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2003 Jan 18 16:10

The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox] Spam from vox
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Re: [vox] Spam from vox

on Sat, Jan 18, 2003 at 09:36:22AM -0800, Peter Jay Salzman (p@dirac.org) wrote:
> hola,
> just to be safe, please don't report this spam to *anybody*.
> in particular, spamcop has updated their header heuristics in the past
> few months and are *MUCH* better about detecting valid list traffic, but
> they're still not perfect.
> i've already blocked the network where the spam originated.  they can no
> longer send email to lugod.org.
> sorry folks, the fault was mine.  i was on autopilot and totally blew
> it.  i must have approved the spam without thinking.  first time spam
> reached the list in 4 years of vox traffic.   sorry!
> pete
> ps- karsten has an excellent piece on the nigerian scam.  you can prolly
>    google for it.  actually, that's how i first came to know him.  i
>    believe he wrote it before the scam became so widespread.

It's one of a set of canned rants in the "rant-o-matic", aka the vfam
(virtual Frederick Arthur Moen).

This is a simple shell script and 'ar' archive of texts I find myself
sending frequently.  Invoking it with the name of a rant (e.g.:  'rant
nigeriascam') returns the text of the rant on stdout.  Very handy with a
console-based mail client.  Additional rants can be added to the
archive, allowing extensive customization.  I find this to be useful in
dealing with frequently iterated mailing list questions and issues.

The rant-o-matic is available at:


As for nigeria scam (and related -- I've seen other African countries,
Afghan, Iraqi, N. Korean, and Dutch variants) mails -- I bounce them to
the reporting address below and archive them in a spam folder.


The above is an example of the "Nigerian Scam", also called 419 Letters,
or just plain 419.  Most 419 letters and emails originate from or are
traceable back to Nigeria. However, some originate from other nations,
mostly also West African nations such as Ghana, Togo, Liberia, Sierra
Leone, Ivory Coast ( Cote D'Ivoire ) etc.   

It's the current wrinkle of a decades-old scam that nets tens of
millions of dollars per year, and may be the third largest industry in
Nigeria.  The 419 Coalition believes that it is the elites from which
successive governments of Nigeria have been drawn who are the scammers.
Expect little cooperation from Nigerian authorities.

Information in this notice is compiled from various sources, links
below.  Keep reading for reporting information.

The Scam operates as follows: the target receives an unsolicited fax,
email, or letter concerning Nigeria containing either a money laundering
or other illegal proposal OR you may receive a Legal and Legitimate
business proposal by normal means.  Invariably, the proposition involves
resources which are somehow locked up:  oil or other invoice problems, a
bequest, money cleaning, or misallocated funds.

At some point, the victim is asked to pay up front an Advance Fee of
some sort.  If the victim pays the Fee, there are many "Complications"
which require still more advance payments until the victim either quits,
runs out of money, or both. 

To report the scam:

    If you are a United States Citizen or Resident and have suffered NO
    Financial Loss, write "No Financial Loss - For Your Database" on the
    documents you received and Fax them to the US Secret Service Task
    Force handling Scam matters at 202-406-6930.

    Documents may be emailed to 
        mailto:419.fcd@usss.treas.gov?subject: "No Loss -- 419 Scam"

    IF you are a United States Citizen or Resident and YOU HAVE SUFFERED
    A FINANCIAL LOSS write "Financial Loss - Contact Me ASAP" on the
    documents you have received and Fax them to the Task Force at
    202-406-6930 and give Your telephone number(s).  A Secret Service
    Agent will call you back as soon as possible to discuss the matter
    with you (don't worry, you're Not in any trouble).

    (Above from http://home.rica.net/alphae/419coal/index.htm)

Other countries have their own reporting methods, see above for more

Additional information:

    Google search:

    Federal Republic of Nigeria, Embassy:

    Sierra Leone:  Nigerian 419 Scam:
	Sample letters are archives as no's 01 - 33:
	http://www.sierra-leone.org/scam01.html - 

    Nigeria Scam Letter Archive

    Nigeria - The 419 Coalition Website

    U.S. Postal Authorities crack down on Nigerian Spam

    Nigeria - The 419 Coalition Website

    Urban Legends:  Nigerian Scam

    Salon: I crave your distinguished indulgence (and all your cash)

    Nigerian 419 Scam "Game Over!"
    Book describes how the scam plays out.

Thank you.

Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
   What doesn't kill you makes you stranger.
     -- Karsten M. Self, misreading as usual, San Marcos Pass Rd., 1988
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