The LA Times is reporting a story about a psychiatrist who was fleeced out of $3 million by Nigerian scammers. And who says that spam doesn’t pay?

The Nigerian Internet scam — known in some circles as 419 after the Nigerian statute that outlaws fraud — is a long-running con that preys on people with e-mail accounts. Though there are scores of variations, the con begins with an unsolicited message from Nigeria or other African nation — usually from an alleged government official, banker or businessman who needs to find a way to get millions of dollars out of his country.

If the target of the sting agrees to set up a United States bank account and pay transfer fees and other charges, he’s told that he’ll get a substantial portion of the money once it is freed up.

If he wasn’t willing to get money that wasn’t his by claiming to be the next of kin (a common tactic) or helping to get money out of Nigeria, he wouldn’t have been taken advantage of. You can’t cheat an honest man. But if you are a money-greedy psychiatrist in California, you can be fleeced all day long.

Should I send him a copy of my Nigerian 419 scam article?

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