Why Nigerian Email Scams Work

Friday, November 01, 2013


When Nigerian prince scam spam hits our inboxes, most of us know to politely decline requests for assistance. One might wonder why scammers don’t come up with something a bit more believable. But according to a paper (pdf) by Cormac Herley of Microsoft Research, the email’s overt scaminess helps identify the biggest suckers. In an interview from August of last year, Psychology professor Daniel Simons, who wrote about the phenomenon in the Wall Street Journal, explains.


Daniel Simons

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Brooke Gladstone

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