Sunday, October 15, 2006

Scammers and Spammers

Another kind offer of financial assistance from an apparently aggrieved African has arrived in my inbox. It’s the usual sob story, the typical dying benefactor bullshit – husband was ambassador in Sierra Leone, but now dead, left huge sum of money in a bank account somewhere which she wants to entrust to me for a small fee. It’s interesting to note that her e-mail address has a Slovakian domain name (atlas.sk). I used to receive these e-mails on a virtually weekly basis a couple of years ago when this type of thing was at its peak. I thought this sort of scam had had its day, but I suppose there’ll always be the odd chancer out there hoping that some gullible corporate employee will fall for their hoax.

A quick Google search of “Millicent Godwin”, the alleged name of my would-be donor reveals that the name is a regular one used by e-mail scammers. She’s been sending the same message to messsage boards and no doubt other individuals. Countless websites offer advice on how to deal with various unsolicited messages. Their main advice is to delete the e-mail. My approach is somewhat different. I reply to give the impression I trust them and keep the correspondence going for as long as possible, sticking in a few words of Irish here and there just to confuse them and basically see how far I can wind them up. It can be rather amusing.

7 comments:

Lorainne said...

Yes. You like winding people up don't you CW??

CW said...

Indeed, Lorainne. After all, what is this sad world without humour to leaven the pain and suffering?

Lorainne said...

Unless the winding up causes pain and suffering to those on the receiving end. I tend to be very forgiving in these circumstances though.

gentlemanoracle said...

I'm lucky in as much as i have never recieved emails asking for money. The only ones i recieve are those that insist that if i fwd to everyone i know a person lacking all extremities will be instantly cured.

i tend to ignore those and am much more in favour of the videos showing accidents of slight pain (mainly groinal and not so slight) falling over is also a fave.

good blog

Lorainne said...

I got an email once entitled Irish Luck saying that I would have amazing good fortune if I sent it to about 20 people within the next hour. If I didn't send it then curses and damnation would follow me forever. I sent it to a lot of work colleagues who I hardly knew and wanted to irritate. Best to err on the side of caution in all matters related to the supernatural.

Gerry O'Sullivan said...

cw

Maybe you have the stuff to become a fully-fledged scam baiter?

CW said...

Interesting, Gerry, an excellent albeit very simple idea for a book that doesn't require much creative effort or research - ie the makings of a bestseller. Now why didn't I think of that?