Congrats! You've Won 1,500,000 GBP!!!

Got this email, did you?
"My wife and I won the Euro Millions Lottery of 41 Million British Pounds
Pounds and we have decided to donate 1.5 million British Pounds
(One million five hundred Thousand British Pounds) each to 4 individuals
worldwide as part of our own charity project.
To verify,please see our interview by visiting the web page below:

Your email address was among the emails which were submitted to us by
the Google, Inc as a web user; if you have received our email please,
kindly send us the below details so that we can transfer your 1,500,000 British Pounds.
in your name or direct our bank to effect the transfer of the funds to your
operational bank account in your country, congratulations.

Full Name:
Mobile No:
Send your response to (email address removed)

Best Regards,
Gareth & Catherine Bull"

The hell?

Have you ever seen email spam…?

Well duh. Im just wondering how many ppl they sent this to and how they think they are going to catch anyone with such a lame plan?

I get probably a dozen of those a week between my various throwaway e-mail accounts. They’re all different, from what I can tell, though.

Yeah, I got that one from the Bulls today or yesterday. I figure it’s the olde advance fee scam with some identity theft tossed in.

They only need to catch a few. And, to be fair, anybody that does fall for such a blindingly obvious scheme isn’t going to be the most discerning of individuals.

Since these are not really questions that can be answered factually, let’s move this over to MPSIMS.

General Questions Moderator

The fact of the matter is, they should be reported to:

so they can be dealt with.

Does anybody have any knowledge or insight as to whether it actually accomplishes anything to report scams like this?

Here’s what I think about all these internet scams. I think the real scam is on the folks who send you these messages thinking they are going to scam you. They probably paid some other scam artist for a list of names of people “guaranteed to be gullible marks”. A typical case of “Who’s zoomin’ who?”

I work in anti-spam, and I’ve never known it to accomplish anything. But email spam is not my area.

Meh, that’s chump change, I’ve got ten times more coming my way from a Nigerian prince.

As I understand it, the obviousness of the scam is intentional. Anyone who sends out millions of emails has a sorting problem. You send out a scam that’s too plausible and a lot of people respond, and then you have a lot of work grooming all the people who respond, which if you get a large response will cause you to waste thousands and thousands of hours to find the few total idiot suckers who will fall for your scheme all the way. The halfway intelligent ones are going to bail on you somewhere along the way.

It’s far easier to send out a really obvious scam letter because that way the very few who respond will be the real idiots … much less wasted time.

It’s not intelligence or lack thereof.

It’s trying to catch people who are desperate enough to override their doubts.

Could very well be, doesn’t really affect the validity of my response in any event.

Sadly the scammers can ‘win’ in two ways:

It only needs a tiny proportion of gullible or greedy people to make this work.

Considering that most of them originate outside the US, I doubt it’ll have any effect to send the FBI a “I wasn’t victimized, merely got this scam e-mail from some throwaway dime-a-dozen e-mail account, from one of thousands of random scammers in Nigeria or elsewhere overseas” messages. If someone actually got baited by one of those, sure, report it.

The FBI can and does act on spam that originates overseas. From The New York Times of August 24, 2010: “The F.B.I. in 2002 resorted to luring a Russian suspect, Vasily Gorshkov, to the United States with a fake offer of a job interview, rather than ask the Russian police for help.” The same article describes how the US Department of Justice waited until another Russian spammer traveled to France and then had him arrested there for extradition to the US.