Well... DUH!

Just when you start to think that people are getting common sense under their belt, something comes along and makes me want to smack people square in the forehead.

As you know, every now and then, I like to destroy the lives of Mr & Mrs Scammer over in sunny ol' Nigeria, and their cousins over on the Ivory Coast.  You're probably used to the scams - someone in a government trying to take several million dollars out, and if you help, then you get a cut.

I started messing with them by email every now and then, publishing the fun on 0ddness, and then decided to take it a step further by creating an actual blog which, I admit, I've neglected, but still...  Give me time and I'll be back at it!

Not that I don't have anything better to do of course ;)

But anyway, I digress.  To what I would consider to be a normal person, a scam stands out - but people still get caught by it...  While browsing t'intarwebs today, I found a story of another chap that got scammed so hard, his ears are probably still ringing:
Postie Hit In Mega-Money Web Scam
4:48pm UK, Thursday January 15, 2009
A British postie has been left struggling with debt and depression after losing £130,000 to an internet scam involving Nigerian fraudsters.

Shane Symington, of Portsmouth, Hampshire, made friends with an American woman calling herself Angela Gates on the MySpace website in spring 2007.

The pair got along famously for several weeks until she starting asking the 32-year-old for cash to pay for her mother's funeral and medical expenses.

He said the requests from "Angela" kept coming, and she was soon asking him to pay legal fees that would free up land she had inherited.

She claimed the land was worth more than £1m and Mr Symington continued to help her throughout the year.

By last year, he had handed over his bank details and more than £100,000.

The postie said he eventually got a text message from his "friend" Angela, who revealed the whole business had been a scam.

He said: "It said that it was all false and that Angela was actually a man from Nigeria. I guess he came clean because he thought he had taken all the money he could."

But Mr Symington's problems did not end there - he was then contacted by another woman, again from America, claiming she had also been caught in the scam.

It said that it was all false and that Angela was actually a man from Nigeria.

He decided to help her pay her legal costs and contributed towards hiring two ex-FBI agents in an attempt to regain the lost money for both of them.

But Mr Symington now believes these people were also in on the fraud.

He reckons he has dished out more than £30,000 to find the culprits, bringing his total losses to more than £130,000.

He said: "I feel sick from it all, I feel disillusioned, they have just played on my good nature.

"I've lost my life-savings, I have two loans and credit card debts, I'm in huge debts because of all of this.

"Before this happened, I used to go out every night, now I just stay in because I've lost all the self-confidence in my life and I don't have the money to go out any more.

"I've also had five weeks off with depression from work."

Warning others to be extremely careful before handing any money over to people they have met through the internet, he said: "It's just wicked people getting everything they can get out of people.

"You just can't trust anyone on the internet. I want to warn people but I know I won't be the last to fall for something like this."

Det Con Jon Knox, of Hampshire Police, added: "This is a very sad situation, and this man has now parted with huge sums of money through his own good nature - in trying to help others and then to recover some of what he had lost.

"We do not want anyone else to fall foul of this kind of shocking activity and I would warn anyone who is asked for money over the internet by people they do not know to refuse and not put yourself at risk."

A police spokeswoman added that there was little police could do to help Mr Symington get his money back.

She said: "The money cannot be recovered due to the current political situation in Nigeria, resulting in a lack of co-operation from the police in the country."
Now, I might be a cynical person, but so much of this story is mind-boggling. Going through it slowly..  They got along famously for a couple of weeks...  So he paid for her mothers funeral - THEN Legal Fees for land?!  And then - THEN - he continued to help her throughout the year, and gave her his bank details?!  And as if that wasn't forehead-slappingly-stupid, after he is TOLD he's being scammed and ripped off, he's contacted AGAIN from an American person, gives him a sob-story about being in the same boat, and who asked for MORE money - so he paid it?!  And NOW he "thinks these people were also in on the fraud" Surely being stung once by a stranger asking for money over the internet, you'd be SO much more aware the second time around?

HELLOOOOO!  "They played on my good nature" he said...  Who in their right mind just GIVES £130,000 to someone he's only known for a few weeks and never even met?  Surely, and this is me being ever so optimistic, it would be common sense to not just slap out money to a stranger.

Having a think, it boils down to one or two things.  First, he probably thought he was well in with this woman, and there was probably cyber sex.  Which is even more funny now he realises it's a male scammer ;)  Secondly, it boils down to greed.  He helped "the woman" because he thought he was going to get some land or something.  Same as the scams that offer 10% of a £25million fund being held.  People will throw money at stuff like this if they think they are going to get something better.

Of course, it could be a third option... People are stupid.

So, remember folks... You know what, if you don't know by now, then maybe you should just give the scammers your money. Who knows, maybe I'll rant about it here one day :D

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7 Responses to “Well... DUH!”

Anonymous said...

I watched something similar to that story on watchdog a few weeks ago, it's absolutely mind boggling why people fall for these scams, I have been duped in the past over someones identity on the Internet, but NEVER in a million years would I part with that amount of cash to a stranger on the net!, it makes you literally want to sit and continuously slap your forehead whenever you hear stories like these.
And lastly, if I ever was dumb enough to do that, there is no bleedin way I would publicise it!!, I would go into hiding and never be found again lol.

Em's way said...

In this case I think option three is the answer rofl. Saw this on sky website, but the meanies had disabled comments, probably because they knew what people would say!!!

The Random One said...

I go with the third option.

Posh Totty said...

I still find it hard to believe that people really do fall for this stuff, I mean we are warned over and over about these kind of scams.

I cant help but think this man somehow got himself in trouble and is playing the stupid card by blaming it one of these untraceable internet scammers as a way of getting out of it somehow.

I refuse to believe someone who has accsess to that kind of money could be so stupid.

Adullamite said...

People are stupid.

Sums it up.
Although desperate and friendless may be one of his problems. However, how did a postman get all that cash!????

Anonymous said...

The phrase, "more money than sense" comes to mind.

I could never be scammed like that as I don't have any money to spare.

The Sween! said...

Option 3 all the way!