My Museum of Spam has received it’s first exhibit; ‘please help me out of my present condition’, around two and a half days on from posting the e-mail address email@example.com on this blog and that of the museum. All e-mails to that address are automatically exhibited, thanks to Blogger’s new e-mail-to-blog feature.
This first exhibit is a classic scam in the Nigerian style. It purports to be from Miss Monica Mogoro, a Liberian refugee. Ironically, she’s actually a wealthy heiress but can’t cash in her chips without your help. Hard to think that anybody would fall for this, but they do. BBC consumer affairs programme Watchdog regularly features this sort of nonsense complete with viewers foolish enough to be parted with their money. And here Wired explains how a whole industry’s emerged around this apparently obvious scam. Wired’s informant wants to come clean after finding god, who cannot be spoken to with a mouth full of lies. The e-mails’ plots are apparently based on those of African soap operas (and you thought our TV was bad). I don’t know of any figures for British victims, but the FBI reveals that in 2001 sixteen Americans parted with $345,000 (nearly £195,000). So when it costs so little to send a million e-mails and one hit nets around $21,500 (about £12,150), I guess it’s worth it.