Just catching up with a great piece by Sarah Lacy about some of the hackers behind those common scam emails asking for money to be wired to Nigeria.
The Internet’s emergence in Nigeria breathed new life into an old national scam: The 419 letter. And a new generation was making hay out of the naiveté of millions of new Internet users. For Nigeria’s massive unemployed population– some fifty million people today– this was every bit the gold rush that Silicon Valley was in the 1990s. And the “entrepreneurs” concocting these schemes late night after the doors were locked in Nigeria’s Internet cafes needed a brilliant coder who was more motivated the bigger the challenge. Boakye was one of the best in the country.
-TechCrunch, May 15, 2011
(For more background, see this Snopes page if you're one of the three people on earth who have never received the email)