the story they're getting is a scam.

I was reading about a minister in Kansas, a complete novice with technology, didn't know a keyboard from a toaster oven, who responded to one of those very same Nigerian scams because he actually believed the story and thought he could help out the poor soul. His intention for the money he would have received in return for his "services" was to donate it to his Church. Hardly a unique case.

Your pejorative and judgemental view, lumping everyone who allows themselves to be scammed into one giant bowl of stupid sauce, is short sighted. I've no compassion for those who think they can outfox the foxes, but I'm willing to believe there are those who deserve more than just a flip "How could you be so dumb?" reaction.

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Therein lies the issue

by gralfus In reply to Reconsider

The gullible are the reason that the rest of us are deluged by spam and phishing emails. They are so willing to whip out their credit cards and send off information to total strangers that the other 99.9% of us get to deal with mountains of the crap they responded to.

By analogy, we don't allow people to drive down the highway the wrong direction just because they don't know any better. We require testing, licensing, and if those fail, ticketing or jail time to try to keep the roads safe for the rest of us who did learn how to drive. While nobody typically dies from spam email, the gullible do have their lives and credit destroyed by falling for scams. Meanwhile, the rest of us suffer under a flood of damnable spam.

The system we have in place today was not planned as much as it grew into place. There are several security issues with email and other communications because security just wasn't the main concern when they were developed, connectivity was. Personal computers became ubiquitous instead of being a rare geeky thing. While we probably can't make people pass tests and such before they get onto the internet, we can redesign the technologies with security in mind.

This crap of allowing the gullible and outright stupid to define the quality of our system of communication is past being absurd and laughable. Real people's lives are being damaged, and the very real problem of the amount of junk email is only getting worse. Bandaids are not the approach we need to take. If operating systems can be redesigned, so can our communication systems.

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Curing the disease

by amcol In reply to Therein lies the issue

To have an effective solution you have to identify the correct problem.

There's no way to make the stupid smart, the gullible savvy, the greedy selfless. And there's no requirement that civilized society protect people from themselves. Scamming may be the world's second oldest profession, and it exists precisely because there's such a huge flock of sheep just waiting to be fleeced.

Whether or not we've done all we can to limit the potential victim pool isn't the issue...by definition, this is a problem that can't be fixed. Ipso facto the most productive alternative is to do something about the perpetrators. Security and technological protections are one answer. Vigorous prosecution of offenders is another. Generally speaking, making the pain of participation and success greater than the reward achieved will do more to limit the proliferation of spam and all its related incarnations than focusing attention on those who feed the beast.

I don't buy your automotive analogy for the reason you cite...no one dies from spam. It's just electronic junk mail, annoying but ultimately benign. I doubt anyone's life can be actually damaged by junk mail, as you state later on. We all get it, we're not going to stop it, so for those of us who can distinguish between legitimate communication and spam there are two choices...get pissed off about it, or ignore it. I have more important things to be pissed off about.

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Until all countries crack down on this abuse

by jdclyde In reply to Therein lies the issue

ALL traffic from those countries should be blocked off at the gateway, of not at the provider.

If a country is more interested in making a buck off of selling bandwidth to scum than they are at preventing crime, they that country should be put up on the chopping block for the whole world to see.

And of course, stop making excuses for stupid people that are too lazy to read a newspaper or a book to actually LEARN something.

Time to crack down on the criminals AND to "cull the herd".

"sorry, but your too stupid to own a computer!"

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No, this is just stupidity

by Prefbid II In reply to Reconsider

Have we become so politically correct that we are unwilling to tell people that they are being stupid?

"Aw, it's not your fault that the big bad scammers from Nigeria suckered you out of $20,000 of your life's savings. You really can't be blamed for wanting to violate Federal banking codes to help someone illegally transfer $1 million into the US. Oh, and it was for such a good cause -- you help steal some money from the government so that you can give it to your local church. I'm sure God would be very pleased with a little illegal kickback going into the coffers."

I thought about being nice, but I think it is time we start being honest with ourselves. The people who are getting scammed are not the destitute -- they have enough money to be on the internet and they have enough money to cause someone else to want to steal it from them.

I will agree that there is a difference between being stupid and ignorant. Those that get taken by these scams are among the former. They aren't ignorant because it takes a minimum education to just get on the internet. That doesn't leave much of an altermative.

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When being stupid becomes a crime

by jdclyde In reply to No, this is just stupidit ...

only crimials will have stupid people? Oh wait, that is guns. ;\

What do we do, pass a law that makes being stupid a crime? do we not allow certain people to breed? (not a bad idea, but a slippery slope)

Too bad we don't hold people accountable for their OWN actions anymore.....

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Let them reap what they sow

by Prefbid II In reply to When being stupid becomes ...

No -- mostly they just get to reap the benefit of the money they were swindled out of. As long as they don't expect us to cry too long over their greed turned to disaster, I'm fine with just tracking down the phishers and punishing them.

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