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Last August, Interpol arrested a 40-year-old Nigerian con artist, known only as “Mike,” who was the alleged mastermind of an email scam cartel that swindled over $60 million from victims around the world. Mike operated various email schemes including the infamous “Nigerian Prince” ruse, which elaborately establishes a heartbreaking and potentially profitable tale before asking for money.
This article originally appeared on SEMrush. You probably wouldn’t expect the State Department to spend taxpayer money buying Facebook fans, but in 2011 and 2012, it did, spending $630,000 to “increase engagement with foreign audiences.” Superficially, the campaigns succeeded, and the number of fans increased from about 100,000 people to over 2 million. That’s a ridiculous strategy.