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 Poverty is not fuelling 419 fraud in nigeria

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Homer
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Joined: 26 May 2004
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 2:06 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

An interesting article here on Nigerian 419, claiming the 419 fraudsters are usually well off by nigerian standards:
http://www.fraudaid.com/ScamSpeak/Nigerian/adaora/419ter.htm

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Biff Pile-On
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 2:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Of course they are....the poor could never afford to do it. It is pure greed and laziness.

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Tweety
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 2:27 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It's a nice article but quite one-sided. While there might be no connection between 419 and terrorism I find it hard to believe that there is no connection between 419 and other organised crime. I myself have found several links between 419 scammers and credit card forgers, e-bay scammers, and more. Plus, realisticly, with te ammount of scammers out there it's very improbable that all the cars the article speaks of can be purchased by 419 money alone. It's most likely that the big bosses have their feet in other sources of illigitemate income as well.

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jam3s
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 3:25 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I support Tweety there 100%. The level of organisation of some of these mugs is just too good to not be considered organised crime. I also can appreciate the idea that they dabble in other arts.

Where you have a country born of crime such as 419 you have other trades and professions, often using the same lackeys to do the hard work. Drugs, prostitution and slavery are some of the crimes I could consider some of these mugs to enjoy.
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Wright B Hindyou
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 1:32 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Exactly. The real poor people of Nigeria are out in the villages without access to clean water and electricity, let alone computers and the Internet. The Lads are the elite, or certainly the middle to upper class.

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Unkindly
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 2:04 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Anybody who thinks 419 is not an organized crime effort just isn't paying attention. There are surely solo catchers out there but their take can't compare to the cash flow of the professional money laundering outfits.
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firepunk
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 2:10 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I would imagine that the solo lads are few and far between. If the organized are anything like high level drug dealers, they would probably do one of two things to the solo guys.

1) Kill them for scamming on their turf

2) Let them do it solo, but charge a tax to them for scamming on their turf.
I_Prefer_Anonymity
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 4:40 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I would argue that the explanation for these scams is still poverty. If 419 is largely orchestrated by big crime than the prevalence of organized crime can be attributed to the poverty of Nigeria.
leftystrikesback
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 5:00 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
If 419 is largely orchestrated by big crime than the prevalence of organized crime can be attributed to the poverty of Nigeria.


I kind of agree with that. It makes sense that the recruiting grounds for new scammers would be in poor villages, where the lure of money without a need for formal education would be extremely persuasive.

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BlackBread
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 6:30 am Reply with quoteBack to top

leftystrikesback wrote:
Quote:
If 419 is largely orchestrated by big crime than the prevalence of organized crime can be attributed to the poverty of Nigeria.


I kind of agree with that. It makes sense that the recruiting grounds for new scammers would be in poor villages, where the lure of money without a need for formal education would be extremely persuasive.


I think you will find that the scammers come from the top strata of the population.
They are not illiterate hayseeds sitting in a mud hut.
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LovetheMugus
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 7:35 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Right, and 419 is a victimless crime.

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jam3s
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 9:41 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I_Prefer_Anonymity wrote:
I would argue that the explanation for these scams is still poverty. If 419 is largely orchestrated by big crime than the prevalence of organized crime can be attributed to the poverty of Nigeria.


I disagree on this one - the true purpetrators of 419 are not the poor but the educated (they can speak and write English) who have substantial enough funds to have internet access and some degree of skill using computers, telephones etc.

There may be a small minority who are poverty stricken who are attempting to earn their keep scamming people but nothjing more than a minority.
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SolitaryMan
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 9:47 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Also, Nigeria is far from being the poorest country in Africa. Many other nations are in much more desperate situations. Yet, Nigeria takes the top position in these crimes. 419-ing require a certain infrastructure, in terms of literacy, education, phone and Internet access, which only a reasonably rich country is able to provide.

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Buta Shi
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 10:25 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Don't want to get into this too far, but POVERTY is largely undefined. POOR people in any country would scam if they had few opportunities and few resources... but so what?

Could 419 occur if everyone had entirely equal opportunities and resources? I think so. Some people will scam just because they are good at it. In that sense, poverty and scamming are not linked. In such a situation, people might scam for five dollars here... ten there.

In a real world situation with inequality in opportunities AND resources, you will have more people with fewer OTHER opportunities using their available resources to take from those with more resources and opportunities. That is natural, and when it is done legally, say, in exchange for services, it is a good thing. Marx would say that the ones with fewer resources will always get the shaft, but let's just leave that over there. Smile

The rest is opinion:
Is it right? No. Law protects all of us, especially those who have fewer resources. Law regulates exchange. Law suggests remedies.

419 does not provide anything to the victim. One thing that really angers me about 419 is that the logic of markets is that everyone gets what they want. People have to negotiate trades. TANSTAFL. With 419, some doctor has sacrificed greatly to acquire resources in a fair manner, but loses all his resources to a mugu who can not manage or understand them properly. cars, gold, drugs... what is that? junk. The treasure of civilization will be squandered by the hordes. That usually requires a state of war, but the mugus are doing it the patient, quiet way by picking off the weak. They use the bounty of communications services to attack the people who are paying the costs.

Disregarding national boundaries, I would RATHER have large amounts of resources in the hands of enlightened people, or at least benign people, rather than in the hands of crooks.

If our heaven on earth is an enlightened existence.... if we are ever going to get to a circumstance where people will not feel a burning need to rip off old ladies to buy bling bling... then we have to protect the resources of civilized societies and civilized people. Those resources, in the right hands, guarantee a system that is really pretty fair and provides a better general standard of living than any in history.

In our society, anybody can be happy and successful by following the rules. I want to protect those rules and that system because I don't see a better alternative for myself or anyone else, really. Certainly, the Nigerian social system has nothing to offer.


(There are some loaded terms above, please excuse them. Please quibble and dissect and define. I think if I defined everything perfectly in that argument above, it would be WAAAAY too long. Maybe it is anyway.)

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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 1:45 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

People have to communally agree to obey the rule of law and surrender their right to vengeance, barter, and other basic survival and living skills to the state if we are to have order. The state controls and/or regulates exchanges, economics, infrastructure, education and so forth by making laws and levying taxes. This works in the US and the West, perhaps not optimally, but it works sufficiently so that tens of millions of people want to immigrate to the West every year legally and illegally because we have relative safety, clean water, medical care, and a high standard of living.

In countries like Nigeria or Mexico, there is no rule of law. The police work this way: They show up at a crime scene. If the criminal can pay them, they leave and don't see anything. If the criminal can't pay, he or she is beaten and imprisoned. Mexico is in the thrall of narcotraffickers who bribe the Federales and the Government. Mexicans routinely cross the US Border illegally and have no respect for US law whatsover. The idea that poverty excuses criminality prevails with US illegal immigrants as they steal social services, do not pay taxes, drive uninsured cars, and break laws as needed. Almost 50% of California prison inmates are men from Mexico and many are in for serious felonies such as robbery, assault, drug dealing, murder, gang crimes, and so forth.

Some 419er's may use the excuse that poverty excuses criminality, but imo, more use the rationality that colonialism excuses criminality and proceed on that basis.

I also think that many 419er's are part of some bastardized form of a "Prosperity Gospel" which says that God wants you to have all of the good things of life here on Earth right now. This gospel of greed swept America beginning in the 1980's with ministers such as Frederic Price, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, and the other, "Confess it and Possess it" teachers. These are just really materialistic Christians who ignore Jesus' saying that, "it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdon of Heaven" and instead focus on the wealthy patriarchs of the Old Testament while ignoring the part about the patriarchs owning slaves and having many wives and concubines.

As an aside, I created my character Lionel Drinkwater to have 67 wives and 21 mistresses, and this has drawn admiration from the lads. They see it as a sign of Lionel's wealth and virility while literary Freudians would see it as a sign of projection on my part. Lionel doesn't care either way. But that the lads admire such ostentation and Lionel's unbridled sexual appetites for the ladies shows that this resonates with them. This is part of my general strategy to have my characters possess attributes that the lads will admire so that they more quickly identify and cooperate with my characters in order that I can get them to depart from the script and extract information from them.

Someone said that crime is socially accepted in West Africa and so its pervasive acceptance alone makes it pervasive. In this sense, 419 is both a tautology and a self-fulfilling prophecy insofar as it enjoys a pervasive social acceptance. 419 is a mass economic war waged against the West that uses slow bleed tactics and will hurt, but never destroy the West.

419 is parasitical to the West and incipient in West Africa. By analogy, as the governments in West Africa will not drain the swamps that are the internet cafes, our vector control program has to use scambaiting as a form of internet DDT to suppress and discourage the 419 mosquitoes and larvae, some of whom cause so much harm that they finanically cripple some people on a permanent basis.

These swarms of theiving mosquitoes spawn everyday in the internet swamps and take wing around the world in millions of e-mails. All we can do is swat at the swarms and hope to make netizens conscious of the need to use 419 DELETE brand mugu repellent when these unwanted pests show up in their mailboxes.
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 6:30 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

"The idea that poverty excuses criminality prevails with US illegal immigrants as they steal social services, do not pay taxes, drive uninsured cars, and break laws as needed. Almost 50% of California prison inmates are men from Mexico and many are in for serious felonies such as robbery, assault, drug dealing, murder, gang crimes, and so forth."

"Stealing" social services and violent crimes do not deserve to be lumped into the same category of disregard for the law.

For a number of reasons I would use a gentler word than stealing:

Illegal immigrants do not just suck from society. In California there are millions of illegal immigrants keeping labor costs cheap. Cheap prices, demand stimulated -- the lift is felt in all sectors. Illegal immigrants contribute to our society. It's unfortunate that their legal status is in limbo, and they don't pay taxes like others that enjoy the same services but I find commentators against illegal immigrants characterize them as locusts -- not true. It is an exchange.

Illegal immigrants came to improve their quality of life. In my opinion, as a humane society, we should be sympathetic to people looking for the basic necessities and allow them to enjoy such benefits as education for their kids.

Illegal immigrants are going to be here permantently. They are needed to keep the economy going as efficiently as it has been running. Do you want to deprive the kids of millions of permanent residents education? That will certainly expand the real problems - violent crimes...
I_Prefer_Anonymity
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 6:34 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Jam3s wrote:
I_Prefer_Anonymity wrote:
I would argue that the explanation for these scams is still poverty. If 419 is largely orchestrated by big crime than the prevalence of organized crime can be attributed to the poverty of Nigeria.


I disagree on this one - the true purpetrators of 419 are not the poor but the educated (they can speak and write English) who have substantial enough funds to have internet access and some degree of skill using computers, telephones etc.

There may be a small minority who are poverty stricken who are attempting to earn their keep scamming people but nothjing more than a minority.


I'm being very indirect when I attribute poverty to these crimes.
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 8:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I_Prefer_Anonymity, I was born and raised in Southern California and have witnessed firsthand for many decades the ever-increasing ruination illegals have visited upon my homeland.

While most are not violent, they are criminals. I have been involved firsthand with criminal illegals who have stolen things from me. My $1500 mountain bike was stolen by an illegal who was arrested trying to sell it at a local park 30 minutes after I called the police. This was pure blind luck. The bike was locked in my garage and the illegal broke in specifically to steal things.

An illegal in Los Angeles recently killed two people in a horrendous traffic accident and then fled the scene. The illegal had no license, no insurance, and drugs were found in the car. They captured the man in San Diego. He was trying to flee back to Mexico.

90% of those arrested in the "Rodney King" riots were illegals arrested for looting. Almost 50% of our prison population in California are illegals. They steal our social services, healthcare, education, and used forged documents to do so (just like the lads).

The illegals do not pay taxes and the courts force the taxpayers of California to educate their children at a cost of $15,000 per year per child.
Tell me that an illegal family with three kids in schools repays that $45,000 every year in taxes for the twelve years of school. Those three illegals kids at $45,000 x 12 years = $540,000, plus taxpayers are forced to pay for all of the medical care as illegals can show up in ER's and demand and get free medical treatment. Add up the bill and there is no way illegals come even remotely close to paying their way. But even that is not the point. The point is that the law either means something or it doesn't. If you excuse the de facto criminality of illegal aliens, then logically the reducto ad absurdum of your position is that 419 conmen are also not criminals, because the rule of law ultimately means nothing to you.

Technically, you should quit scambaiting if you feel the way you do because you are exploiting the poor guymen whose stolen money contributes to the economy of Africa.
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 9:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I_Prefer_Anonymity wrote:
Illegal immigrants do not just suck from society. In California there are millions of illegal immigrants keeping labor costs cheap


Assuming you are not trolling, I hardly know where to begin. Yes, they keep labour costs down alright - since they are willing to work for a pittance, the host population are forced out of jobs. Maybe you should have a look at this article here about illegal immigration and its effect on the US unemployment rate: http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=1614&dept_id=161055&newsid=10317088&PAG=461&rfi=9

Quote:
we should be sympathetic to people looking for the basic necessities and allow them to enjoy such benefits as education for their kids


Ok - are you willing to pay for it all? Imagine a big group of strangers comes to your front door and says to you 'you've got a nice house and lots of things we don't have. We don't care that it took you years to acquire them and we want to come and live with you. You should be sympathetic and give it to us, and you should have to pay for it all'. Would you agree and let them in?

Quote:
Illegal immigrants are going to be here permantently. They are needed to keep the economy going as efficiently as it has been running. Do you want to deprive the kids of millions of permanent residents education? That will certainly expand the real problems - violent crimes...


Are you actually saying illegal immigration is an economic necessity? I don't blame anyone for trying to better their situation but the cost to the taxpayer is immense. Here in the UK, we have to spend millions every year tracking down illegals, processing asylum applications, meeting the relentless appeals that are lodged, plus all the education, health and welfare costs, at a time when we already have enough of our own problems. There are plenty of homeless British people living on the streets, elderly people unable to pay their heating bills, on long NHS waiting-lists or worse.

A few years ago, a huge, superbly-equipped accomodation centre was built for the use of illegal immigrants while their asylum claims were being processed. TV's, videos, swimming pool, everything. Nonetheless, the people staying there were dissatisfied and burned it to the ground. We have also had several deaths caused by illegals driving untaxed, uninsured cars with no licence and no knowledge of UK traffic laws.

I think liberal do-gooders like yourself who want illegal immigrants to be here should be the ones who have to accommodate and support them.
While I agree that wealthy countries have some moral obligation to help others, it is NOT infinitely sustainable. The west is not a bottomless pit of cash and opportunity. At what point does uncontrolled immigration become colonization? What we have to do is help poorer countries become more self-sufficient - to help them to help themselves. Not encourage their populace to come over here just because its nicer.

Also, how many of the illegal immigrants are criminals? Since many of them bring no identification papers, how are we to know that a guy who smuggles himself into the country is not a murderer, terrorist or rapist on the run?

There are plenty of 419'ers operating outside West Africa. How many of these got there illegally? And even though they are now in a safe, prosperous country rich with opportunities, they nonetheless persist in their crime - only now it's much easier. Want an easy way into the country? Come in illegally. Want to stay there permanently? No problem - just get a bogus wedding and you're sorted. Bring the family. The state will pay for it all. Who cares about the taxpayer?

If theft and scamming is indeed the consequence of poverty, I can think of plenty of periods in history when people were desperately poor, yet did NOT resort to widespread crime to meet their needs.

How about late 19th century northern England, when whole towns and villages were living in poverty - entire families labouring in fields, children being forced to work down coal mines or kneeling in front of a cotton loom for twenty hours a day?
While it wouldnt have been crime-free, hardly anyone would think of stealing from a neighbour. There was at least some spirit of co-operation and unity, unlike the 'every man for himself' attitude common among 419'ers.

We see plenty of smart suits and nice cars in the trophy pics. They have money to spend on modern internet access (someone living in REAL poverty would not even know what a computer is). They're not having to walk 30 miles a day to fetch clean drinking water. They're not wondering where they're next meal is coming from. They are NOT helpless.

Many 419'ers do not even scam for the purpose of obtaining things that they need, but for things that they just WANT - generally BMW's, laptops, mobile phones and expensive watches.

You attribute 419 to poverty. I attribute it to basic greed, selfishness, laziness, a willingness to exploit and the criminal culture that gives rise to it.
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Biff Pile-On
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 9:39 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Living in Florida, we don't have the problem with the Mexican illegals, but we have Haitians and Cubans arriving every day.

The differences are striking. The Cubans are largely educated and have a very well organized community here that helps them without draining the taxpayers.

The Haitians, if caught are sent back pronto, something they use the race card to try to change. Rolling Eyes They have NO education, NO skills, and NO organized local community to help them. They IMMEDIATELY apply for public aid and free housing. Their chldren do not like to attend school so they don't. They make up the largest drain on the taxpayers.

They usually end up selling drugs or some other illegal acts. Recently an apartment was raided here in Orlando. 9 haitians living in a 2 bedroom apartment with a large amount of drugs and several firearms, all illegals.

The law is the law...plain and simple. Feeling sorry for these people will do nothing but bring more of them. Our standard of living will surely drop if we do not do something about this problem. Not to mention the other undesireables that are probably entering the country by the same means. Like the 7 they are looking for right now. Rolling Eyes

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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 10:26 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

J. dog,

I think you are unreal. Im sure you have a lot of distorted statistics in your head, which unfairly maligns illegal immigrants. For example California actually spends approx. $5000 per student. I'm sure a lot of your other statistics are inaccurate too. You draw upon whatever sources you can find - you rely on meaningless volume to try to support your point: Illegals suck the land. Personal antecdotes, one news item in a news day filled with similar crimes committed by citizens, whatever you can think of. This is an unbalanced distortion of the population.

"because the rule of law ultimately means nothing to you." No, of course not. From my earlier post I was trying to make a distinction. I do not view illegal immigrants as criminals in the same sense that you seem to have -- associating them with ppl who commit crimes such as robbery. Illegal immigrants cross over because of desperation. An illegal worker is here to work and follow the laws to send money back home to keep his family healthy -- how is that in the same category as a burglar that wants a Rolex? It's isn't. I find the word criminal terribly erroneous when used to describe illegal workers.
Biff Pile-On
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 10:38 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I_Prefer_Anonymity wrote:
Illegal immigrants cross over because of desperation. An illegal worker is here to work and follow the laws to send money back home to keep his family healthy -- how is that in the same category as a burglar that wants a Rolex? It's isn't. I find the word criminal terribly erroneous when used to describe illegal workers.


Really? So there is no crime committed by illegal immigrants? No, they are all law abiding citizens...who happen to break a law just by being here.

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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 10:44 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It's very easy to blame everything on immigrants. Every society on earth does it in one way or another.
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 10:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I have read this editorial you pointed out to. There was no content to the author's argument - he was just relying on the fear of a tidal wave of illegal immigrants and allowed the reader to use his imagination.
During the late 90s period of economic expansion, the US received a lot of illegal immigrants that eventually found jobs. Did this hurt the US employment market? Not at all. The US unemployment rate was running nearly at the natural rate of unemployment (full employment). Cheaper costs create more demand and eventually jobs for everyone.




"Ok - are you willing to pay for it all? Imagine a big group of strangers comes to your front door and says to you 'you've got a nice house and lots of things we don't have. We don't care that it took you years to acquire them and we want to come and live with you. You should be sympathetic and give it to us, and you should have to pay for it all'. Would you agree and let them in?"

Here, you go for the think of illegals as locusts effect. Illegal workers help the economy grow and contribute to an improved standard of living.


"A few years ago, a huge, superbly-equipped accomodation centre was built for the use of illegal immigrants while their asylum claims were being processed. TV's, videos, swimming pool, everything. Nonetheless, the people staying there were dissatisfied and burned it to the ground."

Something missing in this story? Does this nearly anecdotal news item really help us evaluate the costs and benefits of illegal immigrants or once again does it just serve to fool us into thinking we are actually pampering illegal immigrants and in return they act as leeches.



"You attribute 419 to poverty. I attribute it to basic greed, selfishness, laziness, a willingness to exploit and the criminal culture that gives rise to it." I indirectly attributed 419 to poverty. My original comment was: Organized crime runs rampant in poor countries. I was just making an indirect link - not implying anything more. If you thought I was suggesting a level of sympathy to 419 crooks then forget that because it isn't true.
action_man
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 10:57 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Can someone lock this thread before Godwin's law comes into effect?
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