Preparing for another presentation on Nigerian Scams

As I prepare for my upcoming presentation “False Harmony: Racial, Ethnic, and Religious Stereotypes on the Internet”, together with Dr. Harriet Ottenheimer, I am looking forward to discussing some remarkable new methods used by the Nigerian Scam artists since we started this project over four years ago.

We have noticed important changes since we began recording and dissecting the language of scam/fraud email messages. Actually, it is hard to believe so many years of research have already gone by and that we have already presented two papers on this topic (at ethno and anthropology conferences). I guess, time flies when you’re fighting fraud. Well, more detail will be given at this upcoming presentation. In particular, I hope to highlight change and discuss how offensive/defensive measures are able to feed off one another — adaptive tactics, if you will.

In related news, someone posted a BBC video report of a Nigerian EFCC (Economic and Financial Crime Commission) and armed police takedown of a 419 club. Good to see others working on documenting and providing analysis of the issue. By the way, I couldn’t help but note minute 1:24 when one of the EFCC appears to violently hit a suspect in the back.

As I think about it I am tempted to categorize this post as “history” since the Nigerian fee fraud scam is now probably so well known that people and the media are becoming quite attuned to these particular risks. Nonetheless, the problem persists.

Come see us present our latest findings at the international ethnic studies conference in Turkey this November, if you’re interested.

One thought on “Preparing for another presentation on Nigerian Scams”

  1. I won’t be in Turkey unfortunately but sounds like an interesting talk. The feedback loops in fraud and security (with escalating defensive and offensive measures) are frequently mentioned in security literature but more detailed analysis is much harder to find.

    Speaking of ethnic stereotypes – I was recently shown Google Trends ( by a colleague, which shows broad statistics on search patterns. Try doing a search on “email scam” and then look at the results by Region. I guess everyone uses Google for work-related research ;)

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