Side Note

What the hell is it with the resurgence of these Nigerian email scams lately? Anyone else suddenly begin seeing a lot of them in their junk email folder? I can’t believe it’d still be worth it. Is anyone still falling for these obvious and silly scams? Jesus, these things were around even before email. I used to get them in snail mail to my business address.

I guess new crops of ignoramuses must be falling for them, or they wouldn’t be wasting their time.

I have an unconventional way of looking at that sort of thing. You know what? I’m not interested in spending a goddamn nickel to put these kinds of people out of business. Sure, they’re thieves, I hope they all die and burn in hell, but ya gotta admit: they do serve a useful purpose in treating morons to a lesson they just might remember.

I was recently at a conference in Vegas and one of the speakers was a deputy AG from Florida whose "claim to fame" was prosecuting and putting Miss Cleo out of business for "deceptive trade practices;" like, you know, failure to disclose that the "readings" they sold customers were not "actual psychic readings." I dunno…I’m guessing that for those, you have to go to a state-licensed "psychic."

My attitude about the thing at the time was that anyone who’ll pay someone money to tell them what they already know just deserves everything they get.

"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people."—  H.L. Mencken

Leave Miss Cleo alone. <laf>

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Richard Nikoley on September 21, 2006 at 15:36


    No, not really. But never in my name ("the people" vs.), unless of course I have some reason to want to pay for such prosecution; where, in such case, my name will explicitly appear amongst the plaintiffs.

  2. Doug Wolf on September 21, 2006 at 15:16


    OK, I'll take a swing at this one. 🙂

    Are you implying that outright fraud ought never be prosecuted? That if I agree to pay you a certain sum in exchange for a certain service, and *you do not render that service*, that I ought not have any legal recourse other than refusing to do business with you in the future?

    — DW

  3. Richard Nikoley on September 22, 2006 at 10:20

    And, of course, you would only want proceeds if you were in fact defrauded.

    So then, I guess the "readin'" you got was pretty accurate, eh? >g<

  4. Doug Wolf on September 22, 2006 at 10:16


    OK, I'll give you that. If I was interested in sueing Miss Cleo, I'd do it myself… I don't need a proxy to do that in my name, without my permission. (Especially when I don't stand any chance of recieving any of the proceeds.)

    — DW

  5. Richard Nikoley on September 22, 2006 at 18:33


    Were you born yesterday? Do you not bear some responsibility in believing that your future can be predicted with accuracy? Do the bogus promises of a charlitan absolve you of your responsibility?

    I'm not really defending Miss Cleo as much as I'm saying that I want no part in prosecutiing her against those foolish enough to engage her "services."

  6. Moriarty on September 22, 2006 at 07:28

    I'm not interested in spending a goddamn nickel to put these kinds of people out of business.

    On the contrary: I want them kept in business indefinitely. While they're busy scamming, they have less time for other, more concerning things.

  7. damaged justice on September 22, 2006 at 10:32

    And with services that do not actually exist, there is no way to "prove" the service was not rendered. Reality. What a concept.

  8. Doug Wolf on September 22, 2006 at 18:20

    I have no idea what specific claims Miss Cleo makes about her services, but if a fortune teller claims to predict my future in exchange for money, and does so inaccurately, am I not entitled to compensation?

    — DW

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