What must keep the 419 scam going is low overhead. Spam is cheap; the rewards of looting a bank account are high. Any bunco squad cop will tell you that there are just a few scams, decades or more old, that account for the vast majority of con jobs. Like most cons, this one works in part by involving the patsy in something illegal and immortal, to deter her from approaching the authorities.
As H.L.Mencken put it, "No one in this world, so far as I know ... has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people." In the case of the 419 scam, maybe not the great masses, but there's one born every minute.
The Palestinian variant shows both chutzpah and a bit of imagination.