A report by Microsoft researcher, Cormac Herley on Nigerian scammers has concluded that they are actually very efficient at finding likely targets.
The report titled “Why do Nigerian scammers say they are from Nigeria?”, suggests that the scams work because most people quickly brush them off as scams, while those who don’t are more likely to fall for outlandish tales.
“An email with tales of fabulous amounts of money and West African corruption will strike all but the most gullible as bizarre,” wrote Herley.
“It will be recognized and ignored by anyone who has been using the Internet long enough to have seen it several times. It will be figured out by anyone savvy enough to use a search engine [and] won’t be pursued by anyone who consults sensible family or friends, or who reads any of the advice banks and money transfer agencies make available.”
“Those who remain are the scammer’s ideal targets,” the paper concluded. “A less outlandish wording that did not mention Nigeria would almost certainly gather more total responses and more viable responses, but would yield lower overall profit.”
Read the full story at: The Register.