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 Nigerian scam emails 'deliberately implausible'

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sunshine
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:43 am Reply with quoteBack to top

From the Daily Telegraph (UK national newspaper)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/microsoft/9346371/Nigerian-scam-emails-deliberately-implausible.html

Quote:
Machine learning expert and Microsoft researcher Cormac Herley suggests in a paper released yesterday that "by sending an email that repels all but the most gullible the scammer gets the most promising marks to self-select."

Herley's reasoning is that scammers have to go to a lot of effort to successfully extract money from their victims. "At the interface between the digital and physical worlds effort must often be spent," he writes. "Each respondent to a Nigerian 419 [advance fee fraud] email requires a large amount of interaction...each potential target represents an investment decision."

The most profitable way to earn money through email scams, Hurley finds, is to only invest in those targets most likely to pay out, rather than maximising the number of targets "attacked". This is why 419 emails contain fabulous stories that most people find laughable - or that savvy internet users will see through with a quick search or based on their experience.

"A less outlandish wording that did not mention Nigeria would almost certainly gather more total responses and more viable responses, but would yield lower overall profit," Hurley concludes.

"In our experience, the typical profile [of scam victims] is the very vulnerable and easily confused - often the elderly," confirms virus and spam expert Graham Cluley of computer security company Sophos.

"There have been some heartbreaking stories of people losing their life savings to these scams. They rely on people falling for them hook, line and sinker."

Mr Cluley recommends exercising the same caution online as in person. "Just because something arrives in a nicely-formatted email doesn't mean you should believe it - any more than if a crazy-looking person on the bus said it to you," he said.

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Connie L. Gus
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:34 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The content is the same so I'm going to lock this on the way out.

http://forum.419eater.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=220229

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