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Ha! Nigerian Scammers Are MUCH Smarter Than You Think! The Truth Behind 419 Scams...

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by The Scarlet Pimp, May 30, 2014.

  1. The Scarlet Pimp

    The Scarlet Pimp Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Now this is a shocker...

    ---

    There's A Reason Nigerian Scammers Are So Obvious In Their Emails

    At this point, disenfranchised "Nigerian royalty" asking for money through a poorly worded email is the ultimate cliche of internet scams.

    So why does it still exist?

    According to new book "Think Like A Freak," a follow-up to the popular "Freakonomics" by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, the scam's obviousness is its chief selling point.

    The book refers to research from Microsoft Research computer scientist Cormac Herley, who looked at Nigerian scams ? technically called advance-fee fraud ? from the point of view of the scammer.

    How, he wondered, were scammers who never sent an email free of typos earning enough money for the United States Secret Service to establish its own task force to fight them?

    In fact, those typos are the key part of the scam.

    Levitt and Dubner explain the genius behind such an obvious scam in terms of "false positives," referring to email recipients who engage with the scammers but don't ultimately pay. Reaching out to scores of potential victims isn't much work, thanks to the ease of email, but with each reply from a gullible target, the scammers are required to put forth a little more effort.

    Therefore, it's in the scammers' best interest to minimize the number of false positives who cost them effort but never send them cash. By sending an initial email that's obvious in its shortcomings, the scammers are isolating the most gullible targets.

    If you trash their email, that's fine. They don't want you, someone from whom there's virtually no chance of receiving any money. They want people who, faced with a ridiculous email, still don't recognize its illegitimacy.

    As Herley tells the book's authors, "Anybody who doesn't fall off their chair laughing is exactly who they want to talk to."

    https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/theres-reason-nigerian-scammers-obvious-141500844.html

    http://www.amazon.com/Think-Like-Freak-Authors-Freakonomics/dp/0062218336
     
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  2. akacash

    akacash Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I wonder if that's causation, or correlation. I actually thought something like that myself when it came to those. I never gave it quite that much thought, but what I actually wonder is, although they are definitely narrowing down their potential targets, is that done on purpose. What I mean is, are they actually wording them poorly themselves with the thought that "ok this will only attract the dumbest of dumbasses", or does it just so happen that because of their terrible English and grammar they end up accomplishing the same thing anyway.
     
  3. BlackSeng

    BlackSeng Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Great share, TSP.
     
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  4. OldSalt

    OldSalt Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    So we should all setup keyword triggered auto-responders with faked reply-to emails so that whenever we get one, we auto-respond with a false positive... taking more of their time with no hope of money from us.

    just a thought...

    OS
     
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  5. Trepanated

    Trepanated Supreme Member

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    That makes a lot of sense and it is the same sort of process hypnotists go through with their audience to choose suitable subjects, but I really don't think the typical Nigerian scammer is that intelligent.

    If you ever saw the scam-baiter sites back in the late 90s, where people turned the table on the scammers, you will realise that the spelling mistakes can only be because they are stupid.

    Nevertheless, the psychology is valid and I like the author, so am ordering the book right now. I didn't know he had written a new one, so thanks for that.
     
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  6. owaiswiz

    owaiswiz Regular Member

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    I remember when I was recieving these types of e-mails,I would simply respond as an interested person,talk with them for days,and when I get bored I would just say- "I am not interested,fk off"

    :D
     
  7. stacy666

    stacy666 Junior Member

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    More books like this?
     
  8. NX_NULL

    NX_NULL Regular Member Premium Member

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    Why should scammers want to get less response from its victims
    more response = more conversion = more money

    Sending mass number of emails in inbox is extremely hard and expensive, So I doubt these guys be able to send that much spam and their problem be the volume of responses from their victims

    It sounds microsoft is giving false information and it hopes some of those Nigerian scammers with good english skills makes typos in their email and it reduce the number of people who fall for their scam
     
  9. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Premium Member

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    They are qualifying their prospects. Most people will totally ignore that type of spam but if they get a response then it means their target is not that savvy.

    If any of this is true (will need to read the book- loved Freakonomics) then it is brilliant.
    I bet they apply it to the romance scams too.
    Amazing.
     
  10. Aluminium

    Aluminium Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    If you've ever fallen for an e-mail scam you don't deserve to own a computer. It's so easy to tell the difference between something that is legitimate and something that isn't, I've never understood how people have this problem!

    - A
     
  11. t0mmy

    t0mmy Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    Haha those sneeky little buggers! But yeah that makes perfect sense.

    I remember I used to read a forum few years back (forget the name now), where they would honey trap these guys and try to keep them on the line doing ridiculous stuff for as long as possible, some of these where hilarious to read.
     
  12. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Premium Member

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    Yeah, like get them to wear funny hats while holding a sign or a vegetable/fruit.

    Some of these are worth a look for the lols

    http://forum.419eater.com/forum/album.php
    http://www.ebolamonkeyman.com/
    http://www.cracked.com/article_16234_having-fun-with-419-scammers.html
    http://www.funnyordie.com/topic/nigerian-scam
    https://imgur.com/gallery/8fxnr
    http://www.419hell.com/
     
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  13. deancow

    deancow Power Member

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    was it 419eater? they were featured on a tv show here in the UK a while ago, made great viewing.
     
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  14. Duffers5000

    Duffers5000 Elite Member

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  15. wisdomkid

    wisdomkid Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  16. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Premium Member

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    No, I think people are intelligent to realise that not every Nigerian is a scammer.

    The Nigerian government are well aware of the negative stereotypical image that these scammers have on their country and are working to defeat them. They have a Task Force in place to bring these clowns down.

    https://efccnigeria.org/efcc/
     
  17. MaxReformation

    MaxReformation Junior Member

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    Wow thats pretty impressive.
     
  18. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Never thought of that before.
     
  19. TheRealRazzy

    TheRealRazzy Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Lmao I remember reading those :D

    One of the times the guy slowly turned into a pirate with each email. By the last email he was telling the nigerian spammer that he will be swabbing the decks or he'll be walkin the plank by sunset :D :D
     
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  20. The Scarlet Pimp

    The Scarlet Pimp Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    did you read the one where he got the scammer to paint a red numeral "9" on his chest? or the one where he sent the scammer a picture of a porno actress and claimed it was a pic of him? :D