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Old 12-03-2014, 07:20 AM
 
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I know the term "a fool and his money are soon parted" but it still amazes me to hear when people fall for the 'rich relative' scams coming out of Europe and Africa.

I mean, seriously; how can anyone, in this day and age, be so dumb/nave (I'm not even sure what word to use) to believe that some African prince is willing to put $10 million in your bank account but you need to provide all the account information, including passwords and pin numbers to do so.

(Unfortunately, I have an uncle who I'm afraid if he ever does get access to the internet and email, would probably become a victim of this type of scam).
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Old 12-03-2014, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Florida
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Because there are people out there who really are that dumb. These scams wouldn't be happening if x% of people weren't falling for them.
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Old 12-03-2014, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
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I wonder that myself. But then, I also wonder why people forward emails claiming that there won't me another November with five Saturdays for 823 years when a simple Google search - or the application of some common sense - will easily dispel that myth.

I think people are gullible because they want to be.
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Old 12-03-2014, 07:31 AM
 
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I think it often happens to elderly people who really have no clue about the internet because they weren't raised with it, or even familiar with it often until the last year or so. They may be in their 70's, finally decide to get a computer their grandson helps them set up, and then they are on their own.

For a young person I would say shame on them, they should know better. But to elderly people right now, I don't think it's the same and you can't really blame them. I feel sorry for them, and often they are too embarrassed to even tell their families (based on articles I've read)
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Old 12-03-2014, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Florida -
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What do Vegas, the Lottery, Politicians, the Media and W.C. Fields have in common? -- They all believe "There's a sucker born every minute." People are pretty gullible when it comes to hearing/seeing what they want to believe; particularly when it's in black and white. There is an old axiom: 'Tell me what I want to hear; that's all I need to know. Tell me that the moon is cheese ... and I will say it's so!" An even more amazing fact is that people will fall for the same thing over and over ... in a relatively short time span! (As abundantly evidenced by our government and the media).

The larger question is "WHY?" Are people really stupid ... or just inattentive and lacking in critical-thinking skills? Or, are most just looking for their own 'rags to riches' story... regardless of the odds against it? There probably isn't a single answer, but, like so many small children chasing after shiny objects, instead of things of value -- it's unlikely that there will ever be a shortage of people willing to feed the 'scam machines.'
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Old 12-03-2014, 07:38 AM
 
5,121 posts, read 5,185,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houstan-dan View Post
I think it often happens to elderly people who really have no clue about the internet because they weren't raised with it, or even familiar with it often until the last year or so. They may be in their 70's, finally decide to get a computer their grandson helps them set up, and then they are on their own.

For a young person I would say shame on them, they should know better. But to elderly people right now, I don't think it's the same and you can't really blame them. I feel sorry for them, and often they are too embarrassed to even tell their families (based on articles I've read)
I'd add to this that the elderly also suffer (more often than younger people) from brain diseases like dementia, Alzheimer, etc. Most people seem to associate these conditions with memory loss, but it also effects judgment, reasoning, and general thinking as well. It's not that they are "stupid" per say, it's more that their thinking and judgement is impaired due to a slowly progressing disease and it's easy for them to fall victim. And it only gets worse as the disease progresses.
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Old 12-03-2014, 07:41 AM
 
5,300 posts, read 4,126,417 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenniel View Post
I know the term "a fool and his money are soon parted" but it still amazes me to hear when people fall for the 'rich relative' scams coming out of Europe and Africa.

I mean, seriously; how can anyone, in this day and age, be so dumb/nave (I'm not even sure what word to use) to believe that some African prince is willing to put $10 million in your bank account but you need to provide all the account information, including passwords and pin numbers to do so.

(Unfortunately, I have an uncle who I'm afraid if he ever does get access to the internet and email, would probably become a victim of this type of scam).
more like greedy
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Old 12-03-2014, 08:35 AM
 
4,278 posts, read 4,327,859 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenniel View Post
I know the term "a fool and his money are soon parted" but it still amazes me to hear when people fall for the 'rich relative' scams coming out of Europe and Africa.

I mean, seriously; how can anyone, in this day and age, be so dumb/nave (I'm not even sure what word to use) to believe that some African prince is willing to put $10 million in your bank account but you need to provide all the account information, including passwords and pin numbers to do so.

(Unfortunately, I have an uncle who I'm afraid if he ever does get access to the internet and email, would probably become a victim of this type of scam).
There's actually a lot of research out there that says they make them ridiculous on purpose. It helps the scammer narrow down their focus. If they made them realistic they would have to spend more time working to get the money and would likely have a lot of false positives (people that call or email to learn more and decide not to follow through). But by making the stories ridiculous the only people that will respond are those most likely do fall for it. It's actually a rather ingenious methodology. Very low base rate, but if you spam 1 million people and even 10 fall for it you just made a decent sum of money.
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Old 12-03-2014, 10:51 AM
 
4,015 posts, read 4,779,731 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mizzourah2006 View Post
There's actually a lot of research out there that says they make them ridiculous on purpose. It helps the scammer narrow down their focus. If they made them realistic they would have to spend more time working to get the money and would likely have a lot of false positives (people that call or email to learn more and decide not to follow through). But by making the stories ridiculous the only people that will respond are those most likely do fall for it. It's actually a rather ingenious methodology. Very low base rate, but if you spam 1 million people and even 10 fall for it you just made a decent sum of money.
I would be interesting to know what their success rate is? Success being defined as they get enough info out of someone that they profit financially.

Obviously they're sending millions and millions of email so I wonder if it's like .00001 or better?

Heck, I know my spam/junk mail folder is filled with these things.
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:19 AM
 
6,976 posts, read 4,221,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenniel View Post
I would be interesting to know what their success rate is? Success being defined as they get enough info out of someone that they profit financially.

Obviously they're sending millions and millions of email so I wonder if it's like .00001 or better?

Heck, I know my spam/junk mail folder is filled with these things.
One weekend my BF and I responded to a bunch of these with very ridiculous replies. We laughed ourselves silly.

In one, which had mentioned Western Union, he responded giving details about needing it delivered to him on Nov 12, 1955, at night, on the road in front of the new Lion Estates subdivision, and to just use a DeLorean for the time travel. He went on and on, and then signed it "Marty McFly".

I responded to one which said some chick's father had been a general in some country before he died, blah blah, and I said that she had the story all wrong. Her father had actually been my secret lover but his loyalty to his country and devotion to the diamond mine slave trade made it impossible for us to be together. I told her where he had hidden the diamonds and how to infiltrate an international ring of prostitutes, in order to sneak out of the country.

We did about a dozen of them, giggling helplessly the whole time. It was entertaining.

We didn't get any responses though, darn.
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