How Nigerian e-mail scams can help your restructuring practice

I trust I have gotten your attention now.  If you can suspend your disbelief momentarily, I promise this will be worthwhile to you – maybe even as soon as tomorrow.

The secret of Nigerian e-mail scams is far from obvious but it is astoundingly simple.  Recently an article in Computer World explained why such schemes are more successful than ever. - despite the fact that virtually every man, woman and child on the planet has heard of  ”Nigerian e-mail scams.”

The key is in the previous sentence.  Replace the word “despite” with “because.”

Because? The reason that the scam is so successful is that almost everyone knows its a scam? Yes, that’s right: people who haven’t heard of a “Nigerian email” are the most gullible and out of touch. In other words, they are the scammer’s most promising victims.

While email is free, the execution of the scam is complicated and expensive – so it is important to select the victims. By using an email that is obviously a hoax, the victims are “self-selected.”

Nigerian email scammers exploit their biggest weakness. They use a seemingly insurmountable vulnerability (the fact that everyone knows “Nigerian” emails are scams) to identify their best victims.  Instead of trying to alter the “weakness” (by using a different “country of origin”) or overcome it (by making emails more believable), their seemingly biggest flaw has become the cornerstone of the business plan.

Often in bankruptcy practice, we are called upon to handle cases with tough legal issues, where the law or the facts seem stacked against us.  The key to winning is to take a weakness and turn it into a weapon.  Restructuring professionals often find the key to a turnaround to be the very same flaw in the business plan that drove the company to chapter 11 to start with.

http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/428151/why_nigerian_scammers_say_they_re_from_nigeria/

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