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 Are 419's the main source of income for Nigeria?

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colvindesign
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I receive about 3-5 scams in my bulk (spam) folder each week. In my other account I receive more like 5 a day. Now I've started receiving Viagra emails.

Sometimes I wonder why these guys (and gals) don't start legitimate businesses. It seems the income levels are so low they could open small factories or assembly plants and employ people, make a good living and better themselves and the economy. I guess they find it easier to steal than to make money the legitimate way, but I'm one who likes to think people are good by nature, something that puts me in bad situations all the time, sigh.
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BRUIN
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Oil is the main source of income for Nigeria.

Only a small (very small) percentage of the population is involved in any sort of internet scamming.

Bruin

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Yastreb
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:03 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

AFAIK a major component of Nigeria's GDP comes from oil.

According to Wikipedia:

Quote:
Nigeria is the 12th largest producer of petroleum in the world and the 8th largest exporter, and has the 10th largest proven reserves. (The country joined OPEC in 1971). Petroleum plays a large role in the Nigerian economy, accounting for 40% of GDP and 80% of Government earnings. However, agitation for better resource control in the Niger Delta, its main oil producing region, has led to disruptions in oil production and currently prevents the country from exporting at 100% capacity.

Nigeria has one of the fastest growing telecommunications markets in the world, major emerging market operators (like MTN, Etisalat, Zain and Globacom) basing their largest and most profitable centres in the country. The government has recently begun expanding this infrastructure to space based communications.

The country has a highly developed financial services sector, with a mix of local and international banks, asset management companies, brokerage houses, insurance companies and brokers, private equity funds and investment banks. Many home grown firms have expanded across the region and into Europe, Asia and North America becoming multinationals in their own right.

Nigeria also has a wide array of underexploited mineral resources which include natural gas, coal, bauxite, tantalite, gold, tin, iron ore, limestone, niobium, lead and zinc. Despite huge deposits of these natural resources, the mining industry in Nigeria is still in it infancy.

Agriculture used to be the principal foreign exchange earner of Nigeria. At one time, Nigeria was the world's largest exporter of groundnuts, cocoa, and palm oil and a significant producer of coconuts, citrus fruits, maize, pearl millet, cassava, yams and sugar cane. About 60% of Nigerians work in the agricultural sector, and Nigeria has vast areas of underutilised arable land. Perhaps, one of the most daunting ramifications of the discovery of oil was the decline of agricultural sector. So extensive was the neglect that Nigeria, which was a net food exporter in the 1960s and grew 98% of his own food, now imports much of the same cash crops it was formerly famous for exporting.

It also has a booming manufacturing industry which includes leather and textiles (centred Kano, Abeokuta, Onitsha, and Lagos), car manufacturing (for the French car manufacturer Peugeot as well as for the English truck manufacturer Bedford, now a subsidiary of General Motors), t-shirts, plastics and processed food.


But then:

Quote:
A type of advance fee fraud known as "419" (named after Section 419 of the Nigerian Penal Code) and the "Nigerian scam" is a form of confidence trick practiced by individuals and criminal syndicates (organized crime) that is commonly associated with Nigeria, though it is now used in other places. The confidence man persuades the target to advance relatively small sums of money (the advance fee) in the hope of realizing a much larger gain (usually touted as millions). In 2003, the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (or EFCC) was created to combat this and other forms of organized financial crime. It has succeeded in bringing several "419" crime bosses to justice and in some cases has been able to return the stolen money to victims.

Unfortunately this has caused significant harm to Nigeria's international reputation and has created the strong, inaccurate, perception that all business emanating from the country or involving Nigerians is fundamentally dangerous. This has the immediate effect of making it impossible for people in Nigeria to perform legitimate business transactions online as many vendors (such as eBay, Alibaba and Go Daddy) either automatically close accounts created by Nigerian or people residing in Nigeria or bar access to Nigerian IP addresses. Legitimate emails and letters sent by people residing in Nigeria or Nigerian are routinely ignored, irrespective of the content, for fear of being fraud related. More recently there have been calls within the web administrator community to ban or block all Nigerian IP addresses, which would effectively isolate Nigeria from interacting with the rest of the internet. Understandably the economic impact of this type of crime makes victims of not only the defrauded victims but also the innocent majority of Nigerians and Nigerian residents, who are severely restricted from interacting with the rest of the world on a level playing field.


Bear in mind too that the 419 scam is now coming fom many places other than Nigeria.

I like to think that no-one is inherently criminal - but as you can see, the 419 conmen can create that fear in the mind of even the best-intentioned.

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bill2
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:11 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Dead on as always Bruin,
colvindesign if you have some time left https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/

Some nice facts that kinda explains why it is such an easy step to scam there, it's not seen as a crime and this
Quote:
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.9% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line: Definition Field Listing 70% (2007 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 1.9%
highest 10%: 33.2% (2003)

Shows that for some there is no real solution for their poverty without leaving the narrow line.
That's not meant as an excuse for the ones we call our "friends" here though

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Slightlyoutofit
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:21 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It may be a relatively small percentage who actually scam but unfortunately corruption is endemic in Nigerian society.
Therefore 419 is seen as a minor criminal activity and isn't pursued or condemned as it should be by the population at large. When it is condemned, it is normally because it is viewed as harming Nigeria's reputation abroad rather than repudiated for being the despicable crime that it is.

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Kabuto Sama
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:26 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

They have a very high rate of corruption, even among highest level officials.
They also have (the southern states of the federation) an admiration and praise for those that obtain money by fooling/tricking/scamming others.
Like it is said in my country, the 3 elements necessary for life are "Apa, Aerul ┼či Fraierul" - this translates into "Water, Air and the Sucker"

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:39 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

colvindesign wrote:
I'm one who likes to think people are good by nature, something that puts me in bad situations all the time, sigh.


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colvindesign
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:16 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I still think it'd be more worth their while to set up legitimate businesses.

Clothing, textiles, toys, even wood sculptures and paintings. There are many ways they can go into legit business and probably do extremely well.



And I do know that they are not all scamming out of Nigeria. However when I get a call from a "redirect" number supposedly from England, the guy on the line has no where near an english accent. Also, he asked me to submit my payment to a London address and name.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:29 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^ But then they'd actually have to WORK! Shocked

And as we have seen here, even if someone manages to talk a lad into trying to find useful and productive employment, the lure of easy money with very little output of energy soon has him back at the cafe. Sad

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The Man
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:42 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I think it is like any other society or culture. There are those that are hard working honest people and those that are crooks because that is the easy way out. With the advent of the internet it is just easier for those to scam people outside their country.

Not that all 419'ers are Nigerian or that all Nigerians are 419'ers, but to use Nigeria as an example, if your unemployment rate is so high and other issues are pressing, are you going to devote your limited resources to stopping 419 crime? No you need to stop the violent crime, get inflation under control and build your economy though reinvesting the petrodollars. Then you can start to worry about stopping 419 related crime.

Same goes for other countries with a lot of 419 crime, except maybe they don't have the petrodollars.

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Kabuto Sama
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:53 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Another saying from my country... The fish start to stink from the head...
When you have corrupt government, what can you expect from the rest?
They follow.

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OL BOY NA SMALL TIN REMAIN CRAZ FOR ENTER YOUR MATTER OH , IBI LIKE SAY DEM COME ADD SMALL AFRICAN INSURANCE NAIM COME MAKE YOU SEE SMALL ROAD SHA.
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your father is a pig and your mother is a bicth.you are a bastad and you will die young.you shold ask your father where you bastad came from.South Africa is not for white.someday we will kill you all whites in africa and in south africa.up Zulu. -- the angry Zulu lad

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Quillan
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:02 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Good point. But sometimes, with all those emails... I do wonder if anyone does anything more than sit in internet cafe writing scams up. *sigh* It's unfortunate when a corrupt minority is mistaken for the honesty majority.
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Wright B Hindyou
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It may be corruption at the top that helped, especially given The Curse of Oil.

Definitely, successful Nigerian scammers are highly regarded in their communities -- a news organisation has filmed a police raid where the locals threw rocks at Nigerian cops who were busting scammers.

Then there are the scammers who pretend they are righting the wrongs done to them by colonial exploitation, despite the fact that they steal from anyone regardless of colour, creed or nation. As has been pointed out, these people would scam the flies off a dog turd.

Crime in Nigeria (and some other West African nations) is a career choice, and since the West made the Internet available, a very attractive, safe and lucrative choice.

The real victims are the mass of seriously poor rural Nigerian peasants who will never see the benefits of foreign investment, since no investor nowadays will ever do business with a Nigerian.

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