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You must have received those mails asking you to give your personal information so that you could be send a few millions from some Nigerian prince who is stuck in a difficult situation. Such spam mails are quite common and are a very real swindling method of Nigerian scammers. But many ask, why do these Nigerian scammers make such obviously outlandish claims?


This is the question that Microsoft researcher Cormac Herley asks in his paper ‘Why do Nigerian scammers say they are from Nigeria?’ Most of us would easily discern that when a person, sending a scam mail, himself confesses that he is from Nigeria, it is very likely to be a fraud.

But even then, these scammers nearly always admit that they are from Nigeria, not trying to hide their identity at all. Herley tried to answer this question and in the course of his research, he says, he realized that these scammers actually don’t want any smart people to respond to their mails.

After their initial scam mail, if a person responds to them and they respond, it expends their money, time and energy. So they want only the most gullible and naive lot to respond to their mails so that they can be sure of their victim and the victim may not back out eventually. A smart victim, fooled once, will eventually realize the scam and will back out but a naive one won’t. So to ensure that they get naive victims, Herley writes, is the reason why these scammers keep claiming that they are from Nigeria.

Source: Microsoft Research

Courtesy: The Verge

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