A guy pretends to fall for a Nigerian Internet scam, only to start the greatest email exchange ever!

This question is probably going to seem repetitive by now, but have you received one of those Nigerian Fraud emails? I have. I would say I have received about 5 so far. The first time I got one, I was fairly young but not that young. I remember the whole Internet Nigerian scam thing was just starting. I had no previous knowledge and I didn’t know what to do.

There was a part of me that wanted it to be true, so I showed it to one of my friends who just happened to be a plant manager for an automotive company. I still remember the look on his face when I proudly showed him a printout of the emails and a “certificate of ownership” that had been sent to me. Everyone in the room made fun of me that day. Even though I hadn’t actually fallen for it, the idea of it possibly being true had indeed crossed my mind.

I remember that they still sent me a couple of emails asking if I was still interested in the ‘transaction’. Because I was working at the time, I forgot all about it and decided to focus on my job. I do remember though that I became intrigued with what my friend had told me. Were there really that many people that had fallen into this trap? Was it true that it had even cost some people their own life?

I dove on the Internet to see what I could find out. Well, it turns out that this scam had started many years before I had gotten my first email. These people would operate from Internet cafes and be targeting middle to upper-class people in developed countries around the world. The alleged sender would be some prince or a former government official who had managed to ‘hide’ a huge chunk of cash and needed an offshore account to dump everything into.

They would ask for your bank information to supposedly send you the money but would try to forge your signature to get the money you had in it. If that failed, they would try to convince you of wiring them money to ‘bribe’ officials and get the ‘proper authorizations’ for the money to be dispersed. See? I’m even using their own terms! Well, a known speaker decides to share his experience with Nigerian scammers. And he makes everything public in TedTalks. He was contacted by one guy in Nigeria who wanted to ‘share’ some gold with him. After he agreed to help him, he starts the funniest email conversation between a normal citizen and a scammer. This is something that is just too funny to miss out!