by Wordworks2001

You would think these Nigeria scam artists wouldn’t waste their time trying to hook a tired phat old catfphish like me. After all, I am almost 59-years-old, this gig I’ve been working off and on since 1995 is definitely not my first West African rodeo (pardon the mixed metaphors) and I don’t have “I’m stupid and I want to give you my money” tattooed on my forehead. Yet almost every day, I get emails from the wives of dead Nigerian generals, the sons of former Ghanan corporation heads who have passed away, the cousins of missing Liberian shipping magnates, the list goes on and on, all who want to make me, ME, someone they don’t even know, a rich person.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate their generosity, I do, I really do. It’s not that I’ve already got all the money I need, I don’t, but I have all that I can use and a largesse like they are offering would only put me in a higher tax bracket. It’s not even that I don’t believe them, I don’t but that’s more because I am a cynical old coot, I don’t believe anybody.

The fact is, I, like most people who use the Internet and have an email address, am wise to the con. It’s called 419 in Nigeria, the designation for the crime of conning innocent people from their hard earned money. Well, actually I wonder how innocent most of the phish are that are getting hooked by these unscrupulous scammers. It seems to me the victims must realize some sort of money laundering or illegal activity will be perpetrated if you decide to help out this person you don’t even know and receive a bundle of money for doing so.

The vast majority of these slugs who sit at their computers day after day, luring unsuspecting victims into their phish trap, are unfortunately Nigerians. That doesn’t mean all Nigerians are con artists and it doesn’t mean all con artists are Nigerian. It means, this country’s federal and state governments, known for their graft and corruption in high places, encourages its citizens to emulate its leaders. President Obasanjo said as much yesterday when he blasted Nigeria’s military for creating most of Nigeria’s problems. Remember, the country has been ruled by military dictators more than by democratically elected statesmen.

If Nigerians want their country to become a welcome member of the world community, they must put an end to corruption from the head of the government to the smallest con man operating within its borders. When they do that, and when the word physhing means catching fish in the sea and not suckers on the computer, we may see some real progress in Nigeria.

LINKS

419 Coalition

Express of India

Daily Sun

Wordworks2001 is a retired US Army master sergeant who lives in Indiana and works in Nigeria West Africa.

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