TITLE: Scammer Interview
SCAMMER NAMES: Olabode martins aka Abdul Wahab abdulwahab123ng@yahoo.com
                                    Ashomah amanesi osho7@sify.com
                                    Vanity aka Onyetachi Brown aka Folarin Akinola thevanityman@yahoo.com
                                    Ahmed Suleman aka DONALD CHIJIOKE ahmed_060@operamail.com
SCAMMER LOCATION: Lagos, Nigeria
STARRING: Amanda Hugankiss as Rick Hunter

Basically what I did was send an E-mail to the address of every scammer I could find, stating I was a news reporter doing an item on 419 scams and I would like to ask them some questions. I started with offering them $10000 for their effort but quickly lowered it to $5000 when I got my first results and realized that $10000 was way to much. Looking back $5000 is still way to much.

Please note that I probably baited the very stupid ones among the lads and these people tell lies to earn a living. Although most data seems to be consistent between the 4 of them, it should be taken with a grain of salt. Last but not least, I'm not a journalist, some of the questions and my response (or lack of) shows this.

I highlighted the really interesting answers

Character profiling questions

Rick: Tell us about yourself.
olabode: My real names are olabode martins.
Rick: Could you tell us a little bit more about yourself than just your name?
olabode: Ok, i am 27 yrs, i have finished my primary and secondary education but yet to gain admission into the university, i hail from a small village (Ibrede) in Ndukwa East Local Government area of delta state here in Nigeria. I was raised by my auntie because my mum had me while she was still in college and had to leave me to further so i grew up not knowing her until i was 9. I am averagely built, 5ft, 6inches tall, dark in complexion, brown eyes and i currenly live in festac town, Lagos.
Vanity: Well i am just a simple young guy, with a good plan for my future, i'm 6'4 tall and i play bball and want to be a bball star like my mates making it out there for themselfs through sports, but some how i got to realise that all dreams might not be achieved so i opted for a means of making money to travell and get into sports, since my country has a very bad image, which has adversly affected people with geniune interest of making ends meet for themselfs, after sports i also have intension of making a very good business here and get people employed thereby putting them off the street and away from crimes.
Ahmed: I AM DONALD CHIJIOKE A NIGERIAN WITH GOOD MIND NOT LIKE MY FELLOW COUNTRY MEN I SEE THINGS VERY SIMPLY B/COS I UNDERSTAND LIFE IN A WAY I HAD A VERY HUNBLY CHILDHOOD UNTILL MY MUM DIED IN THE IVORY COAST WHERE I WAS BORN WITH MY ORTHER BROTHERS AND SISTERS. THEN MY FATHER BROUGHT US BACK TO NIGERIA.HE MY FATHER WAS VERY WELL TO DO UNTIL HE LOST HIS JOB 1984.THEN TROUBLES STARTED I HAD TO SKIP SCHOOL TO DO MANIAL JOBS IN ORTHER TO ASSIST IN THE HOUSE. MEEN THOSE DAYS WERE SO ROUGH. I MANEGED TO PASS THROUGH MY SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL.DID SO MANY ODD JOB TO SURVIVE MY ECONONY WHICH ALONE MAKES US THE YOUTHS TO GO MAD.UNTIL I HAD LITTLE MONEY TO RENT A SHOP STARTED THIS ESTATE AGENCY BUSINESS 1995 TIL 99 WHEN I GOT MIXED UP WITH THE WRONG LANDLORD OF A HOUSE THIS WAS A VERY SERIOUS CASE THAT TOOK ME TO OUR MAJOR POLICE STATION BUT DUE TO THE SENSITIVENESS OF MY INVOLVEMENT I WAS NEVER LOCKED UP MY CLIENTS WANTED ME TO FIND A WAY TO SETTLE THEM BACK WHICH I DID.I AM GOD FEARING I DONOT COMMONISE THINGS NO MATTER WHAT COMES MY WAY I AAPRECIATE LIFES UPS AND DOWN. NOW I HAVE BEAUTIFUL GIRL TO BE WITH ME WITH TWO BOYS.DUE TO THE KIND OF HAERTH I HAVE I WILL NEVER GIVE MY KIDS THE TYPE OF FUTHER I LIVE IN I AM PRAYING TO GOD TO HELP ME LEAVE THIS KIND OF JOB I DO NOW A LOT OF MEN ONES DID IT AND LEFT NOW OPERATES VERY WELL IN THEIR OWN WAYS AS LEGIT GUYS. I HAVE THIS IN MY MIND AS WELL.ESPECIALLY FOR THE FUTURE OF MY TWO SONS I HAVE IN MIND TO SEND ANY ONE OF THEM ABROAD IF I CAN GET MONEY.I AM JUST MYSELF NEVER DONE ANY CRAZZY.I LOVE GOOD THINGS SO MUCH.INFACT I AM A EASY GOING PERSON I KNOW THIS FOR SURE. I KEEP FRIENDS SECREETS. I DONT TALK MUCH.THEIR ONE THING I RGREATED IN LIFE WHICH WAS NOT ATTENDING A UNIVERSITY. I HOPE TO STILL DO THAT SOME DAY

Rick: How old are you
olabode:
I am 27 years old, single with no kids.
Vanity: I am 21yrs old.
Ahmed: 34

Rick: Are you married, engaged, single?
Vanity:
I am single.
Ahmed: YES <He means he is married>

Rick: Do you have kids ? If so how many?
Vanity: No
Ahmed: YES 2 BOYS

Rick: Are you gay, or straight?
olabode: I am striaght.
Vanity: Straight cos i have a girlfriend i luv so much, and i will not deny that fact.
Ahmed: I AM SYRAIGHT

Rick: In which country are you currently located?
olabode: Nigerian in the city of Lagos,
Vanity: Nigeria.
Ahmed: NIGERIA

Rick: What level of education do you have?
olabode: OND (Polytechnic)
Vanity: High school, droped out of a language school which would have given me diploma in french, for financial reason.
Ahmed: HIGH SCH GRADUATE

Rick: Do you carry a sexual transmitted disease?
olabode:
I do not have any STDs as at my last medical test in November last year.
Vanity: I don't have any STD and have never contacted any befor, i only have a girl i am sincere to.(Safe sex)
Ahmed: NO

Rick: Are you a terrorist or support terrorism?
olabode: I am not a terrorist and I do not support terrorism in any way.
Vanity: No and i don't support any,cos right here what is important is making money, nobody has time for that bullshit.
Ahmed: NO

Rick: What do you think of George Bush?
olabode: He is not the kind of president the Americans need.
Vanity: I respect him cos he is amn of his words, although as human was have our lapses/mistakes, you nobody is perfect.
Ahmed: I DONT THINK OF HIM. I ONLY KNOW HE IS US PRESIDENT

Rick: Have you ever been denied access to the United States of America?
olabode:
No, I have never applied before.
Vanity: No, i once applied but did not go for an interview, cos my interview date was not favourable it was place after the summer and the summuer camp i was then scheduled to go for will end in August, so a December date was not favourable, i put it down.
Ahmed: NEVER HAD THE CHANCE TO TRAVEL BUT IF INVITED I WILL GLADLY COME.

Rick: What is your opinion of the US presence in Iraq?
olabode: I do not support interfering in other peoples business, I donot think the US did the right thing invading and taking over another mans country and I aldo believe from what I read in the media and other source tfhat President Bush is in Iraq for his own selfish seek.
Vanity: It's ok, so long as US knows what they are doing there, if they are making good money it's ok cos they deserve it as maintaining world peace is not an easy task.
Ahmed: I DONT SEE IT AS MY PART OF MY AFFAIR

Rick: What do you think of the new pope?
olabode: I am not a catholic, I donít know more about Popes but I know that the new pope was close to Pope John Paul II so I believe he will follow in his foot step.
Vanity: For now nothing, but he should not be given a free hand, cos hitler was underated by the world powers then and he took the world by surprise(1st and 2nd world wars are leasong that should not be forgotten in history)
Ahmed: GOOD THOUGH I AM NOT A CATHOLIC

Rick: Have you ever been involved in a sex crime?
olabode: Never been invloved in a sex crime before.
Vanity: No, i was raised by a single mother on wheel chair and i lost her at a tender age, so i have respect for women.
Ahmed: NO

Rick: Have you ever been involved in a violent crime?
olabode:
Yes (fighting/riot).
Vanity: No.
Ahmed: NO
Rick: You state no, but further on you indicate you have been arrested as the result of a fight. Please explain.
Ahmed:
YES,I HAD A FIGHT WITH MY LANDLORD OVER HIS RENTS ACCTUALLY THIS WAS WHEN I WAS INTO THE PROPERTY BUSINESS IS ALWAYS NEVER EASY FOR ME TO MEET UP WITH MY IMMEDIATE PROBLEMS SO I HAD BEEN OWING THIS MAN FOR 4 MONTHS, THEN ONE MORNING HE CAME UP TO MY DOOR AND WANTED TO MAKE ME PAY HIM HIS RENTS BY FORCE SO IT WAS BAD THAT DAY YOU KNOW! THEN THE POLICE CAME IN AND THAT WAS IT.

Rick: Have you ever taken a human life?
olabode: No, and never will.
Vanity: No.
Ahmed: NO

Rick: Are you a vegetarian?
olabode: No I am not a vegetarian.
Vanity: No.
Ahmed: NO

Rick: Are you a racist?
olabode: No I am not a racist.
Vanity: No.
Ahmed: NO

Rick: Do you like movies about gladiators?
olabode: No
Vanity: Yes, cos i learn things from it that has to do with history.
Ahmed: NO

Rick: Where do you think bin laden is hiding?
olabode:
Donít know but I believe he is hiding in the Arab community.
Vanity: Very funny! i don't know, i suggest you put up a price on his head and people will come out and give you vital information's that would lead to his arrest, just only for the money that's if they will agree.
Ahmed: NO IDEA

Rick: Are you a virgin?
olabode: No I am not virgin.
Vanity: I can't be a virgin men! i have being in the streets for a long time and you know the streets corrupts.
Ahmed: NO

Scamming related character profiling questions

Rick: How long have you been a "scammer"?
olabode:
5 years.
Vanity: 3yrs
Ahmed: 5YRS NOW

Rick: Do you have another job besides scamming?
olabode: Yes.
Rick: Could you tell us what kind of jobs?
olabode:
(1) collection clerk in a laundry centre
olabode: (2) Graphics designers in a computer centre.
Vanity: Yes, i act a consultant in mending relationship matters b/w partners and i also sell gum arabic to my buyers globally, but what i need right now is mony so i can go into it full time, so i wiould have to buy these commodities in large stock and also be able to sell to my clients, out there.

Rick: Do you feel you can use skills from scamming in your other job? Or skills from your other job for scamming people?
Vanity: No, i don't because i know that first impression goes a long way, and besides i am dealing with my real identity, scamming is not my way, like i said befor in my previous email answer to you it was born out of circumstances, i don't really enjoy the game of scam, so i believe in honesty, don't think that scammers don't have a sence of good morals, when you see a cheat, there is always something that drove him/her into crime.
Ahmed: FOR NOW NO

Rick: Does your family know abut your scamming activities?
olabode: No.
Vanity: No.
Ahmed: YES
Rick: Does your family support you in this activity and if so how.
Ahmed:
WELL THEY ARE VERY AWEAR BUT HAS GOT NOTHING TO DO OR SAY ABOUT IT SINCE I AM THE BREAD WINNING IN THE FAMILLY WHAT I SAY IS MOST REGARDED AS FINAL

Rick: What is your preferred method of scamming?
olabode: Sending bulk mail to people via the internet.
Vanity: Email.
Ahmed: JUST AS U SAW MY MAIL TO YOU THTS MY FORMAT.{419}

Rick: Have you ever been arrested? If so please tell us about it
olabode:
Yes, twice caught scaming and settle the polce some money and once for fighting and was bail but never spent time in jail before.
Vanity: No.
Ahmed: YES,I HAD A FIGHT WITH MY LANDLORD OVER HIS RENTS

Rick: Have you ever spend time in jail? (If so for what type of crime where you jailed and for how long?)
olabode: Certianly not, in my immediate family I am the only one and the bread winner too.
Vanity: No.
Ahmed: NO NOT AT ALL

Rick: Does scamming run in the family ? Was either one of your parental units a scammer?
olabode: Not that I know of , but can not say it is impossible because a whole lot of people are invloved in scam.
Vanity: No.
Ahmed: NO NOT AT ALL

Rick: Have you ever done any other work than scamming and if so what was it?
olabode: Yes, currently I do two jobs (1) collection clerk in a laundry centre (2) Graphics designers in a computer centre.
Rick: Do you use those graphic design skills in scamming?
olabode:
Yes when the need arise. Being able to design with a computer makes it easier for me to get any kind of document to back up my claim, for instance if i am claiming to have worked with your organisation, all i need do to back up this claim is to search google, get your letter head and redesign it myself, also by doing this i save myself some expenses because there are other centres that people go for this to be done but will have to pay for them.
Vanity: Yes i once worked in a private school as an auxilarry teacher.(In fine arts)
Ahmed: I WAS INTO PROPERTY BUSINESS

Rick: Do you plan to retire and if so, when?
olabode: Yes I do as soon as I secure my travelling papers to study in indian (Information Technology).
Vanity: Yes, i have a plan of quiting the stage of scam, but what i need right now is to make a little money so i can use it to finance my gum arabic business.
Rick: Gum arabic is a rather expensive hydrocolloid emulsifier, texturizer and film-former. Why not go for cheaper alternatives?
Vanity:
No that is where i want to go, cos i did a little research on it and i found out that there is money in it. Since i can get it here abit cheaper than you think it is, then i followed up world markets for the price then i knew that i can really make good money from it, instead of scams, and i could arrange a good work force here employ people and somehow naturally creating a drop in the rate of crime, while i was researching i found out that Osama Bin Laden, has one of the biggest gum arabic farm/storage, that he made good money from it, we have this commodity (gum arabic)here though it's abit more expensive than Sudan and Senegal, that is what i can get and deal on, i don't really know anything else that is cheaper.
Ahmed: YES, AS SOON AS I CAN GET MONEY TO START MY OWN PROPERTY BUSINESS

Rick: How many people know you are a scammer?
olabode: Just close friends and associates (cannot estimate).
Vanity: None, cos they all know me as a very good and skillful bball player.(they usually wish me well to make it as a foreign pro, but they can't assist)
Ahmed: SO MANY PEOPLE BUT I ONLY KNOW MY OWN FRIEND IN THE TRADE.

Rick: What is the thing you like best about scamming?
olabode:
Truthfully, nothing because the cops get better of the deal at the end, they have informant on who got paid and when they come and you donít stand your ground they will collect over 50% of the money collected.
Vanity: You know, it's payment time.(it's funny how people get lured into it and they pay money to people they don't even know, cos of thier greed, they only stand to gain what they feel they can see, but they have forgotten the saying that goes the more you look the less you see)
Ahmed: THE FACT THAT I HAVE TO MAKE MY CLIENTS SEND MONEY TO ME FOR A CONTRACT WHICH THEY VERY WELL KNOW THAT THEY DID NOT DO.

Rick: What was your best scam ever? (The one you are the most proud of)
olabode:
When I got paid for the first time (3,700USD) by one Mr. Gibson an American.
Vanity: The one i sent just an email to a victim in Germany and he sent me $500USD, without exchanging any documents.
Rick:What kind of documents are usually exchanged? Do you make them?
Vanity:
Any documents you can think of ranging from, death certificates,bank statements,call to bar, prove of funds and so on. yes we can make them, that is why it is so expensive to run scam business.
Ahmed: THE ONE I PERSONALLY GOT A LADY IN WISCOUSIN TO SEND 12,000USD FOR ME.
Rick: Can you tell me more about this particulair scam?
Ahmed: I REALLY DONT KNOW WHAT TO SAY BUT I WILL TRY TO SAY HOW WE GOT THIS MONEY. FIRST THE WOMAN MRS <xxxx> HAD NO MONEY BUT I TRIED TO GET HELP FROM ORTHER SOURCE IN CANADA THEY HELP TO GIVE THIS WOMAN A FAKE MONEY ORDER WHICH BY GODS GRACE CLEARED WITH HER BANKERS. THEN I INSTRUCTED HER TO SEND IT TO ME AND PART OF IT TO CANADA WHERE THE MONEY ORDERS CAME FROM. WHICH SHE DID AND THAT WAS IT.
(After some nagging Ahmed told me her name, address and phone number.)

Rick: What was the worst thing that ever happened to you as part of a scam?
olabode:
When I receive my biggest payment (7, 500USD) and coming out from the Western Union Centre I was arrested by the cops and the whole money was taken from me.
Rick: Was that money returned to the vicitim or did the cops keep it?
olabode:
Of course they kept it for themselves.
Vanity: Disappointment from people i work with, they tell lies alot when they recieve money from victims, i do the work they do the recieving and they tel lme lies that nothing came in, too bad.(it often/usually leads to loosing of lifes)
Rick: Could you elaborate more on the "loosing of lifes" part?
Vanity: Yes, it is simple KILLING!!!!, to take someones life murder, do you understand? i don't want to get killed and i can't kill, so there must be a way out for me, you see i opted for your offer cos i know that $5000USD, will help me in getting out of this game, cos what i am doing right now will help in closing scam business for people in it and you know what that means.
Rick: Can you give me more details on what happened when and why?
Vanity: The Killing part that you want to hear about it's just the way they kill eachother over drug money, simple. i can't xplain that, cos i have neva killed nor have i ever deviced plans of killing anyman because of money
Ahmed: DURING MY ESTATE AGENCY BUSINESS I GOT RIPPED OFF, EVEN PEOPLES MONEY WHERE INVOLVED TO THE TUNE OF #250.000 NAIRA.

Scamming economics

Rick: How much money do you earn from scamming in average per month?
olabode: The scaming business is a one chance thing, sometimes for a period of 6 months to one year you may not get a dime, so no fix earning but sometimes within a week you might make millions so the chance is what we all count on.
ashomah: This dependson how many victims who can pay say $500/5000
Vanity: It's like gmabling you earn you don't earn, more especially with the awareness of internet scams and other related scams, It has no definate answer, but i know that there was a time i was making upto $200USD a week and that almost took my life jealosy sprang up and the link was terminated.
Ahmed: IT DOESNT COME SO EASY AS YOU MAY THINK SOME TIMES IT TAKES UP TO 6 MONTHS FOR A SCAMMER TO GET A GOOD VICTIM TO RIPP A DIME

Rick: How much time do you spend on scamming per month?
olabode:
Personnally because of my jobs I only go online 3 times a week but usually all night (11pm Ė 7am). But some others who have 24 hours assess stay on line round the clock.
ashomah: most time cos I got no other job
Vanity: We spend so much, 24000 hrs or more.
that's more than 700 hours a day. Do you have a more realistic number?
Vanity: 8 to 12 hours a day and not 700 hour a day, 2400 hous is for a month, ok.(24000 was a typographical error)
Ahmed: IS MY WORK I HAVE TO PUT IN ALL MY TIME TO GET A DESIRED RESULT

Rick: How many people do you send your first email?
olabode: Thousands, no specific amount, we call it bulk mailing.
ashomah: many cos it isspammed
Vanity: 3000 people within a period of 8hrs a day.
Ahmed: WITH THE AID OF INTERNET I CAN SEND AS MUCH AS 30-40.000 PEOPLE A DAY

Rick: How many of these people send a serious response to your first email? (Please give a percentage)
olabode: Few, very few, say less than 2%.
ashomah: few say ratio of 6-10both men and women
Vanity: 2-3 people.(%.03)
Ahmed: OUT OF 100% I GET 5% SEROIUS RESPONCE.

Rick: How many of these people actually send you money? (Please give a percentage)
olabode:
Very few most times none.
ashomah: those thatbelieve/convinced,those who got the money billed say at least 2 amongstthem
Vanity: 1-2(%.02)
Ahmed: THAT IS WHERE THE PROBLEM LIES COS SOMETIMES THEY NEVER SEND A DIME TO ME, WHAT DEY WANT IS ONLY FOR ME TO SEND MY OWN MONEY TO THEIR ACCOUNT HEAVEN KNOWS I INT GOT SUCH $ANYWHERE. 1-2%

Rick: How much money do you spend on scamming per month? (Fees to access the internet, modalities, phone calls etc.)
olabode:
6,000 to 7,000 of my currency.
ashomah: its much cosinternet assess is so expensive here say at least one spend upto2000/1500 but this depends on the job on ground
Vanity: $200USD or more.
Ahmed: #10.000NAIRA

Rick: How much money do you spend on an average victim? (Fees to access the internet, modalities, phone calls etc.)
olabode:
That depends on how long he/she stay on communication.
ashomah: say 200/250 still depends on thelevel or type of scam he/she is into
Vanity: In some cases we spend upto $300 to $400USD mainly on victims that would pay good money befor then the victim would have commited his/herself then we get to know that he is a good client, from there we would have money to finance the scam properly.
Rick: In the cases of $300 to $400, where is the money spend on?
Vanity:
Making of documents and expensive phone calls.
Ahmed: DEPENDS 1000NAIRA

Rick: What was the largest amount a victim ever payed you?
olabode:
7,500 USD.
ashomah: about 15,000 a woman what a pity anyway
Vanity: None to be specific cos we actually recieved up to $75,000USD from a victim, but i was boothed out cos the recieving officer took the money and left for Europe were an off-shore office was setup, if i had recieved my own share by now i would have being out of the game and setup my business and make some good cash which i can spend legally witout any harrasment by any uniform man.
Ahmed: $12,000

Rick: What was the smallest amount a victim ever payed you?
olabode:
250USD,
ashomah: $250
Vanity: $100USD.
Ahmed: $250

Rick: How many victims have payed you money?
olabode: About fifteen but not quite sure.
ashomah: few I know of that got tome say three
Vanity: 6
Ahmed: 4

Rick: What is the total amount of money you made from scamming?
olabode: Approximately 50,000 to 60,000 USD.
ashomah: about 3000 was my share cos it has to go round
Vanity: About $4000USD
Ahmed: #15,000USD PERSONAL SHERE OVER 4YEARS PERIOD
Rick: Did you have to share this money with the other members of your group?
Ahmed: NO

Scamming organization

Rick: Do you work alone or in a group?
olabode:
Alone but I mingle with others to exchange and gain new ideas.
ashomah: in group
Vanity: Initially i work with a group, but they were all liers and cheats, they really don't know much about the internet simply cos they provide the means so they are entitled to cheat and maintain expensive life styles, cars and women.
Ahmed: GROUP

Rick: Did you fabricate your own scam? If not how did you obtain it?
olabode:
Sometimes and sometimes you can get proposals online (Google).
ashomah: yes sometimes and could beobtain from friends you know its kind of a cartel
Vanity: Many of them are pre-fabricated, like the one(man) i once worked with he is a top goverment man, in this present regime and he belongs to the federal house of rep; he is good in making such fabricated writeups and when i left him i was able to know how it is done and i started writing mine.
Ahmed: THE KNOWN 419 SCAM

Rick: What is the money you obtained from scamming used for?
olabode: For my up keep and my family up keep too.
ashomah: for normal living meet upneeds
Vanity: I use this money for charity purpose to take youths away from all anti-social vices, and i also use it to finance my lean business of gum arabic cos i hope to make it big and employ people working in my industry/company or factory thereby creating employment opportunity..
Ahmed: OF COURSE FEEDING MY FAMILY AND SCHOLLING MY KIDS JUST AS YOU DO IN YOU OWN HOUSE AS A MAN OR HEAD OF THE HOUSE

Rick: Is money you obtained from scamming used to buy drugs?
ashomah:
depends on individual it is just normal money but I dontdeal on drugs anyway
olabode: No, I donít do drugs but I smoke cigerate and drink occassionally.
Rick: Do you have a drinking problem?
olabode:
No, i said i drink occasionally, only when i feel the occasion calls for a drink.
Vanity: No.
Ahmed: I DONT DEAL IN DRUGS

Rick: Is money you obtained from scamming used to sponsor terrorist activities?
olabode:
No, my country does not engage in any form of terrorism.
ashomah: still depends but I dont know of anyscammer who is associated with terrorism here but one cannot tell
Vanity: Like i said befor nobody here in Nigeria has time for that bull shit, so my answer still remains an emphatic NO!! don't/can't you see what youths are achieving in the US music,film and sports industries, so i am focused ok.
Ahmed: I DONT THINK IAM THAT STUPID

Rick: How many other scammers do you know?
olabode:
A whole lot, I will be lying if I give a figure.
ashomah: many its a common rackethere
Vanity: Here we don't look for scammers they are everywhere, in goverment houses, in the streets in religious settings(church or mosque), financial institutions, just name it.
Ahmed: MORE THAN A DOZENS

Rick: What career options are open to you as a scammer?
olabode:
I do not see scaming as a career, as a scammer every career is still opened for you believe me because its true even people in top government position still do scam on their own level.
ashomah: industrialisation,politics and many other business
Vanity: Playing basketball, and also being a historian, and finanly carry on with my business an exporter of GUM ARABIC.
Ahmed: NON

Rick: What is the biggest problem you face as a scammer?
olabode:
The police, the government seems not to worry about fighting scam so the police use their powers to escort money. They come into the ineternet service centre to arrest people sending scam mails but end up not taking them to the station but to some where else and discharge every valuable they have on them, like money, mobile phones etc. but should you not have any thing of interest to them at that point you will be taken to the station and be put behind bars until you can raise some money to bail your self or someone else comes to bail you.
ashomah :securityauthorities,social morales and our future economy its a pity
Vanity: Working with trustworthty partners and the level of awareness that has being created about scam, that gives me problems, to resolve, some take it diabolical but i will never do that bullshit, cos i think i still have my xtian morals intact, i rather remain poor than to go diabolical for money cos all is but vanity.
Rick: Could you explain what you mean by diabolical?
Vanity:Rituals,voodoo,witch craft, evil that is what i mean by diabolical, it's a traditioon here in Africa, i don't believe in doing all that nonsence because of money, so i need a change in my life.
Rick: Could you explain more about how rituals, voodoo and witch craft are used to scam people?
Vanity:
I don't know how voodoo,rituals or witch craft works, ok it's just like a culture thing ok, so i don't believe that thot ok, swearing blood oats in shrines and so on because of money i don't do that and i can't get into it, so if you wanna know come and see for yourself, ok.(ask any african there and they will xplain that aspect to you in a more elaborate way)
Ahmed: OF COURSE WHEN THE CLINETS ARE NOT PAYING UP THEIR DUES I GET STOCK.

Rick: What method of payment by victims do you prefer and why?
olabode:
Western Union Money Transfer service centre, this is because the western union agent themselves are all in the game so you can claim your money with fake Identity and they just collect 5% from you for themselves and thatís all.
ashomah: Westernunion,money gram cos its faster and easier
Vanity: WU, bank tranfer is not good cos those that have being in reception of the money usually eat the money, and since i'm not incharge my fate of recieving my own share is placed on the hang, so WU is better.
Ahmed: WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANFERS. THAT MORE EFFECTIVE AND FAST TOO

Some stuff that popped up while talking to these lads:

olabode:I shall await for your mail but please i hope it will not be the other way round, please because the information i gave to you are too personal but i just felt i should do something right for once and that was why i gave you all those information. Thanks in advance.

Vanity: it may inetrest you to know that if you can arrnage a staff of your to come over with a special camera you'll be amazed with the reports your tv crew would make and that means a whole lot of money for you and your crew, perhaps your crew might be the most popular and well watched tv station in your country, cos i will take you on a spree to see how these scammers work, and you'll video it and make a documentry life without any actor acting any special role, it will be just like discovery channel, so what do you feel about that? and you'll also have them or rather hear them as they make thier calls to thier victims, it's basically sumtin you see every1 doing, it's more of a work out here, i believe you must have heard about Bruschetti(D man dat xposed D mafia) and you know how the American film industry made millions of dollars from that. So you could aswell be on your way to make such money, just flow with me and you'll never regret it

Vanity:
Hi
Well i got your mail and it's nice to read the stupid things u had in it, well it's good see we can't loose to eachother you were being careful, ode oloriburuku, u want to get me where u want but on the other hand you should have come with your crew so that we can do the candid camera stuff, so you'll see what would have being ur outcome.
Lo gbaaduru fun Olorun, if not you would have seen wonders, idiot.
I knew sumtin was up cos no1 would give up money just for questions without strings attchd to it.
Igbo man, it would have being nice to meet ur down fall just like that, see when you want to do things like dis try and get a number, so victims can call if that is possible then you'll catch alot of people, come and learn u refused, u would have being a scape goat, fool.
talk to u later
Folarin Akinola

Vanity:
Hello Chijioke,

You have got only one option,and that option is for you refrain from the acts you are into and look for somthing reasonable to do with your life to assist your mother and two younger sisters, i know you have love for your family but as you said your were ok befor you lost you dad, so inother not to cause complication to your mother's health refrain from your acts, or when the law finally get's down on you, you will be alterly exposed as a kingpin and a murderer, you will face trial and you know you can not escape it cos you shall be convicted and that willbe your end.

Young man you are stepping into were LIONS are and you shall be treated accordinly, enough of your childish games, go and take your exams and get into school and become someone then your mother will be proud of you and your sisters willlookup toyou as a good elder brother worthy to be emulated.

i will stop here, i guess you know who we are now, so young man no more games and for the last time refrain from your acts.

Agent:Folarin Akinola
EFCC

Some conclusions:

What I feel is the most important piece of information in the results is that most scammers seem to have a lot of time to spend on their potential victims. This means that you have to waste a lot of their time to be effective in relation to the time you spend on them. It seems to be a better bet to make them waste money on phone calls and internet access to make the whole deal seem less profitable.

What I enjoyed best about this bait is that I could just talk to the lads and they seemed more than happy to answer all my questions, the good ones and the stupid ones. I even got all the personal details of one of their victims. The scary part is that when you are talking to them like this and you can just ask whatever comes up, it's sometimes like they are nice people doing a job like any other and your talking to them over a glass of beer in a pub.

Another thing that popped up which I asked as a result of ongoing discussions was the use of all caps in writing. Some lads write all their e-mails in uppercase, now why do they do that? The answer was that it is easier to see what they wrote and what the victim wrote. It suggests that if you start writing in uppercase they would respond in lower case to keep clear who is saying what. This could be excellent stuff if you want to mess with their administration of scams. Just type uppercase one day lowercase the next. After a while he won't know who wrote what.

Some final remarks

I have no problem with someone else doing this again/better/bigger etc., but to be most effective I suggest not everybody starts doing this. The lads might get a little bit suspicious if all of their mailboxes get swamped by hundreds of reporters doing a story on 419, promising large amount of cash.
There is already an effort on its way to do this again on a larger scale.

 

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