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Scammers on the Internet prey upon wedding photographers. They’ve been going after anyone with an e-mail address for a long time, now they’re after any sort of professional offering services on a web site.

Scammers working on the Internet exist in all kinds and varieties. The particular brand of scamming activities on the coming from Nigeria have been a recognized phenomenon for at least five years now, and there are plenty of web sites about them. At first, the scammer would send spam saying he is a deposed leader of a country in Africa with tens of thousands of dollars that needs to be moved out of the country, that he needs a partner with a bank account to do this, and that the partner will receive a good commission. The deposed politician asks for bank details and coordinates, and empties out the account once he succeeds in obtaining the necessary information. This type of scam continues to this day. I was surprised to learn that this has been going on for at least ten or twenty years, long before the Internet.

Please don’t let any scammers know about this web page! The objective here is to make these miscreants waste their time on people like me who haven’t been fooled for a second, distracting them from baiting others who might fall for their scam.

Since 2003 it appears the scammers have taken the habit of approaching people who offer expensive things for sale, like cars, on web sites, such as eBay. They say they’re interested, and send a check for thousands of dollars more than the asking price. When the seller asks about the amount of the check, they say it was a mistake, and ask the seller to reimburse the difference.

A counterfeit check sent by a scammer.

The first cashier’s check I received, for 5,000 euros. It arrived in an envelope with no return address, and there was nothing else inside the envelope.

A fake cashier’s check created by a scammer.

The second cashier’s check I received, for 4,600 euros. It also arrived in an unmarked envelope. Both of these checks were “issued” by the Hibernian General Insurance / Allied Irish Banks, in Dublin, Ireland. This check is numbered 25 after the one for 5,000 euros.

The envelope in which a fake check was sent by a scammer.

The envelope in which the first cashier’s check arrived.

The envelope in which a counterfeit check was sent by a scammer.

The envelope in which the second cashier’s check arrived.

It seems that payment is usually sent in the form of cashier’s checks. These are checks written directly from a bank, not drawn from someone’s personal account. Banks, therefore, are likely to trust these checks much more, and by extension, bank customers are likely to trust cashier’s checks even more than banks.

In February and March 2005 I was in touch with three people who wanted me to photograph weddings:

Illinois, England and Germany. I declined the request from Illinois, because the wedding was going to be the day after the one in England.

On March 10th, I received a check for 5,000 euros (almost $7,000), but I couldn’t tell who sent or wrote it. There was no return address on the envelope. Since there is no name on the check, this qualifies it as being a cashier’s check.

I wrote the people in England and Germany asking about the check. The man in England said no, it’s not mine, while Jason Freeman, the “German” said:

“Am sorry for the mix up,The mistake in the amount the cheque was drawn for is as a result of my wedding planner mistake.I guess she got worked up due to the work load,cos the wedding is going be a big affair. The rest of the funds is meant for the payment of the attire my fiancee and i are going to wear on our wedding day, as she is from Africa so our wedding garment is going to be in form of her native dress, and the best place her we can get the Attire is in Africa. One of her relative who is going to help us to get the Attire is in Africa right now, so please deduct money for your srvice from the cheque and help transfer the remaining balance minus the transfer charges to him in Africa via Western Union Money Transfer in the details below: Mr. Adewole Cole, 45 Bode Thomas Road, Suru Lere, Lagos, Nigeria

As soon as I saw “Nigeria”, I realized what was going on.

In the meantime, on March 21Carl Frank, the man in Illinois wrote back and said:

“there was a mistake on the amount the cheque was drawn on he told me 5,000 euro was on the cheque, please do get back to me if you have it am in real trouble my fiance had an accident in Africa while meeting with her folks that will be attending the wedding.Please do get back to me as soon as you can as for the wedding it will be postponed for now which means you will still be working for me.”

…about the same message as the “Germans”, even though I didn’t ask “Americans” about the 5,000 euro check, because I considered them out of the game. Carl Frank wrote a few days later to say this check had been canceled.

Ten days later I received another envelope with no sender’s address, with another cashier’s check, this time for 4,600 euros, numbered 25 after the previous one for 5,000 euros. There is no name on the check, and it is drawn from the same bank.

I wrote “Jason Freeman” and said I had just received a check, again for about 4,000 euros more than I was expecting for any photography job. I asked him to confirm the number of the check, as well as how much the check was written for, so I could be sure the check was his. He was perfectly right about the amount, 4,600 euros, but neglected to say anything about the check number. And he conveniently glossed over the fact that he had said the check for 5,000 euros was his, ten days earlier.

A picture taken at a wedding in New Jersey.

Why me? I don’t consider myself a wedding photographer, so I considered it odd that I should suddenly be receiving so many marriage proposals. I photographed my friends’ wedding last October, and started scanning and displaying them on my site. But it’s still quite a work-in-progress as there are only a dozen pictures there, and they aren’t the kind of pictures traditionally taken at weddings.

In his next e-mail March 26th, he said: Please accept our apology for the mistake, we just confirm the check you had received from our wedding planner, she said the check was drawn on AIB for the amount of 4600 euro, if this hapens to be the check please deduct money for your service from it and help transfer the remaining balance to Mr.Cole, so that he can help us to get the attire as soon as possible.We will be waiting to read from you soon.

March 27th 2005: Now that I’ve deposited his check, the German Nigerian tries to rip my heart out, and convince me to help with his wife’s medical emergency

Mr. Freeman sent an e-mail where he said his wife had been taken to the hospital in an emergency because she was about to give birth. At the hospital, the doctors discover she has twins, they’re doing their best to deliver them by operating, he needs to deposit money in order to start this operation within 48 hours as her condition is worsening. And he asked me to transfer money by Western Union to Ademola Taiwo at 20 Association Avenue, Maryland, Lagos, 23401, Nigeria.

On March 28th he blathered on like this: “i will like you to do that for me now cos my wife life is in danger please don’t forget that the money must be send to start the operation and let the money get there before 3 hours time to this time so i will like you to get back to me as soon as you have send the money, you can contact the doctor through this emaildoctor_smith@fastermail.com ads to give him the westhern details so he can collect it

I refused, and said, “I’m a photographer, not a bank, and I just do not have that kind of money”, though with a story as idiotic as his, I did feel like saying I had no problem at all with sending him 2,000 euros, on the condition that he send me one of his newborn infants by air freight.

A counterfeit check sent by a scammer.

The third cashier’s check I received, for 8,000 euros. Still no return address, or anything else inside the envelope. This check has an added novelty: a “hologram”, the grey rectangle at the top middle-right, which doesn’t look like anything no matter from what angle you look at it. This time the check was “issued” by Allied Irish Banks, in Dublin, Ireland, with a mention of the Crédit Commercial de France Bank, on the Champs-Élysées.

He wrote back and said, “Hello dhenry [!] pls help me with 1500euro so that i can send it to my doctor to start the job pls my wife life is in your hand pls help me …and i will like you to send it to this information [the same address as above, in Nigeria]. Mr. Freeman seems to have lost some steam, he keeps writing short e-mails asking if his check has cleared, but he hasn’t typed another masterpiece like those two about his wife.

These two check incidents came so soon after each other that I considered it a fluke. Except that I have a feeling this nonsense could go on for months, perhaps even years.

April 6th 2005: A Dutch Nigerian enters the scene…

In response to another request from “Tom Cavin”, from the “Netherlands”, I sent a budget for photographing a wedding, which he agreed to. Right away he asked where he should send a check. His message ends with, “i want your service cos i was impress with your site okay.

Mr. Cavin wrote and said: “Hi, How are you doing today? i just mailed to let you know payment has been sent out to you okay i want you to go deposit the payment as you get it okay and also let me know when you have gotten it and deposited it ok i wait to read from.” On April 11th, he wrote: Hi, How are you doing? I just got a confirmation that you have recieved my payment okay. so i wait to read from you to know whats actually is going on…

An envelope in which a fake check sent by a scammer.

The envelope in which the cashier’s check for the wedding in “Holland” arrived. By all appearances the envelope was mailed from the United Kingdom.

On April 12th, Mr. Cavin wrote an e-mail entitled, “TERRIBLE MISTAKE!!!!”: “Hi David,How are you doing and your family?thanks for your effort. I just want to update you regarding your payment that you gonna recieved it anymoment from now and as soon as you recieve it you go deposit it okay, I have just received a phone call from my financier that the payment has been forwarded to you and he made a very terrible mistake, your advance payment which is the 651.60 euros but he made out a check of 8,000 euros, so I guess that’s a mistake he made on his end, hence, after you get the bank cheque, kindly deduct your advance payment from the total and book the flight and some other nessacery tings you need to do send the amount of 4,500 euros to a Bar/catering service that is also coming to serve my guest including you on that day and you will bring the remaining balance with you over to the wedding .i am sorry about that but please do bear with me okay.I hope I can trust you on sending the balance to them, after you must have deducted your advance payment from the total. Kindly email m e as soon as possible .Expecting to hear from you.”

April 13th 2005: If I’m not going to ignore this nonsense, I should at least try to have fun with it.

I wrote back and said, “Thank you for sending that check for 8,000 euros, it certainly shows a significant level of trust! Unfortunately, I can not deposit this check because my main bank account will not accept checks for more than 1,000 euros.

However, I have another account which can accept checks written for 20,000 euros or more. I have the impression you have a hard time writing checks for less than a few thousand euros. Or perhaps you are more interested in transferring money through one of my bank accounts than you are in having me photograph your daughter’s wedding. In any case, send me a check for 20,000 euros, and I’ll be happy to take care of all this for you. I’ll be sure to rip up your check for 8,000 euros.”

Either Mr. Cavin can’t read, or is such a craven, cynical crook that he doesn’t find it important to read. On April 14th he responded: “Hi, how are you doing i got your mail? i dont understand what you mean by that you know sending you the amount of 8000 was a terrible mistake made by my finanacer and now i guess it will be better you go deposit it now okay cos i dont want you to miss the wedding moreover i have been telling alot about you to my daugther and also dont turn me to a liar in the present of my daugther i want you to do as we have been chating okay i wait to read from you.

Mr. Cavin called me on the morning of the April 15th with the worst quality “telephone over Internet” connection I’ve ever heard. The level of discourse was about like these e-mails above, then the connection was lost after a minute.

Faced with such abject incomprehension, I cut to the essential, and wrote:

“Dear Tom, Unfortunately, I can not deposit this check because my main bank account will not accept checks for more than 1,000 euros.

However, I have access to another account which can accept checks written for 20,000 euros or more.

Send me a check for 20,000 euros, and I’ll be happy to reimburse you for the difference.”

Now what self-respecting Nigerian Scammer could refuse this offer? Not Mr. Cavin, not yet at least.

April 18th 2005: The Nigerian Wedding, à la française

It appears I’ll be receiving my fourth check written for thousands of Nigerian euros. Since this is becoming a routine, so much so that I recognize this one from the first e-mail, I figure this is a good moment to pass in review the distinguishing characteristics of the Nigerian Wedding Proposal. I’ve highlighted them in light blue, in this message I received April 18th. These are all phrases I have seen two or three times:

“Goodday, My name is paul gavillet.My fiancee Mary and i are planning to have our wedding on June25th,2005 in France, I am looking for the best photographer who will come and snapshot on the D-day and when i came across your advert i was impressed.Let me know your charges for your required services if you are to work for at most 6 Hours on that day.We want about 150 copies of different photos in both black and white and… [long discussion of sizes…], both in the church and reception and of both the bride and the bridegroom,their parents,the officiating ministers and our guests.We will want you to work for at least 6 Hours at the occasion and if you are out of state,we will pay the transportation charges to and from the party venue so indicate in your email if you are out of state and indicate what it will costs either via Plane or Car transportation to and from what amount you will receive working for 6 hours at the occasion.Also,we will have the photographs snapped at the wedding forwarded to the Publisher of a Magazine Company in Africa for publicity, so they could feature it in their celebrity journal.Moreso,should you be out of state,the Hotel accomodation will be provided for by me.Waiting to read from you soon as regards this.

Best regards,
Paul Gavillet

The checks “paying” for the first three weddings were written for at least four thousand euros more than the budget estimates I had prepared, so…

April 19th 2005: I decided to see what would happen if I tried the most expensive budget imaginable:

Five hundred euros for transport, 500 euros for film & developing, and 1,500 euros for my fee, for a total of 2,500 euros. Apparently this wasn’t enough, I’ll have to try two or three times higher next time, because Paul Gavillet accepted right away, and wrote back:

“hello David,
thank you so much for your relpy to my mail so i want you to know that i will like to retain your services you what i want you to please do me a favour cause i’m a professional business man so i won’t be around for some weeks now so i want you to please book me for the date and i promise to do anything .so i want us to do it this way cos by wenesday morning i will be in UK for some business.so can i please have your name, address,tel, zip code for the purpose of making the payment. My Regards,Paul Gavillet”

This might get me a check for as much as 7,000 Nigerian euros. With an “estimate” two or three times more expensive than this last one, I’ll have a chance at a check for ten, perhaps twenty thousand euros.

One thing is for certain: there’s a great similarity between Nigerian euros and those issued by the European Economic Union: Easy come, easy go!

April 20th 2005: It’s official, the checks are counterfeit!

I went to Allied Irish Banks’ web site, and straight away, on their home page they have a warning about e-mail fraud, with a link for reporting. I sent scans of my three checks, and received this response:

“Dear Mr. Henry, I have just received confirmation that the cheques are fraudulent. I would advise you to bring them to the notification of your local police force and not lodge them. Regards, Steve, AIB Internet Abuse Team”

So I wrote this to “Jason Freeman”, the German Nigerian, April 21st:
Hello Jason, There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that your check has indeed cleared my bank. The bad news is that the Internal Revenue Service (the IRS) snapped up all of the 4,600 euros as soon as it became available, because I have owed them thousands of dollars for many years. This settles my debt with the IRS, but I’m sorry to say I won’t be able to repay you this sum for years at least, the economy is doing so badly. In fact, since the US government took all the money you sent me, I will not be able to come to Germany and photograph your daughter’s wedding, I’m so broke. I don’t know how to express how sorry I am… if only you were all were somewhere near Paris, I could come out and photograph you all to make this up. But the thousands of euros will have to wait. I won’t be able to pay you back this year, probably not next year, either.
Very sincerely,
David

Jason Freeman is another scammer who doesn’t see the point in reading. On April 27th, Mr. Freeman wrote sent me a message just like one he sent three weeks earlier, as well as this: “HELLO I DID NOT HEAR ANY THING FROM YOU AND HOPE TO READ FROM YOU AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AND I WILL LIKE YOU TO TELL ME THE DAY CHECK IS GOING TO CLAER AND HOPE TO READ FROM YOU SOONEST THANK”. I sent him back the letter about the IRS, above, with no modifications. As of today, Tom Cavin hasn’t written back in response to my proposal of handling a check for 20,000 euros.

Am I angry about all this?

Yes, because for a few months I was telling people I was going to photograph weddings in various countries, and because I was silly enough to mail that first check for 5,000 Nigerian euros to my bank, they charged me $50 for “fraud”. Aside from that, no, I don’t feel like much of a victim.

April 30th 2005: Jason Freeman refuses to understand that his “4,600 euros” is “gone”

Mr. Freeman wrote: “Hello, I am very sorry for the late in response.It was due to my wife illness that just delivered a new born baby,she was hospitalised for breast cancer and that she has to undergo an operation.This is what have been facing and that is why you didn’t hear from me.so i will want you to pls help me to send euro 1,700 to my doctor for the hospital bill bocs i am very brock for now so, later i will forward you my shipper information for the remanning money for the pick up this is the doctor information below: Yomi James 84 Labi Hospital Ikeja, Lagos Nigeria. 23401

Mr. Freeman seems to be threatening me now.

After sending him the letter about the IRS, above, for a third and fourth time, Mr. Freeman wrote on April 30th: “Thanks for your reply and i will like to ask you when are you going to send the money to me so that my shipper can come to your location to pickup the goods and hope to read from you as soon as possible thank…

I wrote back and said: Hello Jason, The money is gone, the US government took it all the moment your check cleared. I won’t be able to repay your 4,600 euros this year, probably not next year, either. All the best, David

If this doesn’t work, I’ll have to start insulting him, or send him the address of this page. Let me know if anyone has fun ideas for making fireworks fly from these bozos.

March 14th 2006: Almost a year later, the “fun” begins again…

I received this message:

Hello,

Compliments of the day to you,My name is Mr.Kerry,father to Mary Kerry. I am looking for a good and qualify Wedding photographer for my daugther wedding coming up on 23 of June 2006 in Exclusive Hotel Pershing Hall Address49, Rue Pierre CharronParis, France 75008 France … Between our daughter and David Brown I want you to get me all your procedure,service fee note i have heard about you before that you are well capable of doing this job that is why i check on you and i want you to note that i will be responsible for your transport fee.Get back to me as soon as possible.

Considering the shoddy syntax and idiomatic mistakes, right away I suspected this was another Nigerian wedding proposal. It took me just one minute to confirm this, I copied the phrase Compliments of the day to you,My name is, performed a “literal search” on it in Google (surrounded the text with quote marks), and saw that just about every reference on the search results page had to do with scam attempts. I sent my Nigerian boilerplate in response to Mr. “Kerry’s” form letter, with an estimate for 1,100 euros.

This Bozo wrote back and said straight away that I would receive a check for more than what I asked for photographing the wedding: “As soon as you receive the payments I would want you to get it cashed immediately at a nearby cashing store point or bank.As soon as you are through with this you would need to deduct your total(1,100 euros) for the full payment coverage and their will be an excess on the fund,so you will help me send the balance to the wedding planner who would be responsible for my daugther Wedding planning once the check is cleared.

I’ve read and heard that Nigerian scammers work in teams, some handle the e-mails, others forge the checks, others do the banking, mailing, who knows. This particular episode of Nigerian nonsense is further evidence of this: After sending my estimate, “Mr. Kerry” wrote about four times, asking if I had received the check, assuring me it would arrive soon if it had not already. The check never came, I imagine Mr. Kerry’s coworkers didn’t see the point in following up on my estimate. They may well have understood that I knew what this was all about since I prepared such an expensive estimate, and that there was no point in forging a check in Nigerian euros for me. The moral of this story: If you want thousands of Nigerian euros, you shouldn’t be too greedy.

—David Henry, May 18th 2006

Ten years later, in April 2016, I had another entertaining round of exchanges with two scammers, Albert Spencer who wanted to “buy prints of my photographs”, and Victor Smith who wanted to “engage me for horse riding lessons”.

The mailbox:

February 1st 2006

Hello Mr Henry,

I am Fadugba Alfred Omotayo, a photographer in Nigeria. You can view my Yahoo! profile.

I read your publication Scammers on the Internet prey upon wedding photographers from your site and I indeed agree with you that it is highly rampant here in Nigeria. But I would also like to say that not all of us here are fraudulent or scammer. There are crimes all over the world, it is like that here in Nigeria, too.

All I will like you to do for us is this, just try and help catch one of these fellows who are spoiling our national pride.

Please forgive Nigeria for any crime any Nigerian might have commited: crime is also in America.

Thanks,
Alfred

March 12, 2006

Hi there,

I was doing a google search today when I came across your page. While I know that there are criminals who are from Nigeria, just like here in the US and anywhere else, I would like to understand why the thought of impersonating never crossed your mind. Unless I did not read the whole thing, you stated that the envelope came from the UK. Would it be that you are biased and as such can not see it any other way?

Often times, I, being a Nigerian, get mails from a “Nigerian” who needs help or has this “big deal” and I’m supposed to send my bank information so as to get my share of the “big” money deposited. One of them claimed his name was “Balogu”. I, like you, played along with him trying to get his phone number. When I realized he was not planning to give him, I stopped the act and let him know I knew he was not Nigerian. You know why? Any one old enough to write a letter in Nigeria knows the name he was trying to use is spelt “BALOGUN”. You guessed right, he never replied back. That could easily be a typo but his email address has the name and the name he opened the free email account is also spelt as such. If it’s genuine, someone would have called his attention to it. Meaning that the account was opened for the sole purpose of fraud. Makes sense?

And that’s not all. I get mails from people claiming to be nationally or internationally known Nigerian. What they fail to do is research enough to know that the real individual died. I would not be surprised if some fool fell for their lies. I have had folks claim to be Sani Abacha. Who does not know he has been dead for a long time? Only a non-Nigerian who just heard the name on the streets I think. And there was an MKO Abiola. Now I know his (Abiola’s) Kids and I know he died a long time ago. And I also know dead people don’t send mails.

Am I trying to say none of these mails are from Nigerian or foreigners in Nigeria? Absolutely not. But I think it is very shallow of anyone to either spread or believe stereotypical juggernauts like “Ever Nigerian is a fraudsters”. I know I am not and I know a lot of folks indigenously from Nigeria who are not. Just like I know dishonest folks from Nigeria, I know dishonest Americans. Don’t get me started on the dishonest Brits I know a the list is endless. When I heard of a Nigerian jailed for a fraud, I was so happy that I sent the article to everyone I know. I went that far because he is one of the very many bastards soiling the good name many toil to uphold.

It was in the news that Eastern Africans go to a store, confuse the cashier into giving them more change than is expected an leave? How redundant does this sound? Oh! So now they are foreigners and the dumb cashier is exonerated? Whose responsibility is it to count out change? Should the customer no walk away with more change than they should get? NO! That is thievery and such a customer is as guilty as the cashier. How many customers count their change before leaving a store? I don’t and if you just said you do, you just lied. At least not all the time. I went to a store, I think it’s called cinnamon (or is it cinnabon?), the cashier gave me my “change” and folded it in my hand. That alerted me into unfolding the change right in front of her and others. Guess what? It was 40bucks short. I had paid with 50 and I think the stuff was like 3 bucks or something. She must have mistaken me for her; a fool.

I feel you have to be corrupt minded to be swindled by a fraudster and I’m yet to be convinced otherwise. You know something is worth way more than the offered amount, rather than consider possibilities like whether the item is stolen, you block off your mind and go along with the deal. Or, you have an item for sale for 300bucks. You know the item is not even worth that much. A “Nigerian” or Nigerian comes along offering 8000bucks. Shouldn’t you wonder what’s going on? Oh! I forgot! Your TV misinforms you into thinking there is something you have here in the US, like cars (the scenario I read of involved a 88 or so car), that Africans are dying to have. So much so that they would pay hard earned cash for a damaged one. How can I forget such a crucial information? Blame me!

Did I mention the person trying to use my name but spelt it wrong. My name is too common a Nigerian name for anyone to misspell unless they just went with the sound of it. In which case they never really did meet someone by that name. Again, I played with the person. He wanted me to send him a car to the UK. Till this minute, over a year after, the car is still en-route.

I used to get upset at all the spam mails and just delete them, but it seemed like the more I deleted, the more they came. Hence my resolve to play along. Odds are, the same bunch of crooks are recycling usernames so if I keep them in anticipation of a non-existent car or cash, they would let me be. My friends think I have too much time on my hand and they just may be right. I have not talked about the one offering me 40billion USD just for my account info as the “deal” is worth 100billion dollars, have I? He was having problems with his late father’s bank that refused to grant him access to his “dead” father’s money that was willed to him, unless he provided an American account. What father has that much money in a foreign account and forgets to open an account for his child or make him a signatory? Unless of course they hate each other’s gut. In which case the son would not even get a share of the will.

So pal, the moral of the mail, albeit lengthy is to have an open mind about everything and research every culture you are attempting to have relations with so as not to be caught off guard. I watch organizations on TV requesting for money to feed the poor with the picture of a child obviously suffering from malnutrition or kwashiorkor from where have you and I smile to myself. Am I saying malnutrition is not a major factor in some parts of Africa? NO! But you need to look around you here in America to understand why my friends and I find these requests comical. Are there no organizations that are genuine, is that what I am saying? NO! But you don’t expect me to go to DC and take pictures of the homeless people or go to New Orleans and capture the aftermath of Katrina and show it to the world as a means of extorting them under the guise that I am trying to salvage a dying nation.

But of course it’s not every mail you get requesting for help is a fraud. Although I choose, as a policy, never to respond to any, deep down in my heart, I know there is a possibility of just one of them being genuine. The risks are just too much to worry about that 1. And I don’t believe the 1 would be requesting to purchase a product or service. Just like unexposed Americans are misinformed about other countries, similar Africans are misinformed about America. There are the ones that think you just get money like that (I just snapped my finger). That’s all you gotta do. I was misinformed. Now I am paying the price. My friends back home are done in school, I am still working and going to school. What’s worse, you can not say you want to go back because then they think you are some sort of crazy loser. Did I say that, although these friends have their parents paying their tuition and giving them pocket money, they still expect you to send them money virtually every day. Tell them you don’t have, they say you are stingy. Because they just don’t get it. Tell them you have to work to see yourself through school and they think you are crazy. Or that you just don’t want to go to school; you’ve lost your values (Africans believe education is essential/paramount). A friend called me to request 300USD. Guess what for? To buy his girl a birthday gift. This is a guy whose parents could afford to buy him a car while he was in school. Is he kidding me? If he offered to send me 300USD you bet I’ll take it. Even some of the educated ones who should understand that America is not all peaches and cream still don’t get it. Just like the educated ones here to do not get it. Wasn’t there a radio talk show host saying that only 12 telephone lines are in Nigeria and that they are connected to trees? On a radio too. How dumb can he get? I mean, it’s acceptable for an everyday guy to be so ignorant about other cultures but a talk show host? That’s plain stupid don’t you think? My friends and I all though so. There is a lot of slavery of the mind going on, not just in America, but around the world. Especially in America. My boss at work, with all the education he has and his position, wondered why I would want to spend Christmas in my country instead of America when, “ I would end up in a hut sleeping on the floor with my parents and siblings with no roof”. Here is my response; “you are not really that ignorant or stupid to think that are you?” He went on about that being what he was “told”. I asked him why he never bothered to educate himself rather than opt for the easies albeit myopic way out.

One wonders why these people do the things they do. I know I do. Don’t they have conscience? It is apparent that they have energy and time to waste so why not use it in a positive way? But then there is the bad leadership for them to worry about. The self imposed leaders who, rather than serve the nation, constitute themselves as lords over the people. Siphoning all the money the nation has for the use of their families, friends and bootlickers. Leaving each child to either make it on their own anyhow with little or no help from them, or die of starvation. Hence, many of them resolve into any means they dim fit save for those who were brought up to know better than to be deceitful. Some of them console each other with phrases like “After this big hit, I’ll stop and help my family afford a decent life”. They forget that there is something called conscience and/or nemesis that would never let them spend the money wisely. So they keep coming back until they are caught. That’s not making excuses for their acts because it is inexcusable from any angle.

How then do you understand the American dupe who, despite the availability of jobs and opportunities to educate oneself that, although exist in other countries, may not be as affordable for the masses, still chooses to outsmart everyone out of their property? Education is more expensive in America, make no mistake, but there is grants and loans that, although you have to pay back, you would be making enough money to be bothered without a little monthly payment. They steal cars even thought there is car note, a luxury not available in African countries. I got duped by an American of 200USD which may not be much but I worked for it and it hurts. But I am too smart to say EVERY AMERICAN IS A DUPES. Not minding that there attempts to swindle you abound. I guess all those internet conmen are from a different USA. That has to explain it.

God my fingers hurt.

Cheers David,
—Anike Anike

Be careful who you do business with and have an open mind. The world is to big a place for anyone to view it from one side.

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