Another Money Laundering Scam
I know, I've discussed Nigerian money laundering scams in a previous article, but I wanted to point out a lesson I learned from the last one. Here's the introduction to the letter:
SENATOR UDO UDOMA
ATTN; Douglas Twitchell
PLEASE PARDON ME IF I EMBARRASS YOU WITH MY MESSAGE. BUT NEVERMIND, I GOT YOUR CONTACT FROM MY COUNTRY’S CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TRADE AND INDUSTRY. I WANT TO DISCUSS A VERY HIGH SECRET WITH YOU FOR OUR MUTUAL BENEFIT TOGETHER.
I AM SENATOR UDO UDOMA, THE SENATE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN OF THE EXTERNAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE IN THE NATIONAL HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, REPRESENTING RIVERS STATE. MY REASON OF CONTACTING YOU IS THAT I HAVE THE SUM OF $8.9 MILLION (EIGHT MILLION, NINE HUNDRED UNITED STATES OF AMERICAN DOLLARS ONLY), WHICH I AND MY COMMITTE MEMBERS DISCOUVERED IN A FINANCIAL & SECURITY TRUST FIRM LAST YEAR.
The letter proceeds to discuss various things which I didn't bother to read since I've seen 8.9 million variations on this and they're all pretty much the same.
The final line of the message said:
LET ME HEAR FROM YOU AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE THIS MESSAGE. YOU CAN CALL ME DIRECTLY ON MY PRIVATE TEL: [spammertelephone]. ALSO YOU CAN STILL SEND MESSAGE ON THE ALTERNATIVE EMAIL ADDRESS RECORDED ABOVE.
Interesting that he mentioned "the alternative email address recorded above". This is really a fancy way of saying "The email address I sent this on is not my real
Of course, this irritates me no end, because even if I report the spam to ezilon.com (the domain the email appears to have come from) it still leaves his yahoo.com address (the one he told me to reply to) safe.
So I decided I'd try something new. I thought, "Even though this email doesn't originate from Yahoo, maybe Yahoo will be able to do something about it anyway, if they can track a connection from the ezilon address to the Yahoo address."
So, as I often do, I forwarded the email to email@example.com, along with the internet headers. Plus
I added the following line at the top:
Fraudulent scam referencing: [spammername]
I didn't have a lot of hope that Yahoo would be able to do anything about it, but lo and behold, an few hours later I received this response:
Hello, BRAVO FOR YAHOO!A Helpful Hint
Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Mail.
Mass distribution of unsolicited email messages, or "spamming", violates the Yahoo! Terms of Service (TOS).
Although it does not appear that this message originated from the Yahoo! Mail system, there is a "@yahoo.com" address within the message or message headers and we believe that this account is being used in connection with the unwanted email message. Consequently, we have taken appropriate action against this account as per the Yahoo! Terms of Service (TOS).
Don't be afraid to try this when people spam you and reference another
email for you to reply to. Yahoo, at least, is willing to go after these guys...perhaps other email providers will get on the ball as well!