Since the popularization of the Internet, dozens of wealthy Nigerian potentates have sought the assistance of ordinary, middle-class, preferably elderly Americans in wiring money from their homeland in exchange for a hefty transfer fee.
And to think, all it took was a few rotten apples who scammed thousands of people out of their savings to ruin everything for all the honest widows of major oil industrialists and sons of generals, who just wanted to wire Mr. and Mrs. Heickman of Denton, Texas a few million dollars in exchange for a bank routing number and a Social Security card.
As they say in Texas, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice — won't get fooled again, unless the scam has a slight twist…
The criminals have been marching across the country, making their way from state to state, persuading victims that a special federal government assistance program — sometimes described as a bailout authorized by President Barack Obama's administration — is available to pay their utility bills. Victims are given bank account and routing numbers to use when paying their bills online, but only after they "register" by surrendering their Social Security numbers and other personal information.
There is no such utility payment assistance program. But electricity users seem to be falling for the ruse everywhere, making it in one of the more successful scams in recent times.
It's ironic that after so much time spent characterizing the president as a Kenyan socialist, thousands of Americans would instead believe that Obama was a Nigerian prince offering to pay their electric bill.
Also unclear is who's behind the scam. But considering the gap between Obama and Mitt Romney's fundraising, the team in Chicago has to be under some scrutiny. After all, Obama did promise to help millions of Americans pay their mortgages. And how did that turn out?
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Money, Nigeria
As everybody knows, this past weekend, the U.S. soccer team managed to successfully beat Ghana for the privilege of going home and watching TV and maybe having a few beers in a nice air conditioned room. (Hope you continue enjoying the African heat, Ghana!)
But oddly enough, not everybody gets so excited about being excused early from this impossibly loud and remarkably slow sporting event. Some people in some countries actually get mad about being sent home. Go figure…
Nigeria's president Goodluck Jonathan has suspended the national soccer team from international competition for two years after their dismal performance at the World Cup.
Nigeria came bottom of their group at the tournament in South Africa, losing to Argentina and Greece before drawing with South Korea.
On the plus side, though, that's two years that Nigerians are excused from having to watch soccer. So, it's not all bad.
Tags: Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Soccer, Sports
You're never gonna believe who's claiming responsibility for Saturday's attempted terror attack…
In a statement posted on the Internet, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula said 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab coordinated with members of the group, an alliance of militants based in Saudi Arabia and Yemen…
The group said Abdulmutallab used explosives manufactured by al-Qaida members. "He managed to penetrate all devices and modern advanced technology and security checkpoints in international airports bravely without fear of death," the group said in the statement, "relying on God and defying the large myth of American and international intelligence, and exposing how fragile they are, bringing their nose to the ground, and making them regret all what they spent on security technology."
I'm not sure is there's an Arabic equivalent of the phrase "People who live in glass houses…," but it's not as if their brilliant plan to explode a plane by setting his underwear on fire went off without a hitch.
Look, I'm just saying, it's one thing to attempt to murder several dozen innocent people because of your silly beliefs in mythological sky deities. But it a-whole-nother thing to go throwing around hurtful criticisms of our competence when your organization is just as hapless.
Can't we just agree that we're all idiots, and move on?
Tags: al Qaeda, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Terrorism, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, Yemen