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What kind of person falls for those Nigerian email scams? How about a certified fraud investigator (retired) for the feds? This guy gets bonus points: As treasurer of his church, he was able to lose a whole lot of the congregation's money, too.

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  1. “What kind of person falls for those Nigerian email scams?

    Ask P.T.Barnum

  2. There are upsides to having no principles, after all.

  3. That makes sense–when you have someone purporting to have seen a UFO or performed psychic surgery or have a perpetual motion machine, who do you send to investigate it?

    Not scientists.

    Anyone who believes they have a special insight into a given area is easier to fool than someone who deceives others for a living. So scientists can be made to swear up and down that the perpetual motion machine is real (and then rave about it in the Alternate View section of Analog) but a skilled magician can come along and discover the hidden fan or other apparatus making the thing go.

    So a “fraud investigator” will believe himself impervious to scams and be much more likely to fall for a well-worded scam, because his belief in his own abilities gives him a bigger blind spot.

    That and it proves once again that government service does not attract the best and the brightest, no matter the calling.

  4. “There’s a sucker born every minute.” — P.T. Barnum

  5. Anyone notice the (retired) in the article. There are people who, after a stroke, can’t tell if someone is obviously playing them or not. It’s as if the “red flag” in their brain is retired and burned. It also seems like the older we get the more likely we are to be taken in by a scam (“If my credit card number is lucky I win a prize?!”). So I say remember this snickering when you get old.

  6. The Nigerians only offerring $10 million? No thanks, I’ve got a competing e-mail offer from the South Africans for $26 million.

  7. I just got one of these scam e-mails yesterday. I was beginning to feel left out. Seriously, though, you have to be a single digit thinker to fall for this nonsense. Now, I’ve got these magic beans . . .

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