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Nigerian E-mail

30 replies to this topic

#21 marko

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    Posted 20 December 2011 - 10:02 AM

    Heard of another scam a while ago, basically once a scammer (or scammers) have obtained email addresses they send all the contacts a note (faking the persons email address obviously) explaining they are stuck somewhere, can't use their phone, blah blah and could they stick £50, £100 or more in their bank account so they can get home, etc. If you think about logically, imagine receiving an email from someone you would trust explaining they were in trouble, would you take the time to doubt it was actually them asking for help - would you doubt the bank account number they were sending? - would you even know their bank account details in the first place. It would, of course, depend on who it was sending the email as I know any of my close family would find a way to contact me other than email, but it's just another scam that has obviously worked in the past and most probably will continue to work for some.

    Scam emails and scam's in general normally work on the basis of trust and reason, even if you doubt something, chances are if it's close to your heart you're a lot more susceptible to being scammed - personally I'm the biggest skeptic there probably is and would absolutely question everything thrown at me, I think I've been made that way with years of work in the IT game, but for many unsuspecting people doubt is often overruled by commitment or pity to someone they think needs their help. Just remember, question everything - if someone asks you for something, ask yourself if that's a bit odd, if it is phone someone and try and have it verified, whether it's a bank, a family member, or whatever - answer nothing in a phone call, send no money by any means unless you are sure you know the request came from a trusted source and you were even possibly expecting the request.

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    #22 AlphaCentauri

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      Posted 20 December 2011 - 01:22 PM

      I got one of those emails supposedly from a friend of mine. They had actually hijacked her hotmail account, so they weren't faking the email address. And not only did they have her address book, they could have used the information in the stored emails to provide convincing details about her and me from reading them if their English had been good enough. As it was, I'm sure they just copied and pasted a pre-composed email in English. The spelling and punctuation were too awful to have been from my friend, no matter how stressed she had been. From what I understand, people who respond are given another email address to communicate with (which is less likely to be locked down) and may be passed to someone higher in the scam organization with better English skills.

      #23 Claw

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        Posted 20 December 2011 - 04:05 PM

        Some people are just scammed ,poor ,innocent people. BUT, on the other hand,,,some people get scammed because they are simply very GREEDY and want everything and all they can have !!!! Whether it's money ,jewelery or just the power and BRAGGING rights over a less fortunate friend. AND that's why they get scammed ,,and those are the ones who most of the time deserve what they get!!!! The only problem with that is the innocent out number the greedy 100 to 1,,and the ones really getting "rich" are all the scammers standing in line with their hands out !!!! I ,too trust very little of anything I get in the way of e-mail,,heck (heck????) I usually don't trust what's in front of my face!!!! <_<

        #24 AlphaCentauri

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          Posted 20 December 2011 - 05:22 PM

          If you ever saw the old George C. Scott movie, "The Flim-Flam Man," the elderly swindler rationalized his crimes by saying, "You can't cheat an honest man." And most of the "victims" in the movie thought they were putting one over on the old man, when they were in fact the ones being cheated.

          I have no sympathy for people who want to get rich by getting involved in schemes that clearly constitute smuggling, fraud, and money laundering. But it is their family members, friends and employers who often suffer as well if the 419 victims "borrow" some money trying to get back the money they have already lost.

          And often the victim has some early dementing disorder like Alzheimers, has a narcissistic personality disorder (common in people raised alcoholic parents), or is a member of a religious faith that teaches him that things that sound too good to be true are miraculous signs of God's favor. Very few people would be fooled by those letters, so there are often some problems that make the victim vulnerable in the first place.

          #25 Claw

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            Posted 20 December 2011 - 09:58 PM

            One problem the victim faces is that in a way they have a very "visible" bank account,,where as the con man is "faceless". Having worked for a Bail Bond Agency,I know those cons have a face and are really easy(some) to find!! A scammer could be standing next to a victim and they may have no idea!!
            It will never be stopped, not even slowed down. The more things advance to the future ,,so will the scammers and the scams. As things progress the scammer actually is given better technology to develope more sophisticated tools of the trade. "Common sense" and a "Gut Feeling" may just be the only and best weapons you can have!!!!

            #26 AlphaCentauri

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              Posted 21 December 2011 - 12:38 AM

              And Western Union is infamous for being the essential link in the scammer's chain of anonymity.

              Common sense tells you that if the same locations in West Africa are being wired money from victims again and again, the clerks there ought to be alerted, and video monitors should be installed. WU has a responsibility to people in all the countries where they operate, even if local law enforcement agencies in the destination countries don't.

              #27 BobJam

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                Posted 21 December 2011 - 01:31 AM

                @ Claw,

                Jim is pretty much right . . . about the only way you're going to stop this nonsense is to get a NEW email address. Clearly the one you have has been contaminated and is likely being sold to other spammers . . . so the situation will only get worse.

                But if you choose to get a new email address, there are ways you can keep the contamination down to a minimum, or perhaps even spam free (unusual, but possible). If you go to the trouble of getting a new email addy, you don't want all that hassle ending up right back where you started.

                Take a look at this thread on the TSG board: http://forums.techgu...-practices.html

                I started that thread back in 2007, so it's pretty dated (for example I no longer use SA and am now a Linux kinda' guy so OE is out . . . I use TB as my client now) but the principles are still valid.

                Take a look particularly at points 3, 4, 5, and 6 especially, for email stuff.

                Also scroll down a bit and take a look at about the eighth post down, the one where I'm agreeing with user "hewee".

                There certainly are no guarantees, but the "tips" in there may help.

                One other thing. If you go to the bother of getting a new email address, DON'T have your wife put it in her address book on her work computer. It sounds like her work computer may be abominably compromised, and it may be that her address book there is also.

                #28 AlphaCentauri

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                  Posted 21 December 2011 - 04:45 AM

                  Yeah, lots of good information there. It would be interesting to see what needs to be updated.

                  I don't use OE at all -- won't even enter usernames/SMTP addresses etc., so it can't get into mischief. But I wonder, do the more recent versions of office still launch emails in preview that way? I have the impression that MS is quietly dealing with some of their security issues without being obvious about admitting to ever having them.

                  The free email addresses like hotmail and gmail are very useful -- but now many won't let you create a new account without a cell phone number, as a way of controlling abuse by spammers.  I refuse to give a free email provider my cell phone number. Instead, I own some domain names and have hosting that includes a large number of email accounts (like 1000 per website hosted). That means I have pretty much carte blanche to create any new email address I want whenever I want, forward one-time addresses to common catch-all addresses to make it easier to check my mail in one place, delete them when their utility is past, etc. There is always the risk of dictionary attacks with that strategy, ie., once someone knows your domain name, they simply send email to a vast number of possible usernames and see if any get through, so you get a separate copy of the same spam to every one of your accounts instead of just getting one copy. The best defense there is 1. set your server to have any email to nonexistent addresses discarded rather than returned to the sender or forwarded to a catch-all account  2. use creative email addresses for the accounts you want to be spam-free. A hyphen or dot in an unexpected place can mean your username simply won't be part of the dictionary the spammer uses.

                  I do open a lot of email from people I don't know, both as part of my job and because I'm managing websites for a couple small community groups that get inquiries from the public. I use Mailwasher to preview the emails before I view them with my Mozilla mail client. Mailwasher is a glorified text viewer which will show HTML emails in readable form, but won't actually let them do anything. It will show you the actual link to any linked text, so you can see if there are discrepancies. It allows you to toggle between the source and the readable form easily and to see the attachments in harmless text view, too, so you can see things like what the file extension is. I have even created spam filters for Mailwasher that look for the base 64 form of things like "kernel.dll" that tend to show up in malware.

                  The problem with only giving your address to trusted people is tough. I have some very well meaning friends who are sure that I will support the environmental an political causes they do -- and they're right -- but I do NOT want them giving those organizations my email address so they can send me an email in my friends' names. Besides my address ending up on lists that get shared around, spammers use schemes like that to collect addresses. My sister in law gave my spam-free email address to the Russian criminals distributing the "Storm Worm" by entering it on a site that said if you clicked the button every day, they would donate money to feed puppies in an animal shelter. She was sure I'd want to click the button, too.

                  #29 Claw

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                    Posted 21 December 2011 - 06:12 AM

                    Thanks for the help BobJam,,you said the post was a little dated,,but "good" advice never gets outdated!!!! Alpha,, to tell you the truth, it's not as bad as it was really. Only ,Cheating wives , Sexbook,,Rolexes the Canadian pharmacy only sometimes now,, and still a few promising me a huge deposit of money waiting.You see ,I know whats in them because a pal of mine opened his and I got to read them. (I am not on his mailing list). My wifes school computers get infected often from other teachers bringing in thumb drives from home and then spreading it to the whole system!!!! As for me,,,,I CLICK NOTHING!!!!
                    Don't trust much ,,and as for those puppies being fed!! There would be some skinny pups if left up to me!! But honestly ,,I truly want to THANK both of you for all your help,,and to let you know that ,,although I'm pretty sure you don't need it,but,, I'm Here ,,if and when you may need help!!!! :good:

                    #30 Claw

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                      Posted 28 December 2011 - 03:34 AM

                      No more Nigerian e-mails,,only Yahoo Lottery and Online Casino spam. Very little of each,,,,,,,,so far !!!!

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