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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Nigerian Scams

Nigerian 419 Scam
California Bob has something to say:
I learned something.  It's always surprised me how phishing scams often contain mispelled words, capitals in the wrong places, grammatical errors etc.  "How," I asked myself, "could someone go to the effort to construct this fake email, website, and/or story, and not know how to spell?  Or not be bothered to get the spelling right?"  And I would go on my way with a sneering sense of superiority for having identified a weak scam perpetrated by idiots.

Turns out, according to one theory, that the mistakes are deliberately put there to filter out people who are too smart to fall for a scam.  Educated people turn out to be difficult marks, so their letter from the chairman of Citibank contains a few "aint's" and weirdly capitalized random words.  This filters out all but the most gullible.

This makes sense, but now I feel foolish for mis-diagnosing what I was seeing.  The scammers aren't stupid -- indeed I was too stupid to see what they were doing.  It's been bothering me.

And now this guy make a case that this is what Donald Trump is pulling -- he's deliberately being obnoxious and saying ignorant things to attract the bottom of the barrel.

Seems like a valid and very effective business strategy.  Possibly even a life strategy.

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