150 Brits x 419 fraud = £8.4m
The mathematics of greed and stupidity
You'd like to think that after all the publicity generated around Nigerian 419 advance fee fraud, the boys from Lagos would be pretty well out of business. Sadly not.
According to figures from the UK's National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) - quoted in Scotland on Sunday - no less than 150 Britons got burned last year alone for a total of £8.4m. That's a sobering average of £56,675 per victim. One of the latest is a man from Fife who, although losing (a comparatively modest) £7,000, luckily did not share the fate of the globetrotting chap who travelled to Africa to collect his booty, only to be beaten and tortured.
UK police are not, happily, standing idly by while this outrageous scam continues to sucker the stupid and greedy. A London-based unit is tracking emails and attempting to sucker the fraudsters into revealing themselves for the benefit of waiting officers. We wish them luck, but suggest that an alternative method might be to jail anyone idiotic enough to believe that someone from West Africa is going to give you millions of pounds in the first place. Or perhaps naming and shaming would be sufficient deterrent. ®
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