Tuesday, January 02, 2007

419 419 new tactics. Is the blogosphere at risk?

Most people have recieved the 419 emails from scammers using phishing techniques (pretending to be someone else) to extort money. I have collecting the emails for a while but a recent one surely deserved mention. The 419 scheme is named after the Nigerian criminal code used to prosecute suspects. See this FAQ on the 419 scheme.

For once, the email contained a picture of the fella purpouting to be Kelly Hung. For copyright reasons, I will not post the image. Needless to say, Kelly's did not look like chinese and it took me here
The scammers have taken it to a different level. They are trying to legitimise their scams using pics. This particular Kelly Hung is a fool. He/she hoped I will not click on the image.

However, we could see these phishing attacks get better. The blogsphere could be a breeding ground for scammers to attain some legitmitly. Blog is an shortened from of
personal blog. We all read blogs in a context of trust. We believe that bloggers
are actually reporting on their experiences and lives. A 419 scammer can release a blog over a period of time chronicling some activities and then try to dupe someone of money. I am yet to hear of anything yet but of course it is imminent.

Watch out blogosphere. The scammers are coming.

Below was the corresponding email.

"From Mrs. Kelly Hung,

I am the above named person from China. But now undergoing medical treatment in London City. I am married to Dr. Davis Hung who worked With China Embassy in South Africa for Nine years before he died in the year 2002.

We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four Days. Before his death we were both happily together. Since his death I decided not to re-marry or get a Child outside my matrimonial home.

When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $1.5Million (One Million Five hundred thousand U.S.Dollars) with a Security Company . Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next three months due to cancer problem.

Having known my condition I decided to donate this Fund to you as a Good individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to Instruct here in. I want a church,mosque or individual that will use this fund for a Non-Governmental Foundation, orphanages Old people homes and Propagating the word of God and to ensure that the house of God is maintained. We are made to understand that blessed is the hand that giveth. I took this decision because I don't have any child That will inherit this money and my husband relatives Are not taking care of me and I don't want my husbands hard Earned money to be misused by wicked people, Hence the reason for taking this bold Decision.

I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord. I don't need any telephone Communication in this regard because of my health, and Because of the presence of my husband's relatives around me always to know my decision.

I do not want them to know about this Development. As soon As I receive your reply I shall give you the contact Of the security Company and our lawyer who will help you effect the changes to your name as the original-beneficiary of
this fund.

I want you to always pray for me because the lord is my shepherd my happiness is that I lived a life of a worthyness. Whoever that wants to serve the Lord Must serve him in spirit and truth. Please always be Prayerful all through your life. Any delay in your reply will give me room in Source for any organization for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein. Hoping to hear from you.
Please send your reply only through this my private email box or the alternative:

Kelly Hung

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