The costs are basicly an internet connection and a computer system to send out the spam. See for example Six arrested over 'Nigerian e-mail' fraud by Graeme Wearden, ZDNet News, May 21, 2002. Michelle Delio claims to have actually interviewed a Nigerian e-mail scammer.This article points out that one reason this kind of fraud is so safe for the scamsters is that many people do not report that they have been defrauded. From the e-mail I've received, this web page seems to have helped several people avoid these scams. See Meet the Nigerian E-Mail Grifters by Michelle Delio, Wired News, July 17, 2002 As with any financial endeavor, the bank scammers expect to make more money than they spend on Internet accounts and spamming.During the same period, he spent .3 million, with 44 percent of the money going to creditors, 20 percent to Africans, and 17 percent for cash withdrawals, they said.Victims of Nigerian bank scams are not limited to corporate Vice Presidents and ex-Congressmen.In fact, the US Treasury Department now has a web page devoted to this scam.
While various dictators the world over have amassed vast fortunes, they don't have much problem getting their money into foreign banks.These executive pocketed far more money and were far better paid that Ms. There was an excellent article in Salon, titled I crave your distinguished indulgence (and all your cash) by Douglas Cruickshank on the Nigerian Bank Scam.According to this article, it is not just Whitacre who fell for this scam.She believed that the money she "borrowed" would be paid back from the .5 million she would receive after million was moved from the South African Ministry of Mining into her bank account. Poet will probably be spending some time as a guest of the United States Federal Government. As happens to all of us, the years were marching on for Ms. She may have been thinking of retirement and despaired at the though of how this could ever happen on the salary the law firm paid her.Then she gets an e-mail from a fellow who works for the South African Ministry of Mines and it seems to be the answer to her problems. Poet's jail sentence and the fates of the executives of Enron, Tyco, Worldcom and other companies involved in the great corporate scams of the late 1990s and early twenty-first century would be interesting.But as the Government got to know Whitacre better and learned more about the case it started to unravel, although at least one ADM executive went to jail.Whitacre reported to his bosses that he and his family were being threatened and that "bad things" would happen unless he made a payment to those who were threatening him.According The Daily Iowan (Far from his heyday, Mezvinsky admits guilt, by Maryclaire Dale, The Daily Iowan, Sept.30, 2002): In the 1990s, Mezvinsky left the politics to his wife and turned to international business deals.Michelle Delio's article How a Bank Got E-mail Scammed (in Wired News, Sept.24, 2002) recounts the story of Ann Marie Poet, a 59-year-old secratery who embezzled .1 million (US) from her employer, a law firm. Poet fell for the "advance fee" scam and believed that these funds were being used to pay fees and bribes. Whitacre, who was a very well compensated Vice President at ADM.