|This site hosts spam emails of the sort that clog up in-boxes eventually and cause people to dump accounts and switch service providers in search of temporary peace. Some of the spammers are obviously crooks, others look like harmless time-wasters - except that their activities clog up the web with useless traffic. Whatever their agenda, these people are out to steal something: your money, your identity, your dreams, your valuable time at the very least, your peace of mind sometimes, and even your faith in your fellow human beings.|
Africa, especially Nigeria, is full of email-sending crooks. The place is teeming with "419" or Advance Fee Fraudsters, guys who have millions of US dollars in loot and fistfuls of email addresses to assault. Their only problem is that they need a mug to help them extract the loot from where they've stashed it. Not to mention cash for 'arrangement fees' to help things along and details of the mug's bank account so that they can try to loot it.
Scotland Yard is allegedly eager to hear from anyone who has received an email of the type illustrated below, and the Metropolitan Police has a website section dedicated to the subject, but don't expect any feedback if you do forward something to the fuzz.
While Nigeria is the traditional source of too good to be true emails, the whole world has now jumped on the bandwagon. Prepared to be astounded by the generosity of complete strangers and amazed that anyone at all could resist these appeals. Some tales are built around historical events, e.g. the French Concorde crash, the activities of Dr. Harold Shipman, the Boxing Day 2004 tsunami and the aftermath of the 2003 Iraq War. They are no more to be believed than the rest.
There are also Lottery Scams in operation. These emails offer vast sums as prizes while the operators hope to extract cash from the victim via payments for processing applications. Spivs also Offer Non-Existent Jobs, pretending to be foreign companies trying to recruit people with a bank account, which they hope to plunder, or an identity ripe for stealing! A real giveaway is a 'company' having a hotmail or Yahoo! email address, or one like: "firstname.lastname@example.org" instead of a proper company email account. Penny Stock Scams, operated by crooks hoping to make a quick buck, are becoming increasingly popular.
Be warned that if you get an email offering something amazing out of the blue, then some crook is definitely trying to do you over!
I have included a separate section Phishers in action containing examples of the 'phishing' emails sent out in the hope of stealing details of bank accounts, passwords, PIN codes, etc.