Category: Spam

Spamnesty Sharon

Spamnesty at https://spa.mnesty.com/ is a website for creating automated responses to scam and spam messages.

Below is a summary of one such thread of messages generated by spamnesty and the scammer’s replies.

The original scam message is a typical 419 scam – the sender offers the contents of a bank account belonging to someone known to the recipient and there is an odd story about why the recipient is the only who can get the money before the bank shuts down the account. That message is in German.

Spamnesty replies with a computer generated random response

‘Hello,
I talked to my colleagues about this but they seemed to have some apprehensions; namely, they’re worried that the offer isn’t fleshed out enough. Would you be able to go into more detail about exactly how this would be structured?’

As that reply is in English, the scammer switches to English as well.

‘aloha

what is your age?

Where do U now?

I need to consummate talks

I am alone chief 31 y.o. Lady born in Russia’

A strange response by the scammer who seems to have moved onto a romance scam instead of the 419 scam.

Scamnesty replies

‘Hello,
We need more details from you. My colleagues are worried that the offer isn’t fleshed out enough. Could you explain more about exactly how this would be structured?’

Next the scammer switches back to pages of details about the supposed fortune left in a bank account and offers to split the fortune 50:50.

Scamnesty sends a reply

‘Hi, Great, thanks. Could we have a short call to discuss the specifics? What are your contact details? Also, what is your pricing model like?’

The scammer seems to be confused again and sends another strange romance message with excerpts in French this time

‘Bonzur My:-) Let’s smooth small talk!
could we speak?
Where do You stay now?’

Another reply from Scamnesty and the scammer changes to German, then Russian and then Ukrainian and changes tack to offering website design services.

All very confusing, but it was Scamnesty that wasted the scammers time and the scammer got nothing from the exchanges.

Well done Spamnesty

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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Spam Email Statistics

Around 30 billion emails are sent each day and about half of those are spam in some form.

It is estimated that spam costs businesses many billions of dollars every year in time wasted, security systems, overloaded email boxes and more.

This waste is likely to keep rising as more and more spam is sent and more time is wasted.

About 80% of all spam in North America and Europe is sent by the same roughly 100 spam gangs.

The 100 most active spam operations comprise of around 200-300 individuals who are responsible for the bulk of all spam emails sent around the world. Spamhaus’ Register of Known Spam Operations (ROKSO) documents the names, aliases, and other details of the operations run by these so-called “spam gangs.”

Phishing Targets

Apple IDs are the most popular target of phishing emails, then Microsoft Outlook, Google, Paypal, LinkedIn and many others.

The most common type of phishing scam is the fake invoice and the message tells you to click a link to retrieve some necessary document. That link takes you to a fake web page asking for login details.

Also commonly used are fake orders, payments, problems that must be rectified, special offers and many more.

Always beware of any message that could be a phishing attempt and never click on a link in an unsolicited email

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Stupidest Spam of the Week German Spam

You have probably had spam messages claiming to be from the company “1 and 1” asking for your login and password, or telling you must confirm your email details or you need to change your payment method etc.

If you’re a website owner then you probably have heard of 1 and 1 as a web site hosting business, but otherwise it’s likely to be unknown.

These phishing emails are very common.

The latest one is in German which means the scammer is very lazy – sending German messages to a .co.uk address is pretty dumb.

The German text is then hidden under pictures with English text on top. The pictures are about confirming your email address and there are dozens of links in the mail which point to www. rockersandmore .com which is obviously not the 1 and 1 company.

There is a section copied from genuine 1 and 1 emails, including a photo of the CEO.

Then some more German text followed by a picture of a picturesque German village then the message turns into a travel advert with lots of pictures and text about holiday homes available.

Perhaps the scammer also rents out holiday homes or maybe it’s just random content to fool the anti-spam filters at the email providers.

Ridiculous.

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Disposable Email Addresses

Using disposable email addresses can be a good way to deal with people who send you lots of spam emails.

You create a new disposable email address each time you need to sign up for some online service or to download a document etc. – any time where you don’t really want to use that service more than a few times or suspect they may sell your email address to spammers.

Any messages sent to the disposable email address will be automatically forwarded to your proper email address. The big advantage is that if that service starts sending you unwanted spam messages then you simply delete the disposable address.

Yahoo

With Yahoo you can create endless disposable address based on your real address, but hiding it.

e.g. if my email address is fred.flintstone @yahoo.com then I can choose to create, for example

fredff900golfclub @yahoo.com and fredff900subscriptions @yahoo.com and fredff900sales @yahoo.com and so on without limit.

Other Email Service Providers

Guerrilla Mail  (https://www.guerrillamail.com/)

They say “Avoid spam and stay safe – use a disposable email address! So far we’ve processed 12,634,091,283 emails keeping your real inbox safe and clean (59400 emails going in / hour)”.

It is a well used service and protects a lot email users against spam and it’s free.

 

TrashMail (https://www.trash-mail.com/)

  • Disposable email service with all conventional mailbox functions!
  • NEW: Write email, forward and reply to any address!
  • SECURE: All data is encrypted with SSL!
  • FREE: All features still stay completely free!

Trashmail is a good free service.

Burner Mail (https://burnermail.io/)

Shield yourself with Burner Mail

“By using burner email addresses, you will never have to give out your personal email ever again. Instead, Burner Mail generates a unique and anonymous email for every service you sign up with, making it really hard for companies and advertisers to track you online.”

These and other similar services can be useful in the fight against spam emails. Keep your mailbox clear of unwanted messages.

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Email Predictions

The Radicati Group  www.radicati.com/  carry out research into email usage, security, social networking, web technologies and more.

The information below is from their assessment of world email, covering the period 2019 – 2023.

The total number of business and consumer emails sent and received per day will  exceed 293 billion in 2019, and is forecast to grow to over 347 billion by year-end  2023.

 

 

 

 

 

The number of worldwide email users will top 3.9 billion in 2019, and is expected to grow to  over 4.3 billion by the end of 2023. Over half of the world population uses email in  2019

 

 

 

 

The number of worldwide email accounts is expected to continue to grow at a slightly faster pace than the number of worldwide email users. This is particularly true of consumer email accounts, where many consumers tend to have multiple email accounts for different purposes (e.g. shopping vs. friends and family).

It’s clear that email is here to stay and will only increase in usage and importance.

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Spam Email Statistics 2019

Around 30 billion emails are sent each day and about half of those are spam in some form.

That spam is made up as follows:

 

Does Spam Work?

A proportion of the spam messages are just lazy advertising by genuine companies but vast amounts of it is scam messages of various kinds.

How effective the scam messages are in getting a response depends very much on exactly what it is. But typically, scam messages receive 1 reply in more than a million messages.

That seems extremely ineffective, but if the scammer sends enough millions of messages then they will get sufficient replies to enable them to steal from people.

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