He thinks disclosure of his surname could endanger his safety.
The e-mail scammers here prefer hitting Americans, whom they see as rich and easy to fool.
They seized thousands of foreign and Nigerian passports, 10,000 blank British Airways tickets, 10,000 U. money orders, customs documents, fake university certificates, 500 printing plates and 500 computers. Though the fraud is apparent to many, some people think they have stumbled on a once-in-a-lifetime deal, and scammers can string them along for months with mythical difficulties.
Some victims eventually contribute huge sums of money to save the deal when it is suddenly "at risk." Stephen Kovacsics of American Citizen Services, an office of the U. Consulate, spoke to a victim who had lost $200,000.
419 is just a game, we are the masters, you are the losers." "Nobody feels sorry for the victims," Samuel said. Don't you worry your pretty lil head, hun," the victim wrote back.
Scammers, he said, "have the belief that white men are stupid and greedy. There's this belief that for every dollar they lose, the American government will pay them back in some way." What makes the scams so tempting for the targets is that they promise a tantalizing escape from the mundane disappointments of life. " one hapless American wrote recently to a scammer seeking $1,200. The real push comes when the fictional girlfriend or fiancee, who claims to be in America, goes to Nigeria for business. Secret Service estimates such schemes net hundreds of millions of dollars annually worldwide, with many victims too afraid or embarrassed to report their losses.
The scams offer fabulous riches or the love of your life, but first the magha has to send a series of escalating fees and payments. The scammer replied, "Would you send the money this week so I may buy a ticket? In a series of "mishaps," her wallet is stolen and she is held hostage by the hotel owner until she can come up with hundreds of dollars for the bill. Basil Udotai of the government's Nigerian Cybercrime Working Group said 419 fraud represents a tiny portion of Nigerian computer crime, but is taken seriously by authorities because of the damage it does to the country's reputation.