Why Email Scammers Say They Are Nigerians - as part of the news series by GeoBeats.
We’ve all got email spam boxes full of offers to participate in things that certainly look like scams, and fake promises of get rich quick schemes, but why don’t these scammers put a little more effort into making their schemes look legitimate? Research from Microsoft says that the number of people who fall for ridiculous scam emails is low, which is exactly the way people who designed the con want it to be. “In deciding who to attack, true positives are targets successfully attacked, while false positives are those that are attacked but yield nothing. By sending an email that repels all but the most gullible the scammer gets the most promising marks to self-select, and tilts the true to false positive ratio in his favor.”
Some scams have been so apparent in their fraud that they have come to be commonly known as Nigerian scams, named after the country that most of them claim to originate from. One internet con artist was sentenced to 12 years in Nigerian prison after yielding an astounding 1.3 million dollars from an email that promised a percentage of profits if the person sent in a small amount of money.