The Watcher of the 419
December 24, 2010 2:35 PM   Subscribe

Randolph Carter received an interesting proposition over email. A Nigerian politician offered the scholar a once in a lifetime business opportunity that could provide wealth for both parties if Carter could make a small initial investment. Carter needed the money to finance his research into obscure Polynesian cultures, especially references to a strange god named "Cthulhu"...

TL;DR version: A Nigeran 419 scammer tries to defraud HP Lovecraft fan and gets NYPD Blues/Cthulhu Mythos fanfiction instead.
posted by clockworkjoe (15 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
So much for my Lovecraft Christmas poems post.
posted by clarknova at 2:40 PM on December 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Cthulhu ate that website!

I often write the 419 people back. Usually I tell them I am precluded from doing business over email, but that if they want to send me a letter we can work things out. That has always stopped further contact. I guess the price of a ¢44 stamp stops them in their tracks.

I've also written back and corrected grammar noting that if they had paid better attention in school they could be better at scamming people. Of course thier English is beter than my French, so I guess I should be less judgmental.
posted by cjorgensen at 3:23 PM on December 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


...Of course thier English is beter than my French ...

I'm not so sure. Maybe their English is indeed better than yours!
posted by ericb at 3:44 PM on December 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


We were scammed at a few years back. So we, working in a web design company developed an armature-ish church web site, a registered domain and promised the 419er that we were paying for them, and our elderly congregation we're all very interested in their plight. The next communication we received was full of the holy spirit. They had found god. We then asked for photographs, and received a series of lovely snaps of various family members posing outside various churches. We kept it up until they probably realised we were riding them and they stopped communication. but we did get letters and postcards.
posted by the noob at 4:12 PM on December 24, 2010


I usually just reply "GO F*** YOURSELF AND DIE". I know it's wrong, but it feels REALLY great and relieves stress.
posted by mike3k at 5:30 PM on December 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Holy cow. I remember reading this one back in 2002, thanks for bringing it to my attention again.
posted by Venadium at 5:31 PM on December 24, 2010


I often write the 419 people back. Usually I tell them I am precluded from doing business over email, but that if they want to send me a letter we can work things out. That has always stopped further contact. I guess the price of a ¢44 stamp stops them in their tracks.

Unfortunately, there are still plenty of 419 snail-mailers kickin' it old-school.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:51 PM on December 24, 2010


(P.S. Mail costs a lot more than 44¢ when it's sent from another continent.)
posted by Sys Rq at 5:56 PM on December 24, 2010


I guess the price of a ¢44 stamp stops them in their tracks.

Received the first snail-mail 419 at my house just last month. Cool stamp from Nigeria.
posted by telstar at 6:26 PM on December 24, 2010


I'm not so sure. Maybe their English is indeed better than yours!

Oh ericb, you witty, witty man.
posted by shothotbot at 7:15 PM on December 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Everything old is new again!
posted by unSane at 7:43 PM on December 24, 2010


I often write the 419 people back.

My email address is so old, and in so may databases, between 10 and 30 scam attempts slip through my filters per day (which literally stops thousands in that same day).

Every now and then I go "wow, an original one, how cute".

Writing them back would take way too much time... I've even given up wishing bad fortune on them, but it does nothing to improve my view on humanity..
posted by DreamerFi at 12:13 AM on December 25, 2010




Blushing self-link.
posted by Sebmojo at 7:40 PM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm very fond of this one.

A scammer runs into Captain Jack Sparrow.
posted by lucien_reeve at 12:29 PM on December 26, 2010


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