If someobody calls your father a thief, what will you do?
I am usually appalled by the level of naivety displayed by Nigerians when this issue of Scam or 419 is mentioned. I will advise us all to do a search (Google/Yahoo/MSN etc) for the top 200 scammers in the world today and I can assure you there is not a single Nigerian in the lot. In fact, MSN brought out a list of scammers recently with their pictures and profiles and there was not a single Nigerian in the top 20! In fact, the top American in the list agreed to pay back taxes on his loot to avoid going to jail. There were Russians, Serbians, Turks -mostly Eastern Europeans on the list.
I will not try to absolve some of our countrymen who still indulge in this nefarious pastime (we are 140 million for God's sake) but with the efforts of the past and the level of awareness amongst the populace, it is a largely passing/passed fad. It is not as it used to be. Mugu don wise. Guyman sef don born again. We do know that most of those emails and letters still circulating on the web do not originate from Nigeria anymore. From the way the English is structured, you can guess where they are from.
Besides, anyone who still believes that there is a 'HRH Miriam Abacha' with a $20 billion stash looking for a foreign account to keep it must need serious help or might even be beyond help. Where have you been living for the past 15 years? Under a rock?
We need to understand that those who use the number '419' to describe fraud are usually Nigerians themselves. The number is actually the section of the Nigerian Criminal Code that deals with Advanced Fee Fraud. Now, that law was meant to protect Nigerians from foreigners who were all over us particularly in the 70s during the Oil Boom when we had so much money, our problem was how to spend it.
When people -like Oprah- call Nigerians scammers or call Nigeria the land of scams, it is meant to be an insult! DO NOT CONDONE IT. Take it as an insult and deal with it as such. Demand an apology.
I have no apologies for being a Nigerian. It is difficult enough being one without you telling me how stupid you were to fall for an anonymous email. Do you want me to tell you how my Uncle was swindled in 1974 by a white boy who said he was the son of John F. Kennedy?
Exactly. Gerrout of my face!
Last time I checked, Bernie Maddoff is not a Nigerian.