Air Force Major Abacha Tunde needs your help
419 scam asks you to help release funds to get Nigerian astronaut back to earth.
A few months ago, Microsoft researcher Cormac Herley published a paper "Why do Nigerian Scammers Say They are from Nigeria?" (PDF), in which he argues that the low quality of most 419 scams is a conscious choice made by the spammers: they do so to filter out those bright enough to eventually realise it is a scam.
I am not sure if I agree with his conclusion: I think he merely gives sound arguments that this is why the scam works, despite the low quality of the emails, not that this is the reason the emails appear so poorly written. Even so, one does sometimes come across an email that makes you wonder if, after a day of inventing Nigerian princes and Welsh-speaking Kuwaiti widows, the scammers aren't just having a laugh.
VentureBeat reports an email in which the cousin of Nigerian Air Force Major Abacha Tunde says the latter has left this world. So far, it is a typical 419 scam. However, Abacha isn't dead. Rather, he appears to have been stuck in a Soviet space station since 1979 and, though apparently still "in good humour", he kind of misses home.
Thankfully, Abacha has saved up some money and has now 15 million US dollars to pay for his return flight, which his cousin believes will only cost about 3 million. He just needs your help to get this money to the Russian Space Authorities, so that Abacha can return to Lagos. Oh, and of course you can keep the change...Tweet del.icio.us digg this
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