The things you learn from old episodes of QI

I was watching an old episode of QI with Stephen Fry hosting it.

In fact Series L, Episode 16 where a question about "... larceny: out of a choice between getting an email from a Spanish prisoner or a Nigerian prince, you would rather not have either because both are likely to be scams. "

Scroll down the link to the episode because the full episode has been transcribed.

The bit that piqued my interest was...

"The Nigerian scams deliberately use bad spelling and grammar because someone who fails to spot the mistakes is more likely to be conned - it is to weed out smart people who are unlikely to fall for the scam."

As was pointed out in the episode this is particularly cruel.

I've always just been gobsmacked at how clearly fraudulent some of these emails are.

I've tried providing as much information to people as I can to help them avoid being scammed but have never touched on the literacy aspect for filtering out victims.

So, if anyone you know struggles with literacy then maybe you can encourage them to improve with this bit of information i.e. "it will help prevent you being scammed".

Tasmania's literacy campaign tagline is "Get the tools for life" and that seems to make very good sense in this context.

If you are literate, and I guess you won't have got to here if you aren't, then it can't hurt to know this (potentially) new aspect of scams for your own protection.

It can be easy to become complacent or intentionally ignore flaws because it suits us.

When we are barraged with information of any kind we can/do become numb to it and drop our guard.

"So now it comes to the matter of scores and, oh dear, in last place it's..."


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