Nigeria is a country synonymous with fraud, corruption and cheating. Ask my Nigerian friends and they will tell you how they are frisked 3x as much as any other traveller at airports. Carrying a Nigerian passport today is as bad as carrying an Al-Queda id card whiles travelling. A zdnet article reports that Nigeria is enlisting the help of Microsoft to fight spam scammers. If you have not heard of the spam scanners from Nigeria, you better get on google and educate yourself.
There is one misconception about these spammers. They are all over the west coast of Africa, not only in Nigeria. Ghana, Togo, Benin are countries in which these spammers exist. For a continent with a low pc/internet penetration rate, the rate of spam seems amazing. How has this business thrived and what makes it still profitable?
1. The concept is not new.
The underlying concept of this fraud scheme is not new. It works on an old principle called GREED. People are greedy and will forever be greedy.
2. Lack of information
People dont know a thing about Africa. Ignorance is no excuse. Someone comes telling you that he is the nephew of the governer of Connecticut, you will be able to verify that through public records. Where are you going to find record of the nephew of the king of Swaziland? Good Luck.
3. The days of dictators stashing money are gone.
For many years, dictators in Africa thrived because of the cold war. Some western countries supported dictators just because they kept the Russians at bay. There are only a few dicatators in Africa and they are finding it hard to stash thier money.
So long as people are greedy, ignorant and stupid, the 419 funded mansions in Lagos, Accra, Lome and Cotonou will continue to proliferate.