Friday, June 22, 2012
Why are e-mail scammers from Nigeria and bad spellers
If you've been bamboozled by a Nigerian e-mail scammer, then you're probably too stupid to be reading a political blog and you need to return to keeping up with the Kardashians or Court-TV. That said, your stupidity is precisely what got you targeted by the scammers. Or more precisely, you targeted yourself through your stupidity.
If you read the text of the message pleading for help getting millions in cash out of war-torn west Africa, you'll notice plenty of spelling errors, and of course the idea that a prince of Nigeria would have trouble getting millions out of the country, and needs the help of strange Americans to do it, is itself a hilariously implausible scenario. The scammers know this and purposefully make those errors and the scenario as ridiculous as possible to weed out the smart people, leaving a target-rich environment of gullible idiots. So actually the scammers are brilliant in that they use known human weakness, in this case sheer idiocy, to increase the likelihood of a score in their favor.