Myspace lagos dating scams

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"He said, 'The houses I own, I got it through all this.' And they're not just ordinary houses. The money he had, the cars." Eager to impress his new boss, Samuel worked for six-hour stretches extracting e-mail addresses and sending off letters that had been composed by a college graduate also working for Shepherd.

He sent 500 e-mails a day and usually received about seven replies. "When you get a reply, it's 70% sure that you'll get the money," Samuel said.

Most recipients hit delete, delete, delete, delete without ever opening the messages that urge them to claim the untold riches of a long-lost deceased second cousin, and the messages that offer millions of dollars to help smuggle loot stolen by a corrupt Nigerian official into a U. The targets are called maghas — scammer slang from a Yoruba word meaning fool, and refers to gullible white people.

Samuel is 19, handsome, bright, well-dressed and ambitious. Until he quit the game last year, he was one of Festac's best-known cyber-scam champions.

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To them, the scams, called 419 after the Nigerian statute against fraud, are a game.

Their anthem, "I Go Chop Your Dollars," hugely popular in Lagos, hit the airwaves a few months ago as a CD penned by an artist called Osofia: "419 is just a game, you are the losers, we are the winners.

White people are greedy, I can say they are greedy White men, I will eat your dollars, will take your money and disappear.

He thinks disclosure of his surname could endanger his safety.

The e-mail scammers here prefer hitting Americans, whom they see as rich and easy to fool.

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