A story made the news recently about a woman in Oregon who lost $400,000 to a Nigerian E-Mail scam. It was the old fashion 419/Advance Fee Scam. To read the entire story, you can go here
The thing I found interesting about this story is the fact that she said that the name of the long lost relative in the email actually matched a name of a relative in her family . . . often the 419 Scam emails will just have a random name and they tell you that they have found that you are a relative to this person, but for the most part it is not a name that is familiar to you.
It is sad that her family tried to stop her from sending the money. Bank officials even warned her of the scam. So why did she keep sending money? I think that with the 419/Advance Fee Scams the entire thing becomes like an addiction for some people . . . much like gambling . . . people can tell them the “odds” but they are still holding on that they could “hit the big one”. It is this hope that keeps the person going back to the scam, and as you can see by this story, it sometimes means that the person will be out hundreds of thousands of dollars before they will be able to clearly see that there is no truth behind the story the scammers are feeding them.