Monday, November 02, 2009

I Just Lost US$4.7 Million!

An email arrived, entitled "Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection..." in it, I learned this (verbatim):
We hereby bring to your notice that a consignment been delivered at your residence by two diplomats.

They had been stopped by us. There is a security measure put in place by United States of America, check terrorism and money laundry through the sale of illegal drugs locally and internationally.

After examination, we found out that the consignment contained the sum of US$4.7 Million, which upon further investigation revealed that the fund was your inheritance.

Consequently, the diplomats will deliver your consignment at your residence after all protocols have been observed.

However, in order to proceed we need you to reconfirm the following information,

Full Name: ....
Residential Address:....
Date of Birth: ....
Occupation: ....
Telephone/Mobile Numbers: ....

We await your response.
Jason Ahern.
This is so tragic. I just missed my inheritance money! Note, this implies that someone just died, and it's pretty mean of this spammer (and, uh, I assume it is) to assert that 4.7 million dollars worth of loved ones have just died in some poorly translated accident.

Anyway, I recall this excellent New Yorker article on spam (August 6, 2007, by Michael Specter, found here) which stated that "Spammers usually need to send a million e-mails to get fifteen positive responses..." This was eye-opening - that there actually are people who respond to these things! 15 from a million is a very small number (0.0015%!) but that still means that there are 15 people too stupid to understand spam yet smart enough to type.

Pic from here. Backpost finished 2009-11-30.

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