Search Engines Save Scam Victims
Joe Wein runs a website on the internet which is dedicated to stopping 419 scammers – as well as spammers who send you emails you don’t want. Joe maintains an online list of scammer email accounts and scammer emails, all of which are spidered by the search engines. This means if a potential scam victim types in a scammers email address, one of the very first hits they will get will be Joe’s website. Joe also runs the Scam-O-Matic tool which can look at an email and tell you whether it is a scam or not. He is frankly a technical genius and I’m not saying that just because he’s my friend. ;)
Blogs Can Save Them Too –
Sephy also runs four blogs which post scammer emails – the links to them are under sites I love in my sidebar – and there’s a few other sites around which do this. All of them are unique and necessary websites because no one person gets all the scam emails these scammers send out. It is estimated that there are over 100,000 419 scammers in Nigeria alone – that does not count those who have moved to countries like the USA, Canada and the UK. Dubai and India are the newest hotspots for scammers.
Shut Down The Email Accounts!
A lot of people ask me – why don’t “they” shut down the scammers email accounts? Many of the email services do – which creates an issue with the scammer email list. Currently on the list there are over 172,000 scammer email addresses, and there’s also over 140,000 old email addresses which had been recently cut from the list because it had become far too large. From time to time, Sephy and I and a few of the other scambaiters take a bit of our time to email all the lads on the list – all the “bounces” where the mail server says “this account has been closed” and other error messages are fed back to Joe, and the list can be cleared of closed email addresses.
How many do I send each day?
For the past 2 days I have been sending out 990 emails a day from 20 email accounts = 19,800 emails a day!. It generally takes me about an hour to do this. Once I get into “the zone” and have some music playing it’s just a matter of copy and paste. I send two emails per account, 495 scammer email addresses in each one of those emails, all as blind carbon copy – BCC. At this early stage roughly 50% of the email accounts bounce, I’ll have some better figures on that when we’re done.
What Is In The Email I Send?
The email I send tells the scammers that I have a significant amount of money ready to send to them and I need the bank account details to transfer the funds – all the bank account details sent to me by the scammers are passed on to the proper authorities, they get investigated and the majority of them are shut down by law enforcement. This can mean some victims get their money back when the accounts are investigated. So in general, this is a great way to be spending some of my time. ;) The last time we did this, literally thousands of bank accounts were reported.
What Replies Do I Get?
For the scammers whose email accounts are not closed and do not bounce –
- some of them reply with abuse because they’ve been on the list a while and they’ve seen a few of these emails from us
- some of them think this is an “accidentally sent email” and they jump at the chance to steal easy money
- at least 10% of them respond with bank account details
- another 40-60% respond asking me to send money by Western Union – these email addresses are saved and re-emailed with a request for bank account information which yields another decent amount of bank accounts
- some of them take this opportunity to send us their scam emails, which all get added to a few of the websites which keep these emails available to the search spiders
- some of them reply with some quite odd things indeed
- some of the classic responses get put aside to be sent a telephone number where they can call me and I can waste a bit of their time and money chatting to them – generally not understanding what they are trying to say to me
Once we have cleaned the list thoroughly, we’ll be hooking a lot of these lads up with the baiting tool, so they can spend their time corresponding with fake victims instead of real ones.
This Can Be Funny Too –
One of the most hilarious things that happens is – the scammers go out and create brand new email accounts which are virtually identical to the one we address the email to. Usually we make it something like charles.soludo or mariam.abacha (two of the most popular names the scammers use) but this time we thought we’d have a bit of fun with it. Emails are being sent to the perfect err.. ph@llus. And so far the scammers have created about 50 different versions of this email address! They are very creative about it – I saw one today that spelt ph@llus with 3 l’s.. phalllus, I almost fell off my chair laughing.
Share The Amusement –
I thought today I would show you a few of the emails I have received from scammers over the past few days but I warn you, these scammers have trouble turning caps lock off.. ;)
You foll do not contact me again
TAHNK YOU VERY MUCH I DONT NEED THE MONEY TAKE IT YOURSELF FOOL 4 LIFE.
ARE YOU SERIOUS I NO BE MUGU ABEG
YOU CANT EAT ME IS ME THAT WILL EAT YOU I EAT MUGU MORE THAN YOU COME LET ME SHOW YOU THE NEW WAY
how are you i will want you to send the feels to my name
are u sure this email is for me i do not understand you
This scammer explains why not to email him on the old email account anymore –
How are you today, I received your mail and am happy you received the check, I don’t want you to sent me email to my other address because I just find out that some one is using it which is not me so I decided to use this one by opening this one for private between me and you ok with other name, so I want you to change your email address and reply me from the new email, which i use in sending you this email, so that I can know it is you ok. Immediately I receive your mail I will sent you the bank account information’s you will use and send the money ok.
This scammer doesn’t want the full 6 million dollars which I have to send him. He settles for a much more reasonable amount –
Thank you very much for your update. As soon as the funds have made available kindly proceed and transfer the total sum of £10 Pounds to my friend in United kindom
This scammer thinks I am also a scammer, and apparently not well versed in English. I hope he’s wrong, it’s the only language I know!
Local…………Ur english is not good enough to convince..try and improve from ur local way of composing english. Lollllllllllllllllllllllllllll
This scammer isn’t too sure whether I am legit or not but just in case –
ARE YOU STILL LEAVING THIS LIFE OF LIES AND RECONFIRM YOUR INFORMATION.
This scammer has a tale the likes of which are a little.. unbelievable –
Thank you very much for your email and update. However i think my email address account is being hacked because as i was about to send you a reply after i read your email from my email account, the message disappeared right in front of my very eyes. I was shocked. I do not know why someone will want o hack into my email account but for security reasons i have stopped using the email account and as soon as i am able to get a secure email account i will notify you.
In fact there seems to be an apparent rash of dodgy goings on –
Please I have changed to this email because someone is spying my email, so please be carefull not to send email apart from here.
And this scammer is having troubles too –
You should desist from writing mail to Lu’s email address and stop further communication with him via phone because his phone was bugged and email hacked. Disregard a email from Lu’s email and even calls because the Police is on his trail but with my position and influence as a Bank Excutive, (even though he can’t spell his position so how good can his influence be?) i will make sure thatthe funds is secured for Lu and yourself.
And this scammer is apparently being terrorised by his employees trying to steal his monies –
Ok infect I have been having problem with my employees in our company that wanted to take over my business fund but with God be the glory that the will not succeed with their terrorist act. So I have decided to write you with my alternative mail address so that you can only communicate with me
This scammer is not too sure how soon he can get his stolen from another scammer monies –
I will want to believe that what you meant to say was that the money would be sent by friday of this week and not friday of next week.
The scammers love Western Union but they seem to be never quite sure how to spell it. I would have thought all the time they spend at their local Western Union with those big black and yellow signs that coincidentally say “Western Union” might have given them a clue. Here’s some of the spellings –
WESTAN UNION – western unnion – wester union – westernunion – western uniuon – westan unin – westner union – westenr union –
7 thoughts on “A Journey Along The Road To Stopping Online Scammers”
I am sorry, ur english is not good enough to convince. Hahahahaha!
I am very amazed that I get so many spam e-mails myself. Everyone knows a cat cannot have a bank account.
Some of those are really pretty funny! I love the ph@llus email!
hello I found it very interesting. keep up this good work!
please publish a single artical on “www.thehomeworker.org”.
He is a very very big scammer!
please, please, please!!! boot him out from this wourld!!!
Daisy – these scammers don’t care that you’re a cat or that you can’t have a bank account, they’ll try to find some way to get something out of you, even if it is just your Mommie’s email address.. If you weren’t so busy with your lizards and modeling and eating temptations, I am sure that you would make an excellent scambaiter because you are a wily and creative cat. ;)
LawyerMama – one of the times we did this, we sent all the scammers an invitation to “search for a pr0nstar” – and I made this incredible form they had to fill in as well. I did get replies from a few scammers who really wanted to be a pr0nstar. I love making forms and newspaper clippings.. I’ll have to post my favourite. ;)
Thanks for the comments!
My favorite is the one who doesn’t like your command of the English language.
I just thought of this now, but some of the top search keywords that I still get on my blog are related to the death threat letters I’ve posted.
Also, just some stats about the visitors to the scam blogs – the Lotto one is the most popular, having crossed past the 100,000 visitor mark a couple of weeks ago. Job scams is about to hit 100k visitors.