We’ve all seen the stories in the news of various people getting scammed ([BBC news example]) and you do think to yourself when you see these things:
Who falls for this crap?
But lets do a little thought experiment just for a second about a career orientated Nigerian Scammer.
You start off by crafting a bizarrely worded, poorly spelt email with virtually indecipherable grammar which offers the recipient ridiculous returns for a small percentage investment whilst claiming to be some kind of royalty
One person falls for it, everyone else ignores it.
You invest the money you’ve gotten from Step 1 to hire a native English speaker, who can not only spell, but also has a reasonable grasp of grammar, he’s not entirely sure where to put apostrophes but neither is anyone else. You craft another email, this one is much better spelt, makes sense, but still clings to the royalty aspect and once again offers massive returns for little investment.
20-30 people fall for it, nice!
You invest the money you’re earned(?) in Step 2 into doing some market research to make your emails more believable. What do people really think they can invest in that aren’t scams? What sort of products do they buy? Another email is crafted, once again well spelt but this time it sounds plausible, virus checkers for sale, weight loss drugs, oil company investments promising less total money for the investment.
60% of people are fooled, you’re rolling in it
You get some PR people in to give you a nice logo, a website, and even a real premises on the high street! They tell you that people don’t even need to know what they are buying you don’t even have to sell anything to them, they will just give you their money. So rather than send out emails you put up adverts in your premises, offering the smallest possible returns for peoples investments, 3.5%, 1% even 0.5%, and all this without even hinting about what they’re investing in!
Everyone is fooled, you’re dazed and confused, you’re so rich you could probably buy most small countries on a whim. How could people be this stupid? A few cocktails in some of the most expensive bars in Soho will probably take your mind off it.
You call yourself HSBC