Blog, Linux Support, Mac Support, Mobile Users, Windows Support 27.8.2012 Comments Off on A Microsoft Report Discusses Nigerian Email Scams

Email ScammersEverybody is tired of receiving spam email. There are millions of such emails sent out each and every day. Whenever we make a new email account, more often than not it happens that before we get an email from one of our email contacts, we get an email from an unknown person which is usually full of scams. There have been many famous internet scam emails and one of the notorious ones is the Nigerian email scams.

Recently, a Microsoft paper explained the Nigerian email scammers.  The question comes up: why cannot someone put a stop on the flooding of these emails into our in-boxes which has been going on for more than a decade now.  The new study from Microsoft researcher Cormac Herley gives specific details behind all this. One of the reasons pointed out is the use of the name of the country of Nigeria. Most internet users are intelligent enough not to go for anything such as this. But those who would bother to reply to their email would be naive  enough to fall for the rest of their scamming as well.

Those who fall for their greed and this deceit would then end up giving their life savings to an unknown scammer. The study says that though sending emails is free of charge, but scammers spend their time while replying to these scams. Their time spent could be taken equal to the monetary investment they make. All this has resulted in people also falling prey for their scams. Further details about the new Microsoft study are easily available on the internet.


Microsoft Research, a think tank run by the company, published a white paper titled “Why Do Nigerian Scammers Say They Are from Nigeria?” Many of the scammers, the report notes, are indeed from Nigeria. But they lie about lots of things (like “we have a large sum of gold”). Why not also pretend to be from a place that is not known for e-mail scams? Why don’t they make the whole scheme seem a little less ridiculous at the outset? Why don’t the scammers say they are from some place more plausible, like “New Jersey”?


The report’s answer, which involves a lot of math, is fairly simple: scammers only want really gullible people to respond to their initial query. These scams are complicated—they involve lots of negotiations, charm, and conning. Many of them fall through. If Mr. Mutumba sends out fifty thousand e-mails, it’s going to make his life much easier if his claim is so ridiculous—and so easy to debunk through Bing or Google—that only ten, and not a hundred, potential suckers respond. Scammers, like the rest of us, have other stuff to do. Or as the report, which is packed with charts, says, “For a single attacker the return is given by (1). This is maximized when dE{R}=dfp = 0.”


So the old addage: “Let The Buyer Beware” hold true for the Internet as it does in person. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is 🙂 …especially if it’s in email form


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