If there's one thing con movies teach us, it's that you have to be a little bit greedy yourself in order to get conned. That's why, in the end, the con men end up being the biggest marks. And that's why it feels so perfect when the good guys at 419 Eater are able to turn the tables on a Nigerian scammer (in this case from the Ivory Coast, but whatever) and get him to invest in their con:
Thank you very much for your very interesting email, however I am afraid that I will be unable to help you at this time. These next three months are by far the busiest and most profitable period for my company and I cannot give any time to anything other than finding new artwork for our galleries especially wooden carvings.Of course it isn't long before the grifter, lured by the promise of the cash prize, is sending works like this:
You may already know of me since it was you that contacted me. My name is Derek Trotter and I am the director of Derek Trotter Fine Arts & Artist Scholarships. We are dealers in fine art and ethnic art from all over the world. We run eight art galleries and two scholarship centres here in the UK. We also offer scholarship donations to aid up and coming new artists who may otherwise not have the financial means to be able to produce or improve upon their work. Our scholarship payments range from between $25,000 and $150,000 depending on the potential of the artist.
I am sorry but I am unable to enter into your business proposition at this time, however if you have any contacts in your part of the world who may be artists that you think may benefit from our financial help then I would be very interested to be put in touch with them. We are especially very keen on promoting new artists with experience in wood carving and will be happy to offer a very generous $25,000 to $150,000 scholarship package to young or old artists with good potential who may benefit from our help.
And you won't believe how it ends. Link (via BoingBoing).
Indexed by tags crime, con, scam, Nigerian, letter, Spanish Prisoner, 419, wood carving, grift.
Image credits: Untitled, via 419 Eater, borrowed for news reporting and comment purposes.