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martyn94
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Hello handsome man

Post by martyn94 » Fri 14 Apr 2017 16:29

I think that Gmail's spam filtering has gone to pot, judging by this message and quite a lot like it. I'm vain, but not quite that vain (though in a good light, and from the right angle, and with my combover just right, maybe I'm a contender).

[/i]

martyn94
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Re: Gmail

Post by martyn94 » Tue 16 May 2017 14:07

mariad wrote:My spam filter does not work at all, and i am sick and tired of it.[/

Your post inspired me to look at my spam folder for the first time in years. They are still catching vast piles of junk ("Erect_on_Demand" in my case, for example, and much like it). But evidently the threat has changed: they no longer, mostly, want to sell you Vi&gr@, but they do want to sell you the prospect of mad passionate lurv, or dodgy investments. And their messages are correspondingly written in more-or-less idiomatic English. That must make them much harder to parse as spam by Google's algorithms: I can just about imagine a friend addressing me as "Hello handsome man" - to be understood very much in the second degree - but none of them would try to sell me Vi@gr@. It's just guerilla warfare, as for a long time.

One consequence, incidentally, is that my spam folder contains many more false negatives than it once used to, eg promotional offers from firms I have dealt with in the past. Nothing too damaging, but it might be worth checking more often than I have.

As I have said in the past, much of my rubbish is not really spam at all, but essentially innocent messages to people who have appropriated my email address. If your name is Mabel 94, or Michael 94, or Michelle 94 (and I could give half-a-dozen others) it must be very tempting to give my email address in place of your real one if someone is hassling you for a contact address, but you don't want crap from them. I don't think you can blame the spam filter for that to any degree, but hanging is too good for the people who steal my address.

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Kate
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Post by Kate » Wed 17 May 2017 09:33

I've been getting quite a few 'My Dearest, I am Princesse Oomagooli and I would like you to arrange the transfer of 50, million pounds from Nigierian account and take 10% for yourself' type of mail recently.
I couldn't possibly accept that much for such a small effort on my part - it would be unethical - so I havent taken them up on it yet. :-)

Seriously though....do people actually fall for this kind of thing??? And how does the scam work after that?

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Post by Allan » Wed 17 May 2017 11:36

Kate wrote:I've been getting quite a few 'My Dearest, I am Princesse Oomagooli and I would like you to arrange the transfer of 50, million pounds from Nigierian account and take 10% for yourself' type of mail recently.
I couldn't possibly accept that much for such a small effort on my part - it would be unethical - so I havent taken them up on it yet. :-)

Seriously though....do people actually fall for this kind of thing??? And how does the scam work after that?
Yes, they do fall for it. These days sending a million emails is very easy and virtually cost free, so it only takes a fraction of 1% of the targets to respond and they are quid's in.

The email targets the natural greed of people. The scams are varied, but the usual one is that some fees have to be paid to release the money, sometimes an official has to be bribed. The requests start off as small amounts and then increase.

Other versions require you to send details of your bank account and subsequently you get asked for money laundering verification such as a copy of your passport. Eventually they have enough information for identity theft.

martyn94
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Post by martyn94 » Wed 17 May 2017 13:45

Allan wrote:
Kate wrote:I've been getting quite a few 'My Dearest, I am Princesse Oomagooli and I would like you to arrange the transfer of 50, million pounds from Nigierian account and take 10% for yourself' type of mail recently.
I couldn't possibly accept that much for such a small effort on my part - it would be unethical - so I havent taken them up on it yet. :-)

Seriously though....do people actually fall for this kind of thing??? And how does the scam work after that?
Yes, they do fall for it. These days sending a million emails is very easy and virtually cost free, so it only takes a fraction of 1% of the targets to respond and they are quid's in.

The email targets the natural greed of people. The scams are varied, but the usual one is that some fees have to be paid to release the money, sometimes an official has to be bribed. The requests start off as small amounts and then increase.

Other versions require you to send details of your bank account and subsequently you get asked for money laundering verification such as a copy of your passport. Eventually they have enough information for identity theft.
I was curious enough to refresh my knowledge of these scams on Wikipedia. One point, which had not struck me but seems obvious enough in retrospect, is that the ludicrous nature of the stories actually makes the scams more efficient. The overwhelming majority of people just shrug them off. But the tiny proportion of people who show some interest are by definition quite exceptionally gullible, and therefore much more likely to turn into paying customers, given a bit of grooming.

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Post by Webdoc » Wed 17 May 2017 15:43

I have often thought that, as a civic duty, we should all respond to one scam email a week. A general reply like "Hey I could really do with some extra cash right now. What do I have to do?" If the spammers (who send out millions of emails) get tens of thousands of replies they will be overwhelmed and their business plan quickly run into the sand.

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Post by Allan » Wed 17 May 2017 15:56

Webdoc wrote:I have often thought that, as a civic duty, we should all respond to one scam email a week. A general reply like "Hey I could really do with some extra cash right now. What do I have to do?" If the spammers (who send out millions of emails) get tens of thousands of replies they will be overwhelmed and their business plan quickly run into the sand.
Unfortunately that just confirms that they have reached a genuine email address. Your email address then migrates to a mailing list of actual addresses rather than possible ones, so you get spammed even more.

Sometimes the daft spam is only for the purpose of verifying the address.

Equally, lots of emails have 'Unsubscribe' links. Some may be genuinely to 'unsubscribe', probably to something you never subscribed to in the first place. Others simply confirm that it is a real email address.

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