I was in a discussion on a site the other day about the scam; a kind person pointed out that the scammers were low-life scum, and were no better than purse snatchers. Small potato criminals.
Life imitates art imitates life. Three years ago, I wrote a script with my then-partner *waves hello* titled Nigerian Scam. It was about a brash young woman who publicly humiliates a group of scammers… and finds herself running for her life when they pay a visit to enact revenge. Let us just say that I will be revisiting this particular script as soon as my rewrites are over. The point is, that I did a great deal of research into that shady world… below is my reply. Name asterisked to protect the innocent:
“Hi *****: I wish that they were small, but these operations can net the people who run them millions of dollars annually. It’s an international attempt – the checks began arriving on the East Coast at around 8 am ET that morning and spread West like wildflower. The woman who owned the account that the checks were drawn on told me her phone had been ringing non-stop when I called her the following day. Let’s say nationwide 10,000 responded to the ad, and began the process. So 10,000 people were shipped checks at $2,592.00 each. The instructions were to deposit the checks and contact the employer “immediately” to purchase the necessary “materials.” The total for the materials was $2,192.00
2,192.00 x 10,000 = $21,920,000.00
But of course, not everyone followed the instructions. There were people like me, who were suspicious; there were others who ran to their local check-cashing agencies to try to get the entire amount. So let’s say just 5% of the 10,000 people – or 500 people – wired money to the scammers.
2,192.00 x 500 = $1,096,000
Not bad for a weekend’s work.
People have been killed by scammers for interfering with their money train. After the blog went up, I received two emails from friends, one in LA, one on the East Coast, cautioning me to take down personal information, etc. from my blogsite. I grumbled…
…but see, I knew that I should do this, for I had researched 491 scams three years ago and written a screenplay about a brash young woman who takes on scammers, only to find herself running for her life when they came to seek revenge. I think I’ll dust it off and do it again, now that I’ve gone through this. There is big money in Nigerian scams. The perps are most likely frontmen and women – poor, uneducated, and working for an internet crime cartel. They are called Nigerian scams, because the majority of them originate in Nigeria (I’m pretty sure this one did as in subsequent communications with me, their english grew progressively worse), but of course, they could operate anywhere. Operation Smile is working with the domain name owner to have the site yanked; however, a court order has to be issued first, so I am guessing that come Monday am, it won’t be up anymore. I hope. I did get a notice from the DoJ today. May one live in interesting times. “
So there it is.
I did have a weak moment and decide to see how they would play. No worries. I’ve stopped it. I don’t want to have to walk around in a flak jacket and head-gear. Start at the bottom of the thread and wander up.
Of course, I was entertaining myself and blowing off a bit of steam. There are people who do this professionally – or with the dedication of a professional. However, I’m not one of these people, so, after my last response I let it go, and returned to forwarding all communication to the authorities, and turned back to pages.
Which is what you should be doing.
Now, go write.
HRH, Princess Scribe