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Tracking Harvesters/Spammers

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 419 Scammers
Author: S.Enbom   (5 Jun 07 2:16am)
I've been wondering about a way to stop "nigerian 419 scammers". I get quite a lot of them in my mail and have been following the "scambating scene" too. It doesn't seem to stop them, and I'm wondering if my idea would be effective.

It would not be about bating the scammers but neutralising them by making it impossible for them to find the replies of real clueless victims in their mailbox.

It would be a bit like Project Honey Pot, and

It would be more of an open and quick sharing system with the idea being to share as many scammer email addresses as possible very quickly and then letting the community fill their boxes with high quality messages. The idea would not be to bate them as long (and "funny") as possible.

0) scammer mail received to person X
1) X forwards it to the system
2) people will vote: is it a scam ? (probably necessary later on if the system gets big)
3) if it it is confirmed to be a scam then people in the system are sent the message or better yet, ready made, randomish template emails which just need some adjustment and can then be sent to the scammer.
4) scammer finds 400 "real looking" mails in his mailbox.

Post Edited (5 Jun 07 2:18am)
 Re: 419 Scammers
Author: W.Keeley   (13 Jun 07 1:48am)
There is a very effective way of detering these scammers. By looking at the message and making a note of the email address that the scammer requests you to use (within the message itself not the return address in the headers), you can write to the abuse department of that email provider. The email providers that these scammers use to get replies from marks are usually on services that offer free email service. By getting these providers to terminate the scammers' email accounts, you render the entire spam run that uses the free email address moot. This also effective removes avenues of reply for potential marks. I used to receive these messages all the time, but I rarely receive them now.
 Re: 419 Scammers
Author: S.Enbom   (13 Jun 07 2:08pm)
W. Keely, that's what I usually do. Yahoo seems to shut down those addreses quite rapidly. .

I was just looking for a more effective large-scale attack against them.

I still get up to 15 scams per day but this is if I count my spam-email addresses which I've created only to catch spam.
 Re: 419 Scammers
Author: W.Keeley   (4 Sep 07 7:34pm)
If you forward the spam trap emails to an automated script, you can have the script search for the contained reply email address and then have the script generate an automatic abuse report. Believe it or not, this is the most effective way of dealing with Nigerian spammers.

If you just want to protect your email address a stop the annoyance, email the abuse report and a carbon copy to the advertised return address. These creeps to talk to each other and exchange information. The biggest expense for these scammers are the Internet cafe fees associated with the scam. By making spam runs non-productive, you are costing the scammers money. When they realise that your email inbox is an income loser, they will drop you from their list as well as blacklist your email address. They are in business to make money, not lose it.

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