Blinded by greed

Cynical South Africans, inured to crime, might struggle to sympathise with foreign victims of 419 scams.

Cynical South Africans, inured to crime, might struggle to sympathise with foreign victims of 419 scams.

But ever more suckers, blinded by greed, are landing up in the hands of Nigerian scammers, who then kidnap them and demand outrageous ransoms from their families.

The 419 scam, named after the section of the Nigerian penal code that regulates this kind of fraud, relies on the victim's greed and willingness to take part in a shady deal.

Operators offer to share the spoils of misbegotten accounts with their victims if they are willing to allow their bank accounts to be used to launder the loot.

The victims invariably end up having their own accounts cleaned out and nowadays are usually also kidnapped and held for ransom.

The latest victim was a Swede lured to Joburg.

The same gang has been linked to three other cases in which they kidnapped Americans.

The cops have bust two Nigerians but the scam will continue as long as slick fraudsters can find victims willing to indulge in a shady deal for unbelievable rewards.

Greed blinds many who should remember the old maxim: "If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

But as we all know: there's a sucker born every minute.

X