An interesting analysis on the design of these scams, intended to reach just a small number of individuals who might be more easily persuaded to fall for these attacks.

Nigerian email scams are designed to be obvious

QUOTE:  Here’s a modern-day question: Why are Nigerian con-man emails so obvious? Because that makes sure only stupid people will respond to them, says Microsoft security analyst Cormac Herley in a newly released research paper.  “Far-fetched tales of West African riches strike most as comical,” Herley writes in the introduction to his paper. “Our analysis suggests that is an advantage to the attacker, not a disadvantage.”  But even if 99 percent of the thousands of people who receive the email ignore it, that still leaves quite a lot of sad suckers who are taken in by the tale.   And, reasons Herley, if those people are dumb enough to believe such a silly story, or ignorant enough to have not heard a decade’s worth of Nigerian email jokes, then they’re quite likely to fall for the old-fashioned “advance fee” con that the email sets up.