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February 27, 2009

419er Lacking Basic Training

There certainly isn't any money in trying to teach potentially gullible email users how to protect themselves. Maybe I should switch to the Dark Side, and teach crooks (for big buck$, of course) how to present themselves credibly in their pitches to the unwary. I could have saved the stupido 419er described here from wasting his time and money on a campaign doomed to failure for want of two simple fixes.

The goals of a 419 email message include enticing the recipient into opening and reading the message first of all. From there, the message needs to draw the recipient into a believable scenario with a huge potential payout in the end. Once the sucker is on the hook, the 419 machine takes over with a time-tested and well-orchestrated plan that causes the gullible (often very well educated people at that) to wire thousands after thousands of dollars to a Western Union office in some other country.

Mistake #1 from today's crook (using the name Tom Nelson) is to use a very spammy Subject: line that does not connect with the feigned seriousness of the body:

Subject: Thought you might be interested

The body goes on to imply that this is the second notice (uh huh) that I am a beneficiary of $25.3 million from some dead guy. There is no connection between the chummy Subject: line and the urgency to get megadough headed my way. Nelson is withholding the name of the "Deceased," but I supposedly have the same surname.

And that's where this jerk goes haywire again.

If this message is intended for my personal attention (as indicated at the start of the body), why is it addressed to 999 email addresses in plain view in the To: field of the message? This prestigious group of 999 have email account names between damito2772 and Dean, conveniently arranged in alphabetical order. Since many of the account names consist of both first and last names that aren't mine, all 999 of us don't share the same surname.

This guy is following the wrong directions:

  1. Load gun.

  2. Aim at foot.

  3. Fire.

Posted on February 27, 2009 at 05:16 PM