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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.
_________________ so dont push my spirit to do a bad fasting for your head if not you will confam your self as a died person okay - Pastor Divine
OBOSH WILL KILL YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. YOU WILL NEVER SEE GOOD THING IN LIFE. OGUN WILL KILL YOU BASTARD SUN OF OBOSH. - Dr Oilyseagoon
AN ALIEN YOU ARE FROM THE PIT OF HELL - Abraham
I have explain this whole process to you so many times over and over again. - Spencer
Praveen - Hanuman Junction - Hyderabad x2
Bola - Accra - Cotonou Alex - Accra - Abidjan Austin - Accra - Abidjan
George - Accra - Cotonou - Lome - Niamtougou Toks London - Milford Haven
x170 Engineer Cooke vs. Temeraire x8
Connie L. Gus Moderator
Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow
Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:34 pm
The content is the same so I'm going to lock this on the way out.
LISTEN TO ME WHAT DO YOU TAKE ME FOR ONE OF THOSE CHEAP CROOK OR WHAT -tobi donito
LISTEN I CAN NOT TAKE YOUR SHIT ANY LONGER WE HAVE WHROTE A PETITION AGAINST YOU TO THE FBI WITH ALL OUR EVIDENCE YOU ARE INTO PROSTITUTION,DRUG DEALING, FORGERY, CREDIT CARDS FORGRY WESTEN UNION FALSIFICATION,DRUGING MEN,COMMETING MURDER, STEALING, DRUNCARD, ALL THIS WE HAVE THE EVIDENCE TO PROOF OUR CASE AGAINST YOU.-Johnson Hill
I am not finding it any funny...Henry A., Lagos, Nigeria to Cotonou, Benin, WIMPed
I am stranderd. Henry A. Lagos to Accra, WIMPed for 67 days.
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