The latest spam tricks to separate you from your money


I rarely read the spam that comes my way, but every once in awhile, I'll look at a few of them, just out of morbid curiosity. I don't click on links, of course.

And something struck me about the most recent email that has offered to make me rich beyond my wildest dreams. It was familiar enough. It came from some poor lady in South Africa whose rich husband was murdered by some political thugs, and if only I could let her wire all of that money of hers into my bank account for her to get later, I'd get a cut of her $12 million. Something like that. I didn't look at it for long. But what jumped out at me was how this woman said she had reached me:

I got your contact through network online hence decided to write you.

Sure, the sentence construction is poor, but the two words that caught my attention were, "Network online." Obviously, this spammer is thinking of Facebook, MySpace or some other online network. At least I assume so. And it just made me think that as unsophisticated as this letter was, it was slightly more sophisticated than in the past, where I would receive these letters from people who didn't really explain how they found me.

And while it may seem like nobody should be falling for this sort of thing in 2008, in 2007, $3.2 billion dollars were lost to these sorts of emails -- phishing -- in the United States.