WKU Political Science Professor Featured in the Washington Post
- Zach Miller
- Monday, August 31st, 2015
When asked about this article, Dr. Rich responded: "I became interested in the so-called Nigerian email scam as a graduate student when I noticed the frequency and variety of emails I would receive. However, it was only a few years ago in which I started delving into the logic and patterns of the scam systematically. Speaking with scam specialists, I learned that the scammers were usually working in highly organized groups and testing variations of letters to see which generated more responses. In addition, a response rate of less than one-tenth of percent can still make the scam profitable. Using www.419scam.org, which catalog examples of scam emails, I could then look for broad patterns in over a half million emails rather than assume the ones I received were representative. For example, I was surprised to find only 12.6% of the letters referenced Nigeria. Less surprising was that higher money offers correlated with more references to trust, which suggests that the author knows it has to win over its target."