Why Nigerian Scammers Say They're From Nigeria

You've gotten the emails before, I'm sure. Princes from Nigeria pleading for you to help them squirrel millions of dollars out of their country and into your bank account.

But given the notoriety of Nigerian scammers, why do they continue to say that they're from Nigeria?

Microsoft researcher Cormac Herley has the answer:

Getting an email from a deposed Nigerian prince sends off warning bells to just about everyone, so why do scammers continue to use such outlandish stories from a location infamous for advance fee fraud? Herley says that scammers don't want anyone but the most gullible — and therefore the most likely to follow through — to respond to the emails because it costs scammers time, money, and effort to continue past the first email. The point is to weed out those who will back out with the initial email, to focus their effort on those more likely to fall for the entire scheme.

Link | The research paper [pdf]

Previously on Neatorama: 419 Scammer Scambaited to Re-Write Harry Potter By Hand

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How do people still fall for spam like this? I dont get weird emails like this, because i make a new throwaway email account for shady sites, and i dont gamble online(or at all). gotta learn to surf smart
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When I got an email from a would-be scammer asking me for my phone number so her lawyer could call me to arrange for the money transfer I sent her the number of the local FBI office. Whoa, that made her mad! She was very indignant about not being able to get a decent paying job in spite of having a degree.
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