23 – The Nigerian Email Scam

February 20, 2017

Ever wondered who’s sending you those crazy emails from someone claiming to want share a large sum of money with you or be tracking you down for a huge inheritance? Why are they almost always supposedly from Nigeria? Why are they so poorly written? Find out who these scammers are, why the scam became popular in Nigeria, how much money they’re making, who they’re making it from, why they word them the way they do, and when the scam originated in this eye-opening edition of Timesuck.

(Photos, clockwise from top left: Scam stats from a report by the Canadian government, an 1898 New York Times article warning about letter scams, a Lagos slum.)


  1. Jessi says:

    A friend just told me about this podcast and I am addicted. Seriously, so good. Keep it man! This stuff is like Christmas morning for me.

    1. admin says:

      YES!! What a great comment Jessi. I really appreciate the kind feedback. Hope you continue to enjoy it!

  2. Ivor says:

    Damn, Dan. You weren’t kidding about Lagos. Do what I did and Google Lagos. Click on the Maps result. Zoom in/out until you can see about 2/3 of the city on your screen (it’s fucking huge). Use your mouse and grab that little yellow streetview guy in the corner and hold him over the screen until you see little blue dots pop up. These are the places you can get a ground view of the city. Holy shit Mad Max is right. I think the nicest part I saw was a walled-in compound for Jehova’s Witnesses. Yup, Lagos is coming right off the ol’ bucket list. No thank you. Great podcast.

    1. admin says:

      Wow. That’s intense man. Yeah – that city is surreal. I still can’t really believe it exists like that, right now, in 2017, but I know it’s true. Thanks for enjoying the podcast!

  3. Jason Allen says:

    Avid listener, first time commentor, Awesome segmemts. Loved the three I’ve heard so far. This being the third. If Al Capone was smart he would of sent a scam letter to Bugsy Moran, informing him that a shipment of Hooch was awaiting him at a local pysch ward and all he had to do was register himself as a member and all the Hooch would then be released to his outifit.Then those nutty doctors would of done Capone the favor of giving ol’ Bugsy his daily labotomy and ergo no more Bugsy. I love your podcasts and your stand up is just as great. Thanks for the entertainment.

    1. admin says:

      Haha. Nice tie-ins Jason! So glad you like the podcast and I appreciate the nice comments. Hope you keep listening!

  4. Nemo says:

    Great stuff, Dan! Got here from your Pandora greeting (your listener-conversion scam is working)! Now, if only you would tell us more about the Laser rocket and where it can be purchased for the end-times…

    1. admin says:

      Haha! Thanks Nemo. Appreciate the feedback. Working on getting that Lazer Rocket available for purchase 🙂

  5. Tyler W says:

    You should do an episode on weird World War Two weapons and plans such as the bat bomb and the plan to turn Hitler into a women.

    1. admin says:

      Interesting topic choice Tyler. I feel like I’ll end up with a lot of WWII episodes. So much crazy stuff around that war. I’ll add to that one to the topic list. Thanks!

  6. Lane Frost says:

    Dan I heard about your podcasts while listening to your comedy on Pandora. These are more so if not just as entertaining to listen to then Vsauce educational videos. I also love your comedy and I just want to say keep it up because Ill be tuning in to your new episodes.

    1. admin says:

      Haha. Thank you Lane! Glad you enjoy them. Definitely plan to keep it up – I’m loving doing these.

  7. Tanner Peters says:

    Dan, I have been listening to your comedy on pandora for years and my brother explained podcasts to me because I have never bothered listening to them. The first podcast I typed in was yours because I always heard the ad on pandora for it. It may have been a mistake to listen to yours first because I have not been able to find one that is even close to being more interesting and hilarious at the same time. I love what you do and am looking forward to each new podcast. Thanks for sucking my time away!

    1. admin says:

      Tanner! You are the best, man. I really appreciate such a kind email and I’m so glad you like the podcast so far. Hope you keep listening!

  8. Tommy Brown says:


    1. admin says:

      Hey Tommy – sorry this took so long. Everything seems to be working – hopefully you figured it out! Sorry you had a problem.

Leave a Reply

Scroll to top