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back to article Dutch police arrest six in 419 scam

Six men with ties to a West African crime network have been arrested in the Netherlands over an internet scam that bilked a man of $1.5m, according to police. Five of the suspects are from West Africa, including two Nigerians, according to an article in the Daily Telegraph. They stand accused of engaging in a 419 scheme in …

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Anonymous Coward

Methinks you don't really understand...

... how a 419 actually works here.

" Three of the suspects were arrested in an Amsterdam hotel where they planned to meet the unnamed victim so they could present him with a suitcase of money. "

Can I be the first to point out that if that were the case, it wouldn't actually be a scam, would it?

I'm pretty sure they planned to meet the victim so that *he* could present *them* with a whole lot of money.

Still, 419'ers are notoriously thick; maybe they just thought they'd give him the cash, and let him choose his own wooden Commodore 64, a bit like giving someone a book token for their birthday instead of buying them a book.

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(Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

suitcase of cash

..umm...

Comments duly noted, and article revised.

Drew

El Reg

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Silver badge

I have to wonder

How does someone that thick, end up with that kind of money to blow?

I concider myself pretty on the ball, and far too sharp to be caught out by a tear jerking story from the deposed prince of Ooooga Doooga, yes I can't scrape together anywhere near that amount of cash even if I wanted to!

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Anonymous Coward

The scam works...

... in the way that the victim gets promise of money, but "things come up", such as unannounced permits, transfer costs, delivery costs, etc... of which the scammers can't pay, but ask the victim to pay - all whilst luring the bait in front of the victims eyes...

... in this case the bait was a "suitcase of money"... Surely the suitcase of money would have occurred some "trouble", or they would just have taken him in for a "good hearty chat", probably threatening him...

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Fake cash as bait!

They turn up with a suitcase full of fake cash and say 'you can have this, or invest a bit more for a lot more'. Greed takes over and once they've seen the money they are more likely to not think they're being ripped off.

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"Dutch police arrest six in 419 scam"

All are now doing hard time in private cells, smoking all the hash they can consume, watching cartoons on TV and having delicious Dutch milkshakes delivered hourly.

I'm still reeling in shock that Dutch police actually arrested people, instead of giving them a lift to the red light district and pointing out the better "coffee" shops along the way.

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Anonymous Coward

It still amazes me

that people actually fall for these scams! I'm not a clever person, I never finished high school and I am unqualified. However, I would NEVER fall for such utter crap as a 419er or any similar scam. Perhaps my money comes a little harder than the cash some of these victims lose. A fool and his money and all that...

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Tom

Victim?

He is only a victim of his own stupidity and greed. I can't believe that people still fall for this crap.

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Anonymous Coward

the big question is...

...does Drew have any more stories lifted from the Daily Telegraph?

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re: It still amazes me and re: I have to wonder

In the last year or two, Tony Thompson (who is the Observer's [Sunday UK newspaper] crime editor) wrote a book on gangs, a follow-up to an earlier work, looking at how organised crime has changed.

There was a very interesting section on 419 scams - although everyone thinks of virtually illiterate emails, according to Thompson some are considerably more sophisticated and plausible than that, as are the scammers themselves.

Like all cons, these scams are reliant on the greed of the victim (and if you can exploit a willingness on their part to break the law, all more the better) - it's got nothing to do with how much money they've got. Arguably, if you're desperate and looking for an easy way out, you're going to be very susceptible to this kind of things.

Regardless of that they are victims of crime - foolish ones, yes but still victims.

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Anonymous Coward

I can understand....

how the lure of a big business deal can catch someones attention. But as soon as the first problem appeared (such as an unseen fee, coupled with the claim that the scammer cannot afford to pay it themselves) alarms bells should ring instantly. You can't take someone's word when it comes to this kind of thing. "oh, if you just pay this one bill, I promise you will get your money". Unfortunately, this is why most (successful) businessmen are ruthless. They have to be.

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Anonymous Coward

A Tax on the Stupid

If it wasn't for the whacking levels of spam these scams generate, I almost think I wouldn't care, Anyone who falls for it is greedier than they are clever and people like that deserve to be ripped off by the cleverer greedy person. And the Scottish chip shop owner who fell for a 419 *twice*!? Har har! they all seem to involve a significant quantity of dubious legality and yet have to go through all these official processes? Oh look, Mildred! Money-laundering at best, a rip of at worst.

At least the Lottery doesn't involve any illegality.

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Title

"419'ers are notoriously thick"

Maybe an element of truth in there, but it is surely those people who they (successfully) defraud who are equally (or surely even more) "thick", to use your terminology ;)

Greed, greed greed..... people never seem to learn.

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It could happen to anyone!!!

The reason these people have money to be scammed in the first place is because they have had the balls to take opportunities that other people were too afraid to take.

The scammers have had a lot of time to perfect their technique and if these scammers are hitting people up for in excess of a million at a time they are probably very well equipped to put on a good show.

I would like to think that I would be smart enough to spot something like this coming, but am not cocky enough to say it wouldn't happen to me!

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Bronze badge

Australian victim bilked of $1.5m??

I think I'll start my new carreer right away.....

DEAR AUSSIEGUY,

MY NAME IS OBANGU AVURMONE AND AS A RESULT OF AN ACCOUNTING ERROR I HAVE ACCESS TO $20,345,566 (TWENTY MILLION........

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"419'ers are notoriously thick"

So thick in fact, that they have $1.5m from this victim alone. I wish I was that thick.

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Kind of...

"..The reason these people have money to be scammed in the first place is because they have had the balls to take opportunities that other people were too afraid to take."

Yes, but mostly people who get ripped off by these scams are NOT the very rich (or even the modestly wealthy) - whilst many of the very rich HAVE speculated / taken risks, they are almost always intelligent, calculated risks.

419 Scams are never along these lines. These scams work on the poor/desperate and/or greedy. There is a difference between making a lot of money by working hard and taking calculated risks (investing in niche markets etc) and being a mug who wants something for nothing. If you are talking about being rewarded for speculating and taking risks then the 419ers are the ones doing that.

"Give us a quid and we'll give you a million." erm....sure. That alone is enough for me to lost interest,

I have speculated a fair amount in my time and am doing quite well financially. The only thing I every see in any email I get sent which promises a lot for a little is B*LLSHIT.

And `balls` to take `opportunities` means what? Commitment to a business? Or do you actually think the majority of wealthy people out there made all that money because they took stupid risks? Most of them actually worked bloody hard and took CALCULATED risks/or have some kind of inheritance.

Responding to one of these email scams is the equivalent in terms of having `balls `and taking `opportunities` as walking into an arcade/casino and sticking your last £50 in the world in a fruit machine which may pay out £100 jackpot, but is very very unlikely to.

Sorry about the rant, I'm just bored.

Maybe I'll send some emails, and see what `opportunities` crop up ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Stupidity knows no bounds

If someone is thick enough to lose their money in such a scam hopefully they are also thick enough not to have passed on their genes.

Efros

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Anonymous Coward

What the article does not tell us is...

He was initially dubious about the scheme. However when it was revealed that the pigeon in his bank account had flu, he promptly paid the $1.5m to cover the RSPCA expences and secure his monies.

Do you have a security question?

Jimmy Saville!

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RE: 419'ers are notoriously thick

So Thick in fact that they are sitting in a small cell, with basic amenities, and are probably going to have to get used to it. I may not have 1.5M but I get to go home at the end of the day, call it a bonus.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Steve Evans

On the ball enough not to make a typo?

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TS

It's not *his* money.

It's not his personal cash. As the article says, they were promising him a lucrative business contract, so the cash most likely came from the coffers of the business where he works (or at least where he used to work).

Most of the reports of people getting scammed for big $$$$$ have gotten the money embezzling it. There are always reports of some grandma losing her retirement money, but they never lose that much money. Not like the Michigan law office bookkeeper who embezzled $2.1M of the firms cash.

That's gotta suck, finding out your business is bankrupt because an ASSociate lost all the cash to a 419 scam...

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Chinese lottery bank robbers

I am reminded of a story in today's Independent about a couple of Chinese bank robbers. They robbed the vault that they were being paid to guard, with the plan that they would spend the money on lottery tickets and replace the money in the vault from their winnings before its loss was noted.

Naturally enough, their return on the lottery "investment" was well below 100% (about 10% I think) and they got caught. And now they face the death penalty for it.

I am really curious to know how many people there are out there who have a sufficient level of numeracy to see the flaw in this plan. Personally I think that stupid people should be protected from themselves, rather than allowed to suffer at the mercy of the more intelligent (i.e. 419ers or lottery operators). The Chinese policy seems to be the most Darwinian of all: demonstrate your stupidity, and be executed.

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Law

erm - George Agdgdgwngo is the ring leader!!

As the representative of Money Removal PLC, he needs to transfer your money from your current vault whilst it's being steam cleaned, otherwise it'll get wet....

Annnnd, as always - time is of the essance sarrr, so if you could just give me your bank account number and sort code, I can arrange all this for you at no extra cost to yourself.

http://www.channel4.com/entertainment/tv/microsites/F/fonejacker/characters.html

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Stupid "victims"

Then there's the American public official who embezzled money to pay for a 419 scam, thinking he could return the money before the audit. Or the guy who lost so much money he committed suicide. There was a guy about 5 years ago who met his fleecers in a hotel and killed all three of them. I guess in that case there might be a downside to meeting a victim bringing you "a suitcase full of money".

Hey Mark, are those American dollars, Canadian dollars or Australian dollars? Not that 20 million of any of them is anything to sniff at.

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