Yeah. My 88-year-old uncle and many of his friends have fallen for similar scams in the last couple of years. I gave him a solid lecture about talking to strangers on the internet, which he then passed onto his friends. It’s curtailed their innocence, though not completely cured it. Just last month his phone line was busy for hours, and when I finally got hold of him, he explained that he’d been on the phone with a really nice fellow — “an American” — who convinced him to allow remote access (again) to his computer in order to solve some of the problems my uncle was having, which this fine young American had magically been made aware of. He said it took awhile because somehow the remote access permission had been turned off. (Yeah, last time I was there.) Sigh. You can only teach them so much. The rest they have to learn through their own mistakes. 😉
But sometimes the “victims” can be pretty smart. My friend’s grandmother had a year-long email encounter with a Nigerian prince or some such. She kept sending him $20 a month, telling him it was all she could afford. I guess $20 is a lot wherever this prince lives, because he kept writing. Finally, my friend’s dad put a stop to it and lectured his mum; at which point, his mum told him she was fully aware he wasn’t a prince, and $20 a month was a bargain for such an entertaining penpal. Sadly, I think loneliness plays a big role in determining who will fall for these scams.
"I believe man suffers from an appalling ignorance of his own nature." -William Golding, Lord of the Flies