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 A Comprehensive Introduction to 419

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thud419
Baiting Guru


Joined: 04 Jan 2006
Posts: 3193


PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:40 am Reply with quoteBack to top

It is said that when Pablo Picasso viewed the stone-age art in the Lascaux caves, he exclaimed "We have discovered nothing".

Many here know that advance fee fraud dates back to the Spanish Prisoner scam of the early 1900s but, certainly I, did not understand just how close this scam was to the modern 419 scam.

This piece from The Cosmopolitan Magazine in 1910, while it is obviously a fictionalised account, shows remarkable similarities to the modern trunk-box scam, not to mention the orphan scam, the hotel scam, ... It also shows some details of how the victims are hooked.

Have a read; it's fascinating stuff, and even ninety eight years later, it's still a comprehensive introduction to how modern 419 scams are set-up. While it regrettably doesn't go into details about how the body of the scam worked, for those with some experience, it is as clear as day.

http://www.hidden-knowledge.com/funstuff/spanishprisoner/spanishprisoner1.html

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Jerome
Master Baiter


Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 237
Location: Paris, France


PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:57 am Reply with quoteBack to top

thud419 wrote:
Many here know that advance fee fraud dates back to the Spanish Prisoner scam of the early 1900s but, certainly I, did not understand just how close this scam was to the modern 419 scam.

It's much older !
Back to the 18th (1700s) century, and was known as "the Jerusalem letter"
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lettre_de_J%C3%A9rusalem
Did not find any english article Shocked

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harrya
Elite Baiter


Joined: 23 Jul 2006
Posts: 1489
Location: Not Happy


PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:06 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The Spanish prisoner can be dated back to the 1600's. I guess it's always new news when someone first comes upon a scam. That would be why there is a constant supply of new people here Very Happy
The really sad fact is that scams that are 100 years old or maybe a 400 years old are still going on. My guess is they are much older there is just no documented evidence for it.

Great article BTW.

edit: ^^^ Just beat me Smile
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thud419
Baiting Guru


Joined: 04 Jan 2006
Posts: 3193


PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:55 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
"the Jerusalem letter"
It looks like in that form, it was purely French. Until the widespread access to the telegraph, these scams were probably only national in extent. Even there though there are obvious similarities to 419. It is a shame there is so little information; Vidocq's work The Robbers is not available anywhere I can find.

Advance fee fraud is almost certainly much older, but more and more localised as we follow it back.

(Someone should edit the Wikipedia entry on the Spanish Prisoner Wink )

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I did not f**k your wife in any way -- Nike Akanbi
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