Why are Nigerians part of so many scams and other shady activities?

Nigerian scam for dummiesFirst off, let me say that I have nothing against Nigerians; in fact I believe they’re perhaps the most intelligent and resourceful of all Africans (and I have lots of them as friends). I mean, everywhere I’ve lived in Africa, if you needed to be ‘hooked up’ with bootleg cable service or any tech related service (on the low-low:-D), Nigerians are who you would turn to. This is just to show you how entrepreneurial they are; although I believe they could use their skills towards a more positive purpose. Sadly, it seems a few around the globe have earned Nigerians an infamous reputation as con artists, crooks and all sorts of criminal denominations, such that one cannot help but think of the stereotype whenever Nigeria is mentioned. It is unfortunate that with all the positive things happening to the country lately (democratic elections, Nollywood etc.) that the image of Nigeria be tarnished by a few low-life scammers and con artists. And did you see some time ago that special 20/20 on ABC about Nigerian scammers? It basically denounced to a nationwide audience the confidence trick known as 419 and some of its variations. Some of the perpetrators were even caught on camera and confessed to their crime in a dramatic display worthy of any Nollywood flick. All I kept thinking while watching was “Gosh! What is America going to think of us now?”

As for the reason for the rise of confidence tricks in Nigeria, it’s been suggested that the phenomenon was a result of a declining economy in the 90’s. Many who found themselves unemployed resorted to scam wealthy western visitors for easy money. The rest as they say is history…

Photo source: joyoftech.com

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6 Responses to Why are Nigerians part of so many scams and other shady activities?

  1. Imnakoya says:

    Nigeria is a land of the Good, the bad and the ugly. Too bad the activities of a very few have soiled the image of the country. I’m from Nigeria, and you stated it all. What you left out is the greed factor – which is always at play in any scam. Haven’t you wondered – after all said and done – why some people still fall for this fraud?

  2. Papa Shongo says:

    You make a good point about the greed factor, in fact I often compare scam victims to gamblers, no matter how much you already have, it’s never enough you’re always tempted to risk more…I also read that people are still falling for those scams in spite of the widespread warnings all over the net.

  3. Chukwu says:

    That’s the spirit! Blame the victims.

    Let’s not forget the old ladies who lose their savings because they cash fake checks in a worl-at-home scam. They deserve it too. And the people who send money to what they think is an orphanage, they deserve to be bilked as well. Everyone’s a mugu, right?

  4. jim degriz says:

    not to mention all the people who think they are donating to tsunami victims and all the other charity scams,
    or the huge number of love scams and phony money gram and phony checks to supposedly pay for ebay purchases.
    or shall we mention all the scammers selling non existent products to innocent people ,.. oh they deserve to be ripped off of their hard earned money right?
    A THEIF IS A THEIF ,IF YOU STICK UP FOR THEM YOU ARE AS BAD AS THEY ARE , they all deserve to taken out and shot or worse
    they have ruined the lives of many innocent people with no regard to who or how bad they hurt them.

  5. Barima says:

    Ah, 419. I don’t know why, but as soon as I read this, the firdt thing that came to my mind was Kanye’s escapades at the NABA conference. REMEMBER?

  6. Papa Shongo says:

    Ah ah ah I dunno why, good times though.

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