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Dateline: Abuja; Nigeria Fights Email Scam

Hemos posted more than 12 years ago | from the just-need-your-bank-account-number dept.

Spam 197

dosten writes " is reporting that the Nigerian government is tired of being known as the Spam/Scam capital of the world and setup a web site to combat the common email scam. The web site is almost as funny as the Spam Letters. There is even a place to report your victim "experiences" so they can be published. One of the "coming soon" features will be a lineup of bad guys so you can avoid them in case you end up in Nigeria to collect your loot."

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Worlock (-1)

GafTheHorseInTears (565684) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236409)

binge cringe on the fringe sloppy mincing eyedropping biopsy cyclops overlooks optic options rotton showstopper skinpopper babbler dabbler self confessed criminal tore pen in vain instant still spellbound game stock talk back rock reencounter incident subsistance inexistant non committed unwitted oblivious habitual resistor buff the stuff roughed up edge fluent nudge pre-collect ignition motivation inexistant wasted views thats all they see blue hot blood guild optic nerve with the right attitude you will succed blue self abusive recluse too late for me make shifting peace settling crazy things keep your eyes open soft spoken changes nothing a view so cruel dogs body comatose torchlight roast disinterest disinfect retold impressed by possession insiders know refresh detained contest off and pure sure tonight it feeds itself freeze in time or shadows climb distracting override instincts evolve and try over and over wasted truth why call at all blue hot lines eventual decline with the right attitude you will succed blue resent that discontent sidestep define the state of things so far crazy things a view so cruel

Re:Worlock (-1)

GafTheHorseInTears (565684) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236424)

Oh yeah baby, first with the Skinny Puppy lyrics.


Re:Worlock (-1, Offtopic)

govtcheez (524087) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236433)

Good first, my friend! Together we'll keep fp out of the hand of those acs.

first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3236413)

funny first

CK (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3236416)

first post!!

mod this down fast

Dudley Moore, dead at 66 (-1)

Dead Fart Warrior (525970) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236417)

Sad news this morning: Dudley Moore was found dead [] in his home this morning from a rare brain disorder. Even if you were not fond of his work, or the fact that he was the sexiest man of the 80s, there is no denying his contributions to the slashdot community.
Truly a drunk, british icon. He will be sorely missed.

Re:Dudley Moore, dead at 66 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3236890)

HA! Finally one that was true!! /death.dudley/index.html

f1r57 p057 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3236419)

To my African brothers!

Now what is this racist shit about?! (-1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236442)

A New Jersey study [] suggesting black drivers speed more than other drivers was released by state officials Tuesday, despite the federal government's concerns about its accuracy.

Re:Now what is this racist shit about?! (-1)

CmdrTaco on (468152) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236555)

The problem is that a lot of these fucking niggers are stupid muslims. They speed around delivering bombs and what not to locations doing what ever seedy business dirty muslims do.

I say we outlaw this religion of outlaws. What good has ANY muslim done in the world? Hmm? Any famous muslim scientist? Doctors? Thought so.

Re:Now what is this racist shit about?! (-1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236743)

Oh, yeah. You convinced me. Let's forget those pioneering muslim astronomers and mathematicians who gave us westerners the art of navigation-by-stars and modern arithmetics.

Back then the European states were nothing but barbarians and remained that way scientific-wise until the early 19th century. After that the colonisation destroyed those advanced societies.

Have some respect for the people on whose discoveries our current science is based on.

Excelent! (1, Interesting)

matth (22742) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236421)

Spam is bad enough, wouldn't want to run into the guys that actually send it out :)

Re:Excelent! (5, Funny)

Kphrak (230261) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236460)

Spam is bad enough, wouldn't want to run into the guys that actually send it out :)

Maybe the above person wouldn't, but I would. Especially if I had a staplegun full of sharp, rusty staples. ;)

Re:Excelent! (1)

matth (22742) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236485)

True.. didn't think of this =) Instead of using the list to avoid them, we can all use it, print it out and go down there with weapons and pummel those spammers :)

Re:Excelent! (2)

tenman (247215) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236751)

We could have a sabbatical style party. We all grab our weapons of choice, put on the "I'm not a spammer" color coded jacket, and start on one of the largest game hunts ever!!!!. We could set up teams and make it into a search and kill competition. That would be a great way to parlay all that paint gun experience into something useful and wholesome. Thank you Nigeria!

I can't wait to tell mom, she'll be so proud. :P

Re:Excelent! (1)

kaimiike1970 (444130) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236938)

Do I smell a worthwhile reality TV show in the making? Hunt the spammer.

Re:Excelent! (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236953)

In todays news, a man was found shot dead, the only clue to his identity was a staplegun full of sharp, rusty staples...
a little joke, but also a cautious reminder of how things work in most third world nations.

Nigeria has computers and Internet conections? (0, Troll)

cscx (541332) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236426)

Pardon my ignorance, but I thought both are necessary to send/receive spam...

Re:Nigeria has computers and Internet conections? (-1)

SkullRape (96773) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236481)

LOL - Brilliant!

Re:Nigeria has computers and Internet conections? (1)

Sunda666 (146299) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236660)

man, this is a pretty arrogant statement.

some nigerians please stand up and spank this dude.

of course they have computers. computers are like whores, they are everywhere.

Re:Nigeria has computers and Internet conections? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3236721)

Well, they could be using WebTVs...

Re:Nigeria has computers and Internet conections? (1)

Carp Flounderson (542291) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236739)

Actually, the scammers are branching out... last month I was invited by "a prominent Nigerian law firm" to come pick up my 75 million dollars in Amsterdam. Maybe because they have better internet connectivity there. ;)

Re:Nigeria has computers and Internet conections? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3236813)

Holy shit dude, you're posting at +1. What, did you suck michael's cock or something?

i was sent this email (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3236427)

the 31 million us dollars in frozen funds email, how does this scam work anyway, any info? i obviously didn't reply to find out...

Re:i was sent this email (2) (463190) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236445)

the 31 million us dollars in frozen funds email, how does this scam work anyway, any info?

It's simple. You give them your bank account # and permission to withdraw funds. Then they do. Duh.

Read the thread over at [] if you want to get a better idea.

Re:i was sent this email (4, Interesting)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236493)

You can't open a bank account with no money in it. Then bored people could open accounts all over the place. The email says that funds of questionable legallity are being held in Africa. They need you to open a bank account in your name, give them access to it, and they'll put the XX millions into your new account. From there, you get to keep some cut of the newly liberated riches. So you get all excited, are in the middle of opening a bank account in a foreign country for dubious purposes, and they say "And we will need a minimum deposit of X thousand dollars to open that account". You think about the tons of money you stand to make in your dealings, and just drop that much money into your account. Then you give account access to your new email buddies. Then they withdrawl your seed money. (making *poof* gesture with mouth and hand) Then they're gone.

I think this scam is called The Spanish Prisoner. A good movie of the same name explains the age old scam (Ed Oneil's part). The dumb thing is that the scam presented in the movie doesn't seem to be a variation of the scam they describe.


Re:i was sent this email (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3236711)

They need you to open a bank account in your name, give them access to it, and they'll put the XX millions into your new account. [...Instead,] they withdrawl your seed money.

Is it not possible, like in Lotus Notes or any good database administration, to allow someone to your bank account Depositor access only?

Re:i was sent this email (4, Insightful)

GeekWithGuns (466361) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236527)

Here is how I was told that this scam works:

1. You respond with an account number. They make a deposite to the account just like they said they would.

2. They come back to you and say "Please give us back $X of the money we sent you". Since you have the money in your account you write them a big fat check.

3. After a few big fat checks clear your bank, you you find out from your bank that the first big deposit did not auctually clear, you now have an account that is overdrawn because of all those big fat checks.

And since your name is the only name on the account you are entirly responsable!

Re:i was sent this email (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236972)

of course you could forgo the check part and try withdrawl instead..

Nigerian spam site (2, Funny)

56ker (566853) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236430)

" is even a place to report your victim "experiences" so they can be published. " - as long as they don't also publish the e-mail address of the people writing about them. As to spam from Nigeria - I've never had any (that I know of) - how about everyone else?

Re:Nigerian spam site (1)

Eccles (932) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236486)

As to spam from Nigeria - I've never had any (that I know of) - how about everyone else?

I've gotten a couple of (slightly) different variations of it.

Re:Nigerian spam site (2)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236489)

Heck yes. The most hilariously outrageous one I received, by far, was one purporting to be from the widow of ex-dictator Mobuto, but otherwise being a normal "please let us clean out your bank accounts" message.

Re:Nigerian spam site (1)

56ker (566853) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236506)

All I've heard in reference to Nigeria is the bank account fraud - where some foreign dictactor wants to put millions in your bank account for a short period - you'll get some money from it -but the victims end up with their bank accounts drained of funds instead.

Re:Nigerian spam site (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236642)

As to spam from Nigeria - I've never had any (that I know of) - how about everyone else?

I have. In fact, I've seen even more than usual of that spam this year! And, much to my relief, the spammers have bought a new keyboard - you know, ones that has lower-case letters too. =)

Re:Nigerian spam site (1)

stevel (64802) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236659)

I get about 4-5 of these PER DAY at my work address! They're all from slightly different addresses (though is a popular host) with slightly different texts. Is someone offering these sort of like the old "Make $$$ at home!" ads which, when you pay for the instructions, you get a photocopied sheet telling you to take out "Make $$$ at home" ads? That's the only explanation I can come up with for the increased volume of these things. (And of course getting so many of them makes it clear that they're all a fraud...)

nigeria scams... (4, Informative)

bje2 (533276) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236439)

we've actually gotten contacted for this scam through not only e-mail but through faxes at my office...yeah, like we're gonna think that a random fax that comes through is legit...right... that's almost as bad as the old "I send you this file in order to have your advice" virus...

in any case, the Spam letters guy also has this link [] which has good information about fighting the nigeria scam...

Re:nigeria scams... (1)

Anthony (4077) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236515)

I recently got a letter from Spain in the mail telling me I had won ~$US800,000 in a lottery. The hotmail email address was one indication of it's bogosity. A quick search of google unearthed a bunch of sad stories like a 84yo woman who sent them $US1500 plus her SS# and bank account #!

Re:nigeria scams... (1)

nochops (522181) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236649)

This scam is older than email.

Back in the day, it was propagated solely by snail-mail, then fax, and now email. It's been going on a long time, and the US government has ongoing investigations.

The problem is that the Nigerian govt is supposedly corrupt, and involved in the whole thing. Frankly this doesn't suprise me, but I dunno if it's actually true.

Anyway, I work for a web-host, and one of our clients has this:

Moderators - Please don't mod this up too high, because this server above cannot take a slashdotting.


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3236441)

By: Shakira

Lucky you were born that far away
So we could both make fun of distance
Lucky that I love a foreign land for
The lucky fact of your existence
Baby I would climb the Andes solely
To count the freckles on your body
Never could imagine there were only
Ten million ways to love somebody

Le do lo le lo le,
Le do lo le lo le
Can't you see...I'm at your feet

Whenever, wherever
We're meant to be together
I'll be there and you'll be near
And that's the deal my dear
Thereover, hereunder,
You'll never have to wonder
We can always play by ear
and that's the deal my dear

Lucky that my lips not only mumble
They spill kisses like a fountain
Lucky that my breasts are small and humble
So you don't confuse them with mountains
Lucky I have strong legs like my mother
To run for cover when I need it
And these two eyes that for no other
The day you leave will cry a river

Le do lo le lo le,
Le do lo le lo le
At your feet, I'm at your feet

Whenever, Wherever
We're meant to be together
I'll be there and you'll be near
And that's the deal my dear
Thereover, hereunder
You'll never have to wonder
We can always play by ear
But that's the deal my dear

Le do lo le lo le,
Le do lo le lo le
Think out loud, say it again

Great butt! (-1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236509)

I don't know about her music, but Shakira has got a great ass!

You see, I don't care that much about large breasts. I like all kinds of natural breasts. However, what I want to see in a woman in particular is ass. Lots of ass. Great ass!

Shakira and J-Lo have the greatest piece of ass in the music business!

Re:Great butt! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3236553)

I agree. I am hot for Shakira's jungle rump.

Re:Great butt! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3236576)

I think that video should be used to educate physics students about gyration. How much would I like Shakira to squirm around on my face!!!! That's the deal my dear. Indeed.

Dear resident... (4, Funny)

realgone (147744) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236448)

...the Nigerian government... setup a web site to combat the common email scam.

And in a burst of inspired irony, their first order of business was probably the purchase a 5,000,000 name e-mailing list to tell people about this new anti-spam site. =)

Not necessary (1)

shaldannon (752) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236607)

All they gotta do is scrape addresses from /. :)

Spam hotline.. (0)

erobertstad (442529) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236455)

Next we'll just need a SPAM hot line. "1-800-SPAMED.... yes, I can't take it anymore, I'm going to jump, my inbox is full and my girlfriend broke up with me becuase I didn't reply......"

YO YO YO!! (-1)

xdfgf (460453) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236457)

Word []

Breaking news: CURE FOR FLATULENCE! (-1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236467)

In a report especially important for the Slashdot readership CNN reports [] :

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Indian scientists have come up with a cure for flatulence, by blasting guilty foodstuffs such as beans with gamma rays to knock out the offending chemicals that cause the problem, New Scientist magazine said on Wednesday.

I neeed your help! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3236471)

Hi, my name is Linus torvolds, I need to smuggle 1,000,000 copies of linux in to the nigerian goverment network. By intsalling this shell script you can help me and have all the source code for my OS.

hack > /dev/network/pyhack

/.-ed (3, Insightful)

InsaneCreator (209742) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236472)

Could we, for a change, try slashdotting the spammers instead of those trying to fight them?

Re:/.-ed (2)

tswinzig (210999) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236958)

Could we, for a change, try slashdotting the spammers instead of those trying to fight them?

Do you understand what a slashdotting is? It means a shitload of people are viewing your page. So you'd rather send all this traffic to a spammer.

Gee, I bet they'd be so upset.


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3236477)

I know that this mail will come as a surprise to you as it comes from a
stranger, but be rest
assured that it comes with good intentions. Your
address was a courtesy of a business database in The World Trade Centre
here in
Madrid,Spain. After due consideration of your profile, I came
to believe that you have the credibility to assist me in this
transaction, hence my decision to
contact you without delay.

This was borne out of my desire to establish a mutual /business
relationship with you. My name
is Musa Smith, the son of Michael Smith (the
former deputy minister of finance under the ousted civilian government)
who was killed and
mutilated by the military junta, led by Major Paul
Koroma, after overthrowing the elected government of President Tijan
Kabba. Though I do not
know to what extent you are familiar with the
events and disturbances in Sierra-Leone, but the pressure of war drove
me and my mother out
of Freetown (Sierra-Leone's capital city) into exile
in Spain where we have been living under political asylum as refugees.

Sadly, my mother died of cancer three weeks ago and was burried in
Spain. Prior to her death,
she handed me over a certificate meant for a
secret deposit which my father made in a Security Company, here in
Madrid,the deposit that
worth US$10.500.000 USD (Ten million,five
hundred thousand United States Dollars only). This was money paid to
his corporation by its
oversea company in the heat of the conflict.My
father made this savings in his name with the hope of converting it for
his personsl use at the
end of the war; but was murdered in cold blood
when the conflict intensified as a result of his opposition to the
rebel forces.

I have contacted the Security Company to confirm deposit and establish
ownership. Due to the
death of my mother and the eventual return of
peace in Sierra-Leone, I have decided to solicit for a honest and
trustworthy individual or
company that will assist me in the transfer and
business re-investment of the money.I cannot do it alone due to my
present pòlitical and social
status as well as my total ignorance of the
business world.Upon your willingness to assist me, you will be given a
negotiable percentage at
the end of the transaction.

If you are interested in the above proposal, contact me immediately
through this e-mail address
or telephone number +34 686 597 838 for more
details. You must maintain absolute confidentiality in this regard to
ensure success of the
transfer. Please do indicate your personal telephone
and fax numbers when replying, to enable me communicate with you
easily. I am looking
forward to your urgent response to this effect.

Best regards,

Musa Smith.


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3236847)

How in the hell would that be offtopic?

Somewhere in Nigeria... (5, Funny)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236482)

in the corner of some ISP, a shiny new server is crying "You published a link to me WHERE?!?"

Re:Somewhere in Nigeria... (1)

56ker (566853) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236742)

A: on /. - Oh nooooooooooooo........!

"Something" by Lasgo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3236484)

Best dance song ever. Evy is damn fit []

Nigerian Scams (1)

clarkgoble (241742) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236491)

We actually got them on the phone. (My friend likes to get spammers on the phone via long distance and listens to them gab while he programs. He then says, "hey - you're a spammer. You wasted my time, now I've wasted yours. Enjoy the long distance charges")

Anyway my friend got bored and actually told him that he knew he was a spammer etc. It was kind of funny all the denials and so forth. (I ought to get my friend to write the full story for you all as it was kind of funny and I'm sure I've screwed up part of the story)

Yeah, a scam, right (4, Interesting)

wytcld (179112) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236498)

Nigeria _is_ a rich and corrupt country. Many people there _are_ relatives of government ministers with access to huge, hidden bank accounts. Earthlink [] , Enron ... as far as we've come into the modern world we've got _nothing_ on Nigerians. Those of us lucky enough to be invited into their schemes should rejoice, open our bank accounts wide. The educational experience is priceless.

Snail Mail (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3236499)

I recieved a scam message post marked from Nigeria in the U. S. mail. The scam was different (they just wanted my checking account number so they could transfer millions into it (yeah right!)). Email and faxes aren't the only problems with scams from that country.

I guess all countries' people have scams too.

Uh guys ... (3, Funny)

Christianfreak (100697) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236503)

I think we just /.ed Nigeria.

Re:Uh guys ... (2)

medcalf (68293) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236584)

Nah, it appears to be hosted in London.

If they were really serious.. (2)

cmowire (254489) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236510)

If they were really serious, there would be an e-mail address you could forward the Nigerian scam mail to and then would personally track it and give the person the beat-down of their life.

As an incentive, if you reported it, they'd send you the video of the person getting the Cowboy Neal done to them. ;)

Re:If they were really serious.. (2)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236885)

> If they were really serious, there would be an e-mail address you could forward the Nigerian scam mail to and then would personally track it and give the person the beat-down of their life.

Actually, it's often the other way around.

While it's all well and good to laugh at the 419 scams we get in our mailbox, people have been kidnapped and murdered [] as part of these scams.

Maybe the spam you got today was from some joker in a trailer park trying his luck. But I've seen some with headers that do indicate points of origin in Nigeria or other third-world countries.

I follow the advice of the 419 Coalition [] 's website, and forward them to the U.S. Secret Service, clearly indicating that I have suffered "NO FINANCIAL LOSS", and that my report is merely for the benefit of their archives.

If the headers indicate (say, a city name on the reverse DNS of the dialup or cablemodem used to inject the spam) a point of origin, I usually add a note to the effect that the spammer may be based in whatever region the headers indicate. A little digging around WHOIS servers can usually get a probable country of origin.

The one thing I never do is tip off the scammer that I know what he's up to. Remember, no SMTP header can tell you whether you're dealing with a chickenboner in a trailer park, or the outer edge of a real organized crime syndicate.

Suppose that only 1% of your 419 scammers are "serious". Your mileage may vary, but thumbing your nose at 100 people, one of whom is running an organized crime syndicate, still qualifies as a cheap ticket out of the gene pool in my books. Are the cheap laughs from trolling the 99 trailer-park denizens really worth the risk?

Let the Treasury guys take care of it. That's what they're paid for.

bad slashdot! no donut. (3, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236512)


Who came up with the idea of linking to a third world website? good grief, you know the telcos there can barely handle a slashdotting, much less a single website.

BTW, I am constantly amazed at the sheer stupidity of the people of this earth. Reminds me of the old vegas scam: I have a bunch of counterfit chips, you give me $1000-2000 for them, but since I can't go inside because I have been banned, you cash them for me while I take your money and run. Nifty...uninformed people often receive nasty wake-up calls...then they tend to be like the rest of us, wary and skeptical.

Slashdotted (2, Funny)

Dwarth (300904) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236518)

Seem we have Slashdoted the Nigeria


Kind of ironic... (1)

Jin Wicked (317953) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236520)

I very, very rarely get spam, but I got the Nigerian message literally two or three minutes before reloading /. to see this story posted. And it's already Slashdotted. :)

Howto Make Millions Fast!!!! (4, Funny)

4of12 (97621) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236522)

There is even a place to report your victim "experiences" so they can be published.

Dozens of individuals JUST LIKE YOU are making thousands of dollars daily on the Internet everyday!!!!

I know, I was skeptical, too, until I read about this fantastic offer that a friend told me about. He was cashing checks every couple of days for thousands of dollars!!!!

Our free guide offers testimonies from thousands of clients that are ready and willing to buy the services that YOU, TOO, can offer over the Internet - for FREE!!!!

An Oldy But Baddie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3236556)

This scam was endemic to the oil industry back in the '80s; reportedly, quite a few smaller producers and wildcatters fell for the scam, losing a pretty fair chunk of collective cash. Plus ca change, rien ne change...

Poor DSL link in .uk (4, Informative)

MavEtJu (241979) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236560) 23h55m50s IN A domain name pointer

Poor DSL link...

Congolese variant (with Slashdot relevance) (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236563)

I received a variant of this one the other day. The difference is that instead of being Nigerian, this one is Congolese, supposedly from the widow of the late president Mobutu Sese-Seko.

The Slashdot relevance of this is that it is addressed to the email address that I use ONLY for Slashdot, which I allow to be shown but only through spam-armoring. Chinks in the armor, it appears.

Use Spamblock XP (3, Funny)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236566)

Why not just use the microsoft spam solution [] ??

Spam Cannot Be Reduced (1, Insightful)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236569)

I hate spam. I get hundreds of offers for penis and breast enlargments and only a few are intriguing. I wish there was a way to stem the flood.

Unfortunately, if you examine the problem from an information-theoretical viewpoint you'll find that that is impossible. Shannon's basic theorem was that noise is a property of communication. When you communicate, you have noise as a byproduct no matter what you do. Email is communication, spam is the noise. Web traffic is communication, popups are the noise. Slashdot is communication, trolls and crapflooders are the noise.

One possibility for a solution is to reduce the communication itself via filters. For instance, some central agency could set up a computer to monitor all communication and delete targetted email messages or web traffic. As an act of communication-reduction this would guarantee at least a small amount of relief from noise. That's why I support Ashcroft in his plan to set the FBI up with Carnivore.

Re:Spam Cannot Be Reduced (2)

PD (9577) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236713)

I came to the same conclusion, so two days ago I set up for the purpose of giving me unlimited e-mail addresses without having to fill out a hotmail form for each one.

When my e-mail on this message starts getting too much spam, I'll just blackhole it and make a new random address. I've got different addresses for everyone, so I can tell where the spammers are harvesting.

Re:Spam Cannot Be Reduced (-1)

BankofAmerica_ATM (537813) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236748)

What is this "spam"?

Re:Spam Cannot Be Reduced (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3236862)

what?!? Shannon's basic theorem has nothing to do with spam. You've confused some philosphical view of "quality communication" with the information-theoretic definition of noise.

> Email is communication, spam is the noise.

Email is communication. Spam is noise. Spam is a type of email. Thus, spam is communication. Perhaps it is not communication you wish to receive, but it is communication nonetheless. And hardly random. In fact, those email's are highly structured sets of information some refer to as "sentences."

419 Coalition (5, Informative)

Detritus (11846) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236577)

For more information, see the 419 Coalition [] website. This is a huge problem in Nigeria. There is massive corruption in the Nigerian government and judicial system. It has also hurt legitimate Nigerian businesses.

Attention Slashdotters: Nigeria is closed! (1, Funny)

ubeans (449308) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236578)


A group of hackers who call themselves
Slashdotters today successfully shut down the
whole internet in Nigeria. The Nigerian head
of information declined to comment, it is reported
that he is still on hold with AOL tech support.

/.'ed (0, Offtopic)

Chicane-UK (455253) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236582)

Hm.. you guys really need to stop posting links to sites like this that are bound to crumple under the mountain of traffic.. :)

Must make sure I never put anything amusing / of technical interest on any of my websites.. gonna have my manager asking me to find out why our 2mbit line is jammed and people cant access the net :)

Banks and spam scams (2)

totallygeek (263191) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236588)

Banks are constantly being bombarded by spam asking them to launder money. I have seen many from African and Middle East origins.

They are something to the effect of

Hello, I am the son of a wealthy national and we are trying to get our money into the country. We will pay you a percentage if you cash our check.

These most of the time are check fraud cases, but sometimes they are legitimate checks used in various money laundering schemes. Don't fall victim yourself.

I joined the club (1)

dr_zeus (302272) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236593)

I feel so proud. Two weeks ago I opened my mail, and I had not one, but TWO Nigerian scam emails. I have been laughing about this scam for the longest time, but I never got hit... until now. It cracked me up so bad I almost email the guys back, but decided not to. I still have the emails in my archives, just in case I feel lonely someday... I can know that someone, somewhere, thought enough of me to try to scam me. :)

Too much spam? Too bad! (-1)

CmdrTaco on (468152) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236595)

Aw.. a fucking muslim is getting too much spam? Fuck em! They deserve much worse.

Disgusting sand monkeys.

Here's my reply to those things (5, Funny)

Bob McCown (8411) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236608)

I modify the namea/dates/amounts/etc, and fire this off:


It is so good to hear from a fellow-countryman, having been raised and lived for many years in our most beautiful homeland, Nigeria. I want to send you my sincere thanks and gratitude for your kind offer of USD$25,000.000.00 (TWENTY FIVE MILLION UNITED STATE DOLLARS) for taking part in this funds transfer transaction.

However, I am a businessman too, and I make my living transferring large sums of money from and to my friends, relatives, and business associates in Nigeria. Therefore, I know that you would agree, that in order to participate in this wonderful opportunity, I must have an advance monetary commitment from you -- a good faith gesture on your part -- in order to proceed.

Therefore, I ask that you deposit just 10% ($2,500,000) of the $25M into my PayPal account as an indication that you truly possess the funds and are actually authorized to release them. Using the online PayPal service is a very convenient and secure way to transfer funds. All you need do is access the PayPal web site -- -- open a PayPal account, deposit the funds into your new account, and then transfer the money into my existing account, which has already been set up to receive the $25M.

You only need my email address, which you already have, to transfer the funds into my account. Therefore, the complete safety of your account, as well as mine, is guaranteed and insured unconditionally. You have asked that this matter be handled with the strictest confidentiality, and I will agree to that condition, provided that the transfer takes place in a reasonable period of time, say by Friday, 5 October.

If the money has not been received by that time, I must assume that you are not making a legitimate offer, and that you might be someone other than who you say you are -- although I can tell by the exceptional language of your email, that is probably not the case. However, if that is the case, then I will be forced to embark upon a most unpleasant course of action that I would prefer not to undertake.

Because I have so many loyal friends in the Government of Nigeria and the Military, and many close ties within the Security Service where you work, it would be quite easy to locate your office and your home, as well as learn the identities of your friends and relatives.

I truly don't believe that you would want to jeopardize their health and well-being, and your own future. I will access my PayPal account on next Saturday to verify that your good-faith payment has been made. Once that takes place, we can move forward with the final transfer.

I trust that you will not disappoint me in this matter, since the consequences for non-compliance could be quite severe. I look forward with great anticipation to working with you.

Yours faithfully,

Issa Gidada, JD, MMB,
President & CEO
U.S./Nigeria Funds Transfer Organization
Beverly Hills, CA

Re:Here's my reply to those things (1)

PD (9577) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236732)

So, did you get anything yet? I've been sending out $5000 invoices to spammers for a while now, and so far, nothing.

Re:Here's my reply to those things (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236924)

And if someone deposits money into your paypal account?
If you scam them, they will kill you.
I've been involved with 3rd world banks
(only as a programmer, thank God), and stuff like that does happen.
Theres nothing like the military walking into the CEO's office, killings him, then declaring himself the new CEO, to really wake you up.

in other news... (1)

pcgamez (40751) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236617)

The Nigerian government has set up a website to combat /.'rs who continually bring down websites. An official has been quoted saying "We are sick and tired of websites being taken down because of Slashdot. It is a menace that must be stopped!"

Protest! (3, Funny)

xcomputer_man (513295) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236624)

As an avid internet user and Nigerian patriot, I wish to make a severe protest about this act of wickedness that has been committed by the Slashdot editors. As bad as scam letters can be, I think pulverizing our measly bandwidth and equipment with Slashdot readers is a little extreme as a spam-control measure.

oga? wetin happen for dis server now?

You fools! (5, Funny)

Webmoth (75878) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236658)

Don't you know that the Internet backbone of Nigeria consists of a drumbeat relay to a guy on the phone doing voice-mimicked modulation long-distance to a dial-up account in Rugby, North Dakota? (Note to self: Self, someone needs to write an RFC for this.)

You're going to kill the percussion section of the Nigerian Symphony Orchestra by posting to Slashdot!

"ATTENTION NIGERIA: All your bandwidth are belong to us!"

Re:You fools! (1)

ProfMoriarty (518631) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236679)

How did you get ahold of Intellectual Property?

I was going to copyright / trademark / patent this tomorrow.

Oh well ... I'll just go ahead and do it ... then sue you later for royalties ...

Nigeria Population (1)

Futurepower(tm) (228467) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236668)

The country has a lot more people than you might guess, considering its size:

Population of Nigeria: 108.20 million.

Source: Nigeria Business Info []

YOU MUST READ THIS!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3236720)

cheesy nudgers

Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud (3, Informative)

EchoMirage (29419) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236734)

A good deal of these spam e-mails are related to the Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud, which the U.S. State Department considers a big enough deal to publish their own materials on it. See here [] [link is to a PDF] or here [] . The fraud is quite advanced, often going so far as to appear to originate from the Central Bank of Nigeria, use official letterheads and stationary, etc.

The moral of the story is that sometimes spam is not just annoying, but potentially fraudulent and therefore dangerous. I'm glad to see something is being done about this, not only to curb spam, but also to prevent the scam from growing.

Wait a minute ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3236766)

You mean that Nigerian thing was a FRAUD? I just sent that guy $50,000 dollars, and my bank account number. Oh shit ...

I actually got a snailmail Nigerian letter once... (1)

cirby (2599) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236788)

A few years back, I got this odd letter from Nigeria.

Beautiful paper in the envelope and letter - sort of a marbled blue/white. Handwritten in incredible penmanship (not laser or inkjet).

I felt really bad turning it in to the Postal Inspection Service (and even that guy thought it was "one of the prettiest scam letters" he'd ever seen. You just don't get that sort of workmanship with email.

Like this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3236804)

I got this the other day:

RUE J8840, PLOTX220
Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire West Africa



It is with a heart full of hope and trust in GOD that I write you this letter to seek your help in the context below.
I am MISS MARYE IBRAHIM, 18 YEARS old girl , one and only daughter/child of late Mr and Mrs MUSTAPHA IBRAHIM. My father was a very wealthy
cocoa merchant in Abidjan, the economic capital of
Ivory Coast.

My father was poisoned to death by his business
associates in one of their outings on a business trip. My mother died when I was a baby and since when, my father took me so special. Before the eath of my father on November 2001 in a private hospital here in Abidjan, he secretly called me on his bedside and told me that he has the sum of EIGHT MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY(US$8,500,000) left in a special account in a Bank here in Abidjan, that he used my name as his only daughter as the next of kin
in depositing the fund.
He also explained to me that it was because of this wealth that he was poisoned by his business associates. That I should seek for a foreign partner in a country of my choice where I will
transfer this money and use it for investment purpose such as real estate management or hotel
hospitality business.

Sir, I am honourably seeking your assistance in the following ways:
1) To provide a bank account into which this money
would be transferred to.
2)To contact the bank on my behalf and discuss the
possibilities of changing the ownership of the money in your name and transferring it to your nominated account in overseas/ your country.
3)To serve as a guardian of this fund and change
ownership to your name so that every thing will easy for us.
4) To make arrangement for me to come over to your
country to further my education and to secure a resident permit for me in your country.

Moreover, Sir, I am willing to offer you 10% of the total sum as compensation for your effort/input after the successful transfer of this fund into your nominated account overseas. I have also decided that 5% of the total sum will be used to carter for all the expenses you will incur through telephone call to me and the bank, my ticket and visa to your country and getting a school for me etc.This 5% will will take immediately my father money enters into your account and the other 10% , you will take it when I come to your country.

Furthermore, you indicate your options
towards assisting me as I believe that this
transaction would be concluded
within ten (10) days you signify interest to assist
me. Anticipating to hear from you soon.

Thanks and God bless!

Who is worse? The scammer or the accomplice (1)

Snowbeam (96416) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236821)

If you ever read any of the scams, it usually indicates that the person has stolen money from Nigeria in some form or another and needs your help to transfer it out of the country. Now, you are invited to help steal and you go with it. Doesn't that make you a thief if you agree to the offer? If your money is now stolen in the process, wouldn't you call it an irnoic form of justice? You were stupid enough to want to be a thief and when you get robbed, you suddenly call yourself a victim. Wouldn't it be better for the police to arrest you not only for being stupid, but also for being a self proclaimed thief?

Good Nigerian Scam Links (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3236833)

These are a couple of good links to what is really up with the Nigerian money scam. This has actually turned out to be in a few cases a really dangerous scam, with some people found dead because of it. and Just don't /. these links!

We've /.'ed Nigeria (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3236835)

Hmmmm... could this be a new weapon? Toe the line or we take down your net access.

Reported on TV here (1)

Kphrak (230261) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236838)

There was a report on this on Channel 12 News in Portland, OR. The EFF guy in the article seems to think no one will fall prey to such a cheesy scam, but according to the TV report, people were (big surprise here) quite stupid enough to become victims. I guess one guy in the Portland area lost his savings or something to it.

Apparently, the first part required something like $5,000 to be deposited. They said the money was in Canada first. Then it went to the UK. Then...well, it got withdrawn one way or another and the people lost track of it. The scammer then sent them another message telling them that they had to put in more money to get past some customs post or another, and they sobered up and didn't give him any more of their dough.

You might say, "jeeze these guys are bloody idiots!" Well yes they are...heh...but to the layman it is pretty convincing. According to the report, the fellow who the TV victims responded to sent them all manner of official-looking waste paper to convince them. If one is not up on this sort of thing, I can see how he could be taken in.

I was just in Niger.... (0, Troll)

ShaggusMacHaggis (178339) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236865)

and of course, the internet connections are horrid there...

I CAN NOT BELIEVE THAT /. LINKED TO NIGERIA...their web connection is bad enough as it is. You would be doing them a favor if you took that link off of your mainpage.....

Story: In Niger, they charge users by the time they use the internet. Well the only ISP in town thought to themselves, hey, we can slow down the internet connection and get more money! Someone complained, and not only did they turn off his phone and internet access at work, they turned it off at his house!!

Gotta love 3rd world "democracy".

Third largest industry in Nigeria (3, Insightful)

imuffin (196159) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236931)

I think this is awesome. From [] :

This has become a huge industry. According to some published reports, this has become the third largest industry in Nigeria. During the last thirteen years, there are estimates that the scam has taken in $5,000,000,000 in total, and hundreds of millions of dollars every year. These estimates may be underreported, as many victims may not wish to admit that they have been defrauded.

If taking money from gullible people can net you that much, well... More power to them!

A scam email I received today (1)

Cheshire Cat (105171) | more than 12 years ago | (#3236936)

In case anyone is curious what one of these emails looks like, I got this in my inbox, from, when I arrived at work today. Suffice to say I can't wait to get my hands on the money! ;)

Dear Sir,
I am Mr. Joseph Okoli. Bank Manager of Diamond
Bank of Nigeria, Lagos Branch. I have urgent and
very confidential business proposition for you. On
June 6, 1997, a FOREIGN Oil consultant/contractor
with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation,
Mr. Barry Kelly made a numbered time (Fixed)
Deposit for twelve calendar months, valued at US
$25,000,000.00 (Twenty- five Million Dollars) in my
branch. Upon maturity, I sent a routine notification to
his forwarding address but got no reply. After a
month, we sent a reminder and finally we discovered
from his contract employers, the Nigerian National
Petroleum Corporation that Mr. Barry Kelly died
from an automobile accident. On further investigation,
I found out that he died without making a WILL, and
all attempts to trace his next of kin was fruitless. I
therefore made further investigation and discovered
that Mr. Barry Kelly did not declare any kin or
relations in all his official documents, including his
Bank Deposit paperwork in my Bank. This sum of US
$25,000,000.00 is still sitting in my Bank and the
interest is being rolled over with the principal sum at
the end of each year. No one will ever come forward
to claim it. According to Nigerian Law, at the
expiration of 5 (five) years, the money will revert to
the ownership of the Nigerian Government if nobody
applies to claim the fund. Consequently, my proposal
is that I will like you as an Foreigner to stand in as
the next of kin to Mr. Barry Kelly so that the fruits of
this old man's labor will not get into the hands of
some corrupt government officials. This is simple, I
will like you to provide immediately your full names
and address so that the Attorney will prepare the
necessary documents and affidavits, which will put
you in place as the next of kin. We shall employ the
service of two Attorneys for drafting and notarization
of the WILL and to obtain the necessary documents
and letter of probate/administration in your favor for
the transfer. A bank account in any part of the world,
which you will provide, will then facilitate the
transfer of this money to you as the beneficiary/next of
kin. The money will be paid into your account for us
to share in the ratio of 60% for me and 40% for you.
There is no risk at all as all the paperwork for this
transaction will be done by the Attorney and my
position as the Branch Manager guarantees the
successful execution of this transaction. If you are
interested, please reply immediately via the private
email address below. Upon your response, I shall
then provide you with more details and relevant
documents that will help you understand the
transaction. Please observe utmost confidentiality,
and rest assured that this transaction would be most
profitable for both of us because I shall require your
assistance to invest my share in your country.
Awaiting your urgent reply via my email: .com and .
Thanks and regards.
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