25 comments on “An old idea. 1932.

  1. I’m sure if archaeologists dig long enough, they’ll come across a clay tablet somewhere that reads: “I am the son of a dead Sumerian king. If you send me two goats, four jackasses and a bushel of wheat I will be able to dig up my father’s fortune in gold – which is now buried in a secret chamber – and will gladly share it with you.”

  2. Is this the same thing as a Ponzi?

    Recently I’ve noticed a few WP bloggers saying that they don’t like being sent ‘awards’. You know the ones – no financial scam, but a set of ‘rules’ that you ‘must’ comply with. I dislike these ‘awards’ but until a week or 2 ago, I thought I was the only one. Then somebody mentioned that these remind her of ‘chain letters’ which used to come through the post. If you don’t send this letter on to 5 people within the next 5 days, you’ll suffer some terrible fate. Remember those things? I was quite upset by them when I received a few in the 1970s when I was a child.

    And then there are computer viruses. And those adverts on telly saying that you can Save the Children or Save the Jaguar by handing over a mere £2/month. No criminality involved, I believe, but still it’s a bit of a scam.

    Perhaps we humans will always invent scams. I have secret information about a habitable planet just waiting for you to build a house there… it’ll cost you a mere £1000…

    • A ponzi scheme is where your investment return is paid with the money of future investors (we call them pyramid schemes here) which works really well until it all falls down…..

      The Nigerian scam is generally one of two things.

      You paying a small fee to facilitate the paperwork of a slice of an inheritance you didn’t know about… pay up and soon you will be RICH!

      ….or handing over your bank details to help a person in a country with dubious banking practices (hence the Nigerian part of the name even though the majority of the frauds originate in the UK and US) get their deserved inheritance by lending them your bank account details. Of course you will be reimbursed for your help…..

      I like the sound of your planet though, that seems like real science and can’t possibly be a scam, I’m in!! Where do I send my money! 🙂

      ____________

      Blog awards do remind me of chain letters. I really appreciate the award when I get it and take it as a real compliment if it is given by a person who I know actually reads my blog. Sometimes though they are given by blogs I don’t know just as a way of self-promotion and that really annoys me.

      I do try to fulfil the awards but at times I don’t want to keep giving the awards on to the same old blogs and be an annoyance myself. I am not going to pass them on just for the sake of it so I might just thank the giver but let the award lapse. I still appreciate the giver though.

      • Blog awards, ebook contest awards… there are so many of them and it’s really hard to tell the scams Send #$ for entry fee, etc. The entry fee could be a legitimate expense or….

        I’ve got a Ponzi scheme in POED, largely because there was the big Madoff scam that took money from some very wealthy Americans including the owners of one of New York’s baseball teams. The con artist, a big investment manager, made it difficult to invest in his fund. You had to have a lot to start with and had to be invited. The harder it was to join the fund, the more rich people wanted in. It was brilliant and nuts! Most Ponzi schemes are relatively small and crumble quickly. Having one that last years is an amazing criminal achievement.

        • Greed is a funny thing isn’t it? I can imagine that making that investment fund seem like membership to an exclusive club there would be any amount of greedy people lining up to be a part of it.

          I remember reading about the length of time that Madoff ran that particular scam and being amazed that there were so many suckers ready to be milked.

          I am naturally a suspicious person so the perfect way to make money could come knocking on my door, and be completely foolproof, and I would still not believe it.

  3. The last email I deleted before reading for this was one of my daily ones for problems with an account I don’t have at a bank I don’t use. Of course I have to enter all A/C details to have it confirmed and re-opened. I get these plus the Nigerian ones plus a couple claiming to be British bankers almost every day and at least two or three. They’re getting very sophisticated. One of he best is the tax rebate which has a convincing Government address an link at the bottom. If these people put as much effort into work as they do for the scams, Nigeria would be the best run country in the world today.

    • When I looked up the wikipedia entry I was surprised to find that the top two countries for the origin of these scams are the UK and the US. Nigerian riches sound much more exotic though don’t they?

      I never believe anything that sounds too good to be true, I was born suspicious! Now I can add one of my favourite Terry Pratchett quotes (because I know you are a fan) that is quite apt. 😀

      “If you trust in yourself. . .and believe in your dreams. . .and follow your star. . . you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy.”

  4. Obviously there have been suckers born every minute for quite some time… I must admit I scan through my spam folder and find the names and modus operandi fascinating… I have a nice harbour bridge for sale if anyone is interested 😉

    • Oh! I’ve always wanted one of them! Where do I send the money!? 🙂

      Many years ago, before these kinds of scams were well known, I walked into a very serious discussion being had in the office of one of the directors of the large company I worked for. They had received one of these Nigerian offers and were rubbing their hands together at the thought of easy money (something they were always ready for).

      I asked a few questions and from their answers clearly thought that it sounded as if they couldn’t lose. As a lowly accounts chick I couldn’t possibly have more financial nouse than they did 😉 but I still laughed my head off and asked them if they were really so stupid as to think they would get that much money for nothing. They tried to explain how it couldn’t go wrong but realization dawned and the subject was changed. Hopeless money lovers, they couldn’t think properly when unearned riches loomed.

  5. lmao – human gullibility never changes does it? I guess it’s why so many of us buy lottery tickets. My Mum used to buy them religiously, and every so often she’d win $20 or $30 back, which kept her hoping for the ‘big one’. I once sat down with a calculator and toted up how much she spent over a 5 year period vs how much she’d won and… She would have had a tidy nest egg if she’d saved that money instead. Needless to say she ignored both me and my calculator. 😀

    • I still buy (the smallest available) Tatts tickets on an irregular basis but I doubt the Big One will ever come my way. I can hope though! I hate seeing those people who spend up big on their weekly tickets though a few bucks each week is one thing, but tens of dollars, or more, is just ridiculous!
      Actually, and shhhhh, because this is top secret, sometimes when the Man wants me to buy a ticket and I forget I tell him he won ten bucks. Not really a lie as instead of wasting the ten bucks on a losing ticket he got to keep the money! (Hi honey if you ever read this! 😀 )

    • There certainly is. I guess that is why peoples emails are packed with ‘one time only’ offers on a regular basis. It must pay off sometimes, otherwise they would have given up by now 🙂

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