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The Unsettler
 
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Email scammers, apparently they are smarter than we may have thought.

Interesting take on it.

They propose the emails are bad on purpose.

.....if you're a fraudster, you want your email to be totally ridiculous:

Since gullibility is unobservable, the best strategy is to get those who possess this quality to self-identify. An email with tales of fabulous amounts of money and West African corruption will strike all but the most gullible as bizarre... Those who remain are the scammers ideal targets. They represent a tiny subset of the overall population.

The goal of the email is not so much to attract viable users as to repel the non-viable ones, who greatly outnumber them. Failure to repel all but a tiny fraction of non-viable users will make the scheme unprofitable.


Those Nigerian Email Scams Are Ridiculous For A Reason : Planet Money : NPR

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Old 06-25-2012, 11:15 AM
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Interesting. Fishing for the dumbest of the dumb by intentionally excluding everyone with half a brain.
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:35 AM
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:24 PM
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Ah i don't think the dudes in the nigerian internet coffee shop are tniking about the statistics and the bell curve of the intelligence of the people they are sending to....talk abut giving them more credit than due.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:07 PM
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I've got an email scammer from Brazil on the line right now.
It's not your typical Nigerian scam though. This one is trying to scam products out of me, claiming to have received soem as a gift form a guy in Autstria. However, one was broken.
"She" claims to have sent it back to me, but that it will take 90 days to reach me. In the meanwhile, would I kindly send a replacement set immediatley so she can resume playing guitar.

I was puzzled at first, and contacted some of my dealers to inquire if they'd ever sold a set to the man in Austria. Nope. Well, he didn't get them from me.

I did some Googleing and found that the team - or person - has hit a great number of guitar pedal builder in the past, with almost identical claims.


So, I've told "her" that the only way I will ship it to my authrotized dealer in Brazil (really do have one) and she can pick it up in person. Otherwise, she'll have to pay $20 for shipping...
Well, the $20 was a no go.

Waiting to hear back from my dealer if he can set up a sting, if the cops there care about that sort of thing.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:19 PM
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The Unsettler
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stealthn View Post
Ah i don't think the dudes in the nigerian internet coffee shop are tniking about the statistics and the bell curve of the intelligence of the people they are sending to....talk abut giving them more credit than due.
I don't think so either but naturally the longer you do something the better/smarter you get at it.

I can see how it would eventually become obvious that going after smarter people with a more believable proposition would yield a higher response rate but a lower conversion rate.
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:08 PM
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You see it amongst drug dealers. Lack of education does not mean a lack of a nose for business. Aren't most of those scams coming out of organized crime?
Old 06-26-2012, 05:56 AM
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re-tired
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgeinhere View Post
You see it amongst drug dealers. Lack of education does not mean a lack of a nose for business. Aren't most of those scams coming out of organized crime?
I don't personally know any drug dealers. If I did they'd be in prison by now.
Old 06-26-2012, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stealthn View Post
Ah i don't think the dudes in the nigerian internet coffee shop are tniking about the statistics and the bell curve of the intelligence of the people they are sending to....talk abut giving them more credit than due.
This.

I do recall a period of them searching for new scams a few years ago when the initial 419 windfall dropped off. They seem to have gone back to the classic version. I don't think they intentionally designed a system that selects for the best marks, I think it happened that way more or less by coincidence. Everyone is programmed to ignore these things, except for those who might fall for them.

Also, about the misspellings--those are intentional, but not in the way you are thinking. There used to be a very active group of white hat scam baiters that would feed these guys misspellings and suspicious phrases as a warning to others. This made their scams obvious to the vast majority of people, but also apparently helped with the self-selection of vulnerable marks.

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Old 06-26-2012, 07:55 AM
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