My Nigerian Prince

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Kizmet, Mar 25, 2018.

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  1. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  2. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I just knew that guy was a fake Nigerian prince from Louisiana! The email started with "I have good news for y'all!"
    Kizmet, your money's not coming - I gua-rahn-tee!

    On n'est pas fini jusqu'à la grosse dame joue à l'accordéon. (It ain't over till the fat lady plays the accordion.) Aiyeee - laissez les bons temps rouler!
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
  3. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  4. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    I had not known, until reading the articles, that the Nigerian prince scam goes all the way back to the 1920s.

    The first adhesive postage stamp went on sale May 1, 1840. I'd love to know how long it was before the first postal scam was launched.
     
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  5. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I'm thinking back to The Count of Monte Cristo and how he used the semaphore telegraph to manipulate the Paris stock market. It was a fictional account of course but it shows that even back then people were thinking about what we today would call "wire fraud."
     
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  6. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  7. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Actually, John, both postal service and postal scams pre-date the adhesive stamp. The Roman cursus publicus was one of the first postal services and operated throughout the Roman Empire. I have no idea of the fraud statistics associated with it, though.

    Much later, in 1683, the UK's Royal Mail service created its criminal-investigations authority. In Canada, Charles Ponzi remains one of the best-known of those convicted of postal fraud. And of course, who can forget Clifford Irving and Jim Bakker? Interesting article here:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/05/98-years-of-mail-fraud/559661/
     
  9. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    I wonder if Ponzi was sincere at the start. He really did find an anomaly in the matter of International Reply Coupons. When I was selling my degree book overseas, I accepted the equivalent of $20 in those coupons. In some countries, the buyer only had to spend the equivalent of $1 or $2 to buy that many coupons, which I could then turn in, at my post office, for $20 worth of stamps. So all I'd have to do (Ponzi realized) is go to Albania or Peru and buy a million dollars worth of reply coupons for $10,000, then convert them to US stamps worth a million. The scheme failed because there simply weren't nearly enough reply coupons in existence in those countries. And that is when Ponzi made the decision to keep on selling futures, knowing he could never deliver. (And then, later, as I recall, he came up with a scheme to buy the US Navy, all its ships, which were essentially for sale after the war, and make floating hotels and shopping malls.)
     
  10. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  11. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Once a fraud, always a fraud, it seems. Maybe he should go back to jail for a refresher course. Or maybe the WHO - or the CDC in Atlanta - can have Jim Bakker declared a potentially dangerous organism. Quarantine him and his entire audience!
     
  12. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

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