From a Kindly Contributor in the US.
I always send a stock response to scammers, pretending that I am Nigerian too and trying to make the scammers feel guilty. They've never written back. But I just got a response, in which the scammer admits his motives. The fact that he thought I was Nigerian too gives insight into the scammers' justifications for what they do. It's extremely interesting. The scammer's telling reply is at the very end.

[My original email went something like this. [By the way, "Ogun" is the Yoruba (large, urban ethnic group from southern Nigeria) god of iron and "Shango" is the Yoruba god of lightning.]
My response to the scammer:

Dear Mugu,

Stop being mugu and trying to cheat people from their money!! If you do not stop being mugu, Ogun will strike you with his double swords or Shango will throw lightning on you. If you are not Yoruba religion, then Allah or Jesus Christ will do same to you for being mugu. Be good person and work hard, not cheating people! TAKE THIS ADVICE !!!!!!

Col. Oladipo

[ ScamO note: Col. Oladipo is really the Kindly Contributor. But you knew that. Mugu means idiot. We first learned this from a scammer. It sounds neat, it's one of those words that will travel far. ]

The scammer's response to my "fake Nigerian" email:

Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003 05:06:02 GMT+1
From: Stephen A
To: Kindly Contributor
Subject: My Dear Brother; Laughter

Foolish Col. Oladipo,

You be fool and you will remain fool for ever. You will pass the spirit of foolishness unto your children children. Ogun go fire you. Songo go cut your neck. "Ashe"

See this usless col. wey don shop Govt. money come dey give stupid advice. Infact, Ko ni dara fun o. Olashi, oloriburuku.

I am not sure you a col. but if you are, You will suffer for the damages you millitary idiots have caused this country. You led us into this. It wasn't our intention to act this way. When you guys will carry full bag of money to Europe and America without returning it back to the Nigerians. You will team up with your fellow white theives to steal our money. This is the way we are retreiving back our lost money.

Think twice and join the REVOLUTIONARY TEAM and not foolish team.

God is by our side and that is the more reason we are still making money. I mean our stolen money.


[Well there you have it!]

[ScamO note: FWIW, we don't think most Lads have a "revolutionary" or even a political motive. We think it's about cash. Talking up revolution is just something to do while you're sending out scam letters, just like reading about the many uses of hemp is something to do while you're getting stoned. Still, this is interesting, especially the allusion to the way governments can run their countries into the dirt.]

[P.S. We've received e-mails from Nigerians who are astonished at the scope of the scam and the fact that people fall for it. These tend to be academics and scientists. And then there are people like "Stephen A".]