March 31, 2004

What's the 419?

Getting your first e-mail in which someone from Nigeria purports to need your assistance regarding a sum of tens of millions of dollars is practically an Internet rite of passage. (I remember where I was when I received my first such e-mail: sitting at my computer.)

The con involved in such e-mails is called 419 fraud, named for the section of the Nigerian penal code which deals with such schemes. (The same sort of scam is run from any number of countries now, but Nigeria got there first, dammit.) I've run across several web sites over the years in which people respond as if they are suckers, in an attempt to string the con artist along as long as possible, and those can be pretty entertaining, but I've just found out about a site featuring people who really take it to the next level. They convince the con artists to pose with goofy props or signs, and then send in the photos:


Here's a particularly enjoyable exchange with a con artist who really takes his modeling gigs seriously. Be sure to stick around for the second photo.

(Via the incredibly-unsafe-for-work ErosBlog.)

Posted by Francis at 01:52 PM