You got the email. A Nigerian prince has a fortune he would like to share with you. Send him an email with some necessary information, such as your account information. You will be rich.

It turns out the “Nigerian prince” was Billy Morrison, a fourteen-year-old boy. In 1949, Billy placed ads in newspapers. He claimed he was a prince with nothing but gemstones in an empty house. He wanted friends. In exchange, he would send diamonds and rubies. People wrote. Each letter bore more requests. No one received anything but the next request.

Soon envelopes filled with money flowed through post offices. But no one saw a single diamond. That’s when the postal service got involved.

By the way, Billy was an American who knew American weaknesses.

We say that no one answers these, but dozens get duped out of life savings in this and other scams that have followed. The electronic age made it simpler.

Paul counsels Christians to:

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)

The devil is not slipshod but methodical. He knows weaknesses and vulnerabilities. He tailors every enticement for you.

We have grown wary of the Nigerian email. Why, with the same kind of scam, do we not grow weary of the devil?

Remember, the devil is not a teenager. Take him more seriously.

-Robert G. Taylor-