I’ve sometimes wondered why those Nigerian emails are so ludicrously unbelievable. There’s an interesting article about this on npr.org.
Those Nigerian Email Scams Are Ridiculous For A Reason
It goes on to talk about how the most successful scammers are like celebrities and rake in millions of dollars.
What it’s saying is that, when you can automatically send many millions of emails at little or not cost, rather than going for a high response rate, the best strategy is to select for the tiny percentage of extremely gullible people because that tiny percentage will still be a sizable group.
It’s an interesting theory. I’m going to theorize a little more beyond what the article says.
Maybe the article is correct in that the more ludicrous letters work better because they appeal only to the small most gullible minority. But I’m skeptical that the scammers purposely designed these emails with that in mind.
My theory is that, over time, the only scammers who were successful were the ones who wrote the most ridiculous letters. In a way, the most stupid criminals were the most successful because they appealed to the most stupid victims.
Of course, over time others copied the letters of the most successful, so now they’re just repeating the success of their barely literate predecessors.