A Nigerian scam (=spam) classic.

I don’t remember how many years back was it when I first saw the original nigerian scam mail. You know, the type of ‘I have so many million dollars and I want to get them out of the country etc’.  If there was a spam hit parade this would be Nr 1 for years.

It is so legendary that it does not even annoy me anymore to receive such spam.

Perhaps Google’s gmail antispam filter feels the same way, otherwise it wouldn’t let pass this one. There is a slight variation here. The originator is from Ghana, not Nigeria, but, what the heck, it is pretty close. I copy it for you below (syntax and spelling  are intact):

from Ben Goodman <ben_goodman20gh@yahoo.com>

reply-to ben_goodman25@hotmail.com

to ben_goodman20gh@yahoo.com

date Thu, Aug 7, 2008 at 3:36 PM

subject Regards

mailed-by yahoo.com

From: Mr. Ben Goodman
Accra, Ghana.
Hello Dear
I got your contact during my search for a reliable,honest and a trust
worth person to entrust this huge transfer project with My name is  Mr. Ben. k .Goodman, Branch manager of a financial institution here in Ghana. I am a Ghanaian married with two kids.
I am writing to solicit your assistance in the transfer of $ 7,597.864.00 Million United States dollars only. This fund is the excess of what my branch in which am the manager made as profit duringthe 2005 financial year.
I have already submitted annual report for that year to my head officehere in Accra Ghana as I have watched with keen interest as they will never know of this excess I
have since, placed this amount of $ 7,597.864.00 Million United States dollars only to an Escrow Coded account without a beneficiary (anonymous) to avoid traceAs an officer of the bank, I cannot be directly connected to this money due to civil service code which formits civil servants from owing or operating foreign currency account coupled
with the fact thatthe fund is huge thus I am impelled to request for your assistance to
receive this money into your bank account on my behalf I intend to part 30% of this fund to you while 70% shall be for me.
I do need to stress that there are practically no risk involved in this. It’s going to be a bank-to-bank transfer. All I need from you is to stand as the original depositor of this fund so that the fund can be legally processed to your name and be transferred to your account. If you accept this offer, I will appreciate your timely response to my private mail: ben_goodman01gh@hotmail.com
With Regards,
Mr Ben Goodman

I like the name particularly: Goodman. An attempt to appeal to the subconscious as a  good man.

More puzzling than ‘how did gmail let this pass’ is ‘how can there be such spam today’. It seems that there is no shortage of fools, nor there is going to be anytime soon…

A question of spam

By <a href=
By major_clanger

Spam is the single most annoying thing of the internet. Being so widespread, it is no exaggeration to say  that it can bring the web to a halt. When it comes to email, this statement is as close to truth as it can get.

Needless to say that there is no truly efficient antispam technique. And the reason I write this post, is just to declare provocatively, we need none.

Let me explain: Most of the spam fighting efforts are focusing on blocking the spammer’s way. We care about not letting them send mail messages or bait trackbacks to our blogposts, to deter them from faking twitter followers or friendfeed commenters.

As every crime story lover knows, what betrays the murderer is the motive. When it comes to spam, if we exclude pure malice, the motive is always one: to advertise.  In the end of the spam trail, always lies a legitimate or semi-legitimate ‘business’, that wants to attract customers. And there is where the collective antispamming effort has to focus.  Fighting down those who benefit from spam, fights down the financing of spam, and therefore spam itself.

 This kind of approach to fighting spam entails three levels of envolvement. The individual’s level, the community’s level and the authorities level.

  • The individual’s responsibility is to bring to the attention of the community the existence of a spammer.
  • The community’s responsibility is to expose the benefiting party and create a negative publicity for it that counterweights the whatever benefits of spamming.
  • The authorities’ responsibility is, first to pass legislation that makes such an activity illegal, and then, aided by the community reproach,  to crack it down with whatever means.

At least, for the authorities of the countries of the world, this would be a welcome new activity next to their favorite passtimes of chasing bit torrents, cracking down free speach, and wiretapping conversations.