The Love of God…won’t get me to fall for your scam

I received this confusing email the other day. I’m pretty sure this was in response to a question I posted to an advertiser on a property rental listing.

I think this email represents a change in the way Nigerian 419 victims are being lured in. A few interesting things are happening in this email:
1) The premise of the scam is not mentioned in the email at all. Are scammers counting on their charisma to win over feeble minds? Seems like a long shot…
2) The scammer essentially admits he’s from Nigeria. He mentions “west africa” and the +234 country code is Nigeria.
3) The email contains very specific and accurate local information. “355 MAGNUS AVE” is a valid residential address located in “Winnipeg (North West)Manitoba”. Also $690 for rent in that area of town is pretty close to the mark, albeit somewhat suspiciously low when you consider that it includes an “electric cooker.”

Granted all of this information could be gathered/verified via google. I think this idicates that these scammers are putting a lot more effort into finding victims, which hopefully means they’re having a harder time ripping people off.

Here’s the email:

from    the love of god <[email protected]>
to    [email protected],
date    Sun, Mar 16, 2008 at 12:58 PM
subject    house for rent

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

I am new to this internet stuff and probably I am newer to renting out  houses.My name is Rev Michael Savage, I am the owner of the house you responded to the advert I placed online I lived in the house with my Wife Katherine and my daughter Lisa before I was transfered to California to head the Halfane Mission house branch,hence the reason I placed the advert .

The house is complete with hydro washer,internal heater and electric cooker and all other ammenities to make life comfortable the rent goes for $690 and it is available for immediate occupancy.

The house holds lots of memeories for us and we would like someone that would take good care of it and keep it neat and clean at all times.I started building an indoor fountain for the living room last month if you are someworth of a handy person it would give me great joy if you could complete it.I am presently in West africa Lecturing in a six week theology seminar on the divinity and godliness of Lucifer an intresting topic by the way i would love to share it with you if you might be intrested.

You can call me on +2348029684719 if there are any details you would like to clarify.The house is located on 355 MAGNUS AVE Winnipeg (North West)Manitoba you can go and view it and get back to me if you find the place suitable so i can forward you an application form.

God Bless you,

Rev Michael Savage

From The Archives

Comment Spam Begone!

Oddly enough I’ve been seeing a lot of comment spam in the past few weeks. By “a lot” I mean more than zero. I may have been getting comment spam since the beginning, I didn’t really look into it. But I only started noticing after I added code that emails me new comments. So I just added http referer checking to the comment module. Hopefully that stops the spam. I have no idea how well spam bots are typically written. Any reasonably experienced developer should think to fake the referer. If this method is ineffective I’ll have to come up with something else – i’m thinking along the lines of ajax fired by the text field’s onChange method, I’ll have to think about that further.

That’s all for now.