Re: RARA-AVIS: Scamming, electronically or on paper: Schooley

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 29 Aug 2003

Todd pointed out that the Nigerian scam goes back at least to the '80s, through snail mail. It actually goes back a lot further. It's really a variation on the old Spanish Prisoner scam -- a princess is held captive and the con man gets the mark to cough up money to pay a bribe against a share of the fortune the Princess will be able to access when she's free. The new version -- a Nigerian (now I'm getting more and more setting it in Liberia) official died, but left a large bank account, can we transfer it out of the country to your bank account and give you a share (as if they couldn't themselves set up an account outside of the country -- if a wire transfer can be made to my account it can be made to one of their own, but cons play on greed, not logic).

Mamet made a great movie loosely based on the Spanish Prisoner scam
(SMALL SPOILER -- actually, they warn the mark against the SP scam in order to hit him with another -- SPOILER OVER). Frank Gruber also wrote a book of that title, which I have, but have not read.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 29 Aug 2003 EDT