Nigerian Scammed

As I was reading about the Cheney-Gonzales indictment, I saw a link this story:

Oregon Woman Loses $400,000 to Nigerian E-Mail Scam

She explains how she lost so much (it was not all at once):

Her family and bank officials told her it was all a scam, she said, and begged her to stop, but she persisted because she became obsessed with getting paid.


Spears first sent $100 through an untraceable wire service as directed by the scammers. Then, more multimillion dollar promises followed so long as she sent more money.

I feel sick for her; and as I was wondering “how does some one fall for that?”, I considered the activities that I become “obsessed with” because of their “promises”. When does Seth Godin’s drip, drip, drip become a Nigerian email scam? In our projects, are we really heading toward a “Tipping Point” with a few influential “hubs”, or do we adhere to Watt’s statement that:

A rare bunch of cool people just don’t have that power. And when you test the way marketers say the world works, it falls apart. There’s no there there.

Watt’s has got it kind of right. There is no bunch of cool people everywhere, in every industry. But then again, we do have Oprah (from a 2005 BusinessWeek article):

Perhaps the most astonishing aspect of the Oprah phenomenon is how outsized her power is compared with that of other market movers. Some observers suggest that Jon Stewart of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show could be No. 2 […] But no one comes close to Oprah’s clout: Publishers estimate that her power to sell a book is anywhere from 20 to 100 times that of any other media personality.

Typically, it is a drip, drip, drip—little tipping point—drip, drip, drip—little tipping point. If we don’t start to see the “promises” slowly realized, we may be putting too much hope in rewards garnered by our personal Nigerian email scam.


2 thoughts on “Nigerian Scammed

  1. I think for many people it almost becomes an Addiction, like gambling. Even if someone tells them the “odds” of getting the money, they just want to try “one more time”.

    What is worse, is that many of the scammers have moved on to other versions of this scam, like the Secret Shopper Scam and the Counterfeit Money Order and Counterfeit Cashier’s Check Scams which in many ways are worse since a lot of the information that the scammers send you actually makes sense and plays on the honesty of the victim.

    Education is the key to stopping these scams.

    Shawn Mosch
    Co-Founder of

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