Two notable one-liner 419 emails that I couldn’t resist posting:
THERE’S RUMORS AGAINST YOU THAT YOU DEAD AND SOMEONE CAME BANK TO CLAIM YOUR FUND US$30M SENT TO YOUR RELATIVES AND FRIENDS,RESEND ALL YOUR INFORMATION.
WHILE PEOPLE GIVE FAKE RUMORS AGAINST PEOPLE THAT YOU ARE DEAD AND YOUR BROTHER, SISTER,RELATIVES FRIEND FUND CAME TO CLAIM YOUR FUND US$30M.I AM VERY SURPRISE
I wonder if they have a little Perl script or something that generates these, or if they’re manually crafted?
(And, does everyone else tend to end “I wonder” sentences with question marks, even though they are grammatically-speaking not questions?)
An interesting paper (widely weblogged, so you’ve probably already seen it) on the general subject of why these things tend to be so hysterically dumb: Why Do Nigerian Scammers Say They are From Nigeria?, from Microsoft Research.
By sending an email that repels all but the most gullible the scammer gets the most promising marks to self-select, and tilts the true to false positive ratio in his favor.
Of course there is a certain distribution of obvious dumbness in these things, and some are considerably more coherent. (Got one recently that was a long and almost properly-spelled letter claiming to be from the FBI, telling me to stop communicating with those nasty 419 scammers, and instead work with them at the FBI to get the millions of dollars that is really coming to me.)
But the mean of the distribution seems pretty low lately; a sad comment on something or other…