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JOS and spam

Hi,

Look at the following email I received today

===
From : frank johnson [frankj_2004@yahoo.co.uk]
To : <hidden for privacy reasons>
Subject : Why do people still use MS Outlook?

Dear Sir,

Due to my careful search for an honest,reliable and sincere business partner,i got your contact via the internet,and i ask if you can be trusted not to break,an agreement? Still,it took me time to make up my mind to contact you and to offer you this proposal of mine of which my whole life depends on.

Dear,my name is frank johnson the son of the late penny johnson the former minister of (REPUBLIC) OF LIBERIA I am 24 years old and presently residing in DAKAR-SENEGAL in West Africa under political asylum My mother happens to be a nurse whom the late minister had an affair with during his life style as a play boy,and the affair resulted to my birth,but it was unfortunate that the late minister did not marry my mother legaly and as a kind of settlement, for my mother and i,my father deposited the sum of twelve million one Hundred thousand USD cash($12.1 million us dollars cash) to my mother for my life inheritance.my father stashed these sum of money and deposited it in a finance house here in daker senegal and my name appears as the next of kin. After my father was killed by his body guard ealier last year 2002, and my mother died also ealier this year  after my father's death, and at the age of 24 years old,i am left with this huge sum of money and i need a partner who will  help me transfer this money  oversea for immediate investment as i have made up my mind to invest in your country.

Moreover,your compensation for your immediate assistance is 5%of the total money as soon as it arrives your country while 2% will be for any local and international expences that will occur during the transfer. I will like truth and honesty to be our watchword in this business. 


Yours sincerely,
frank johnson
===

This looks the typical Nigerian scam spam, but look at the subject ! It looks like it was entered from this forum.

Look at this link :

http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=122809&ixReplies=23


Is this forum used by spammers ?


Jeroen

Jeroen Jacobs
Thursday, March 11, 2004

What a painful way to spam?
I thought it was all done automatically these days?

But, no I have never gotten any spam through here.

Aussie Chick
Thursday, March 11, 2004


Maybe they spammed me because I said I worked with Lotus Notes :-((

I know how much people hate Lotus Notes, but that's no reason to spam me... ;-)


Jeroen

Jeroen Jacobs
Thursday, March 11, 2004

This does happen every now and again.

You must remember that most Internet cafes in Nigeria are full of youngsters sending off 419 spam. So much so that many reckon it is the boost that will make Nigeria the next India.

They guy was probably searching "JOS" to combine business with pleasure.

Either that, or he reckoned that software engineers had a load more money than common sense, and so ought to make an easy target.

Or they've developed an "whineometer" that finds out what forums have the highest proportion of people moaning they are underpaid and need to make more money, and target those.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, March 11, 2004

I got one of those spams through the contact page on my website the other day so I guess it's just another tactic these people are using.

John C
Thursday, March 11, 2004

High performance, custom hand-rolled spam:  it takes longer to develop and lacks the re-useability of existing spam objects, but it is extremely well tuned for its intended purpose.

MacSqueeb
Thursday, March 11, 2004

I try never to get involved with informal investors who do not get their punctuation right.

Karel Thönissen
www.hello.nl

Karel Thönissen
Thursday, March 11, 2004

I got the same email from the same person - replied with a brief but scathing note.

Aaron F Stanton
Thursday, March 11, 2004

Don't REPLY!!!!

If they send it through the forum they can only spam a few people at a time ... plus they have to use the form (it boggles my mind that they waste that much time).

And they NEVER get your email address.

But if you reply, they'll get your email address.

Michael H. Pryor (fogcreek)
Fog Creek Software
Thursday, March 11, 2004

Hope that e-mail address you replied from wasn't one of your favorites, Aaron.

Kyralessa
Thursday, March 11, 2004

It will be when he finds all the marvellous business opportunities that come flooding into his inbox!

Stephen Jones
Thursday, March 11, 2004

  I know, I know, never reply to spam - ESPECIALLY don't click on the remove button.  I already get a crapload of spam every day - the fact that this one didn't bounce suffices to get me on the list.

I'm pretty sure that's how spam works these days - if they send one and it doesn't come back as no such user or some such, they keep you active and proceed to fill your inbox, whether or not you reply.

Thinking of switching ISP's anyway at some point.  Maybe to one with a decent server-side filter...if such a thing exists.

Aaron F Stanton
Thursday, March 11, 2004

"Maybe they spammed me because I said I worked with Lotus Notes :-(("

LOL !
..nah, they spammed you because they know Lotus Notes gurus are RICH :-)

Joe Hendricks
Thursday, March 11, 2004

---
If they send it through the forum they can only spam a few people at a time ... plus they have to use the form (it boggles my mind that they waste that much time).
---

It wouldn't be hard (30 minutes) to write a script with LWP::Perl to email everyone that ever submitted a comment to this discussion forum with some spam.  They wouldn't need to load any pages, just POST directly to the email submit form and increment the ixPost number.

I doubt they did it by hand.

Andrew Hurst
Thursday, March 11, 2004

I'm sure they did do it by hand.

I have posted over 2,300 comments to this forum at last count, all with the email link, and never have I received a 419, or any other spam, through it.

Of course they may have been smart enough to realize that anybody who makes that number of posts to JOS won't have the time left to make any money, and programmed the script accordingly.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, March 11, 2004

You could write a script...

But it would take you years to spam all the people on the board.

I don't want to go into why, just that a script in this case isn't going to help.

Michael H. Pryor
Fog Creek Software
Thursday, March 11, 2004

Joe,

Lotus Notes gurus are supposed to be RICH ??? Damn, I need to talk with my employer :-)

Jeroen

Jeroen Jacobs
Friday, March 12, 2004

>You must remember that most Internet cafes in Nigeria
> are full of youngsters sending off 419 spam. So much so
> that many reckon it is the boost that will make Nigeria
> the next India.
Factually incorrect.  Being a Nigerian, I spend _all_my_time_ in a Nigerian cafe.  It is full of middle-aged Nigerians checking mails (on yahoo or hotmail), younger ones chatting with Yahoo Messenger, visiting dating sites, students using google to fill in for the total absence of public libraries.

The people that send such spam are determined _professionals_ not bored kids.  Cafe operators have to watch out for them by spying on their customers, which means there is no privacy in a Nigerian cafe.  These professionals move from cafe to cafe and change email addresses to avoid getting caught.

Regards.

Seun Osewa
Friday, March 12, 2004

Dear Seun,
                My post was tongue in cheek. However, just as the Internet in the west would never have progressed as fast as it did if it wasn't for the demands of the pornography industry, I wouldn't like to discount the booster effect of 419's.

                I did read that you had a new public official who was trying to crack down on it. I'm somewhat puzzled why he thinks spying on people in internet cafes is the way to do it, when the really big killings, in both senses of the word, come when the unfortunate mark comes over to Nigeria and is show around the offices of high-ranking officials in public ministries and government banks. Wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that it is so much easier to be tough on those who can't fight back?

Stephen Jones
Friday, March 12, 2004

The fortunate thing is there's a finite number of malicious people.  Because the more people talk about measures and countermeasures, the more likely someone will turn the email system into a game with two people augmented by computers having a go at each other.  Until someone disables the game.

God, what will the world look like in a hundred years?  Or millenia?

Tayssir John Gabbour
Friday, March 12, 2004

----"The fortunate thing is there's a finite number of malicious people. "----

Yea, but does that matter when the number is in the billions? :)

Stephen Jones
Friday, March 12, 2004

"I have posted over 2,300 comments to this forum at last count"

Dude you must be rich to be able to spend this much time on this forum, if that's the case are you seeing someone?

;-)

Cosmo Kramer
Friday, March 12, 2004

There is a whole clique of anti-419ers who devote time to baiting the scammers...

http://www.scamorama.com/

They get the 419ers to send snapshots of themselves holding signs like "IAMAGIPSY" and "IAMADILDO". Hilarious stuff.

Some even get money *from* the scammers.

Ignorant youth
Friday, March 12, 2004

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