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Xylella

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  1. I have been looking into 419 scammers and find that they are very used to having their e-mail accounts closed within a few hours or days. Basically they always reply from another e-mail address and never the one used in the original solicitation. Also they often hide e-mail and web addresses in Word or .pdf attachments. Forwarding these to Gmail seems to be hopeless and as pointed out risks ones own account being suspended
  2. Prosecuting victims is a new one on me! It might focus a few minds. While most of the scams are very transparent here is an example of a scam that could catch out a lot of people from academia. A lot of my 419 mail is aimed at soliciting academic articles from me for publication. I have wondered why but now realize that most of my articles give my e-mail address as corresponding author and therefore I am seemingly the target of this particular type of scam. At first glance the journal web site looks very slick but when investigated further one sees that the journal has no recorded 'impact factor' and articles accessed through the website are culled from other sources and are mostly not relevant to the described purpose of the journal. The basic idea is that you submit an article and then have to pay a publication fee - so a variant of the 'advance fee scam'. This type of 419 is about 25% of my spam but hardly rates a mention in any of the descriptions of 419 activities. Perhaps because the victims feel embarrassed that they did not look into the credentials of the journal and, as academics, should have known better. So these scams and websites seem to be operating for extended periods of time and SC seems only to be able to go so far. It took me about three months to close down a website purporting to be an agency of the Ministry of Health of one African country (three months after reporting it to the Ministries fraud hotline though at the time I was not a member of SC).
  3. Steve, You correctly surmise that I do much of my reporting from South Africa but I actually work in Central, East and West Africa much of the time. Almost all of my 419 mails actually originate from Burkina Faso and Cote d'Ivoire. The 419's that do originate in South Africa are usually very clever fake bank sites which I report to the relevant bank IT fraud departments, Gmail, and SC. The frustrating thing about the 419 mail is that it is very persistent for some reason and while SC has helped me get normal spam down to only about 3 -4 a week I still get a pile of 419 mail. Reporting it to my provider (Gmail) through the 'report phishing' and 'report spam' still allows about two to three to get through to my in-box every week. I looked at the links you sent which are very useful but only as far as they go and also the SC Wiki entry on the topic which is quite bland and not really up on some of the scams out there. In fact entering '419' on any search engine comes up with over 500,000,000 results some of which go into some detail about the types of scam as well as how to help actively closing down these sorts of spammers and associated websites. From what you are saying I assume that I should just plug away with reporting through SC and where an institution is being impersonated perhaps use additional reporters similar to SC. However it is a bit demoralizing to be processing 419 spam where the Administrators of the network have ignored previous complaints and all one gets is a message saying that if a report was sent it would go to xyz[at]zyx.com Xylella
  4. Since joining SpamCop my conventional spam (viagra, promotional rubbish and such) has now pretty well gone leaving a residue of about twenty 419 e-mails a day. Most are pretty transparent but some are very clever and in the last couple of years three of them have nearly caught me out. These seem pretty immune to normal SpamCop reporting so for example I reported one today with the following reply from SpamCop; Reports regarding this spam have already been sent: If reported today, reports would be sent to: Basically the reports seem to be routinely ignored and the scammers keep going. I have looked at various other approaches to 419 mail, besides SpamCop, and there seem to be several around who go to a lot of trouble to identify sites and engage with ISP's and bank regulators to try and help catch the scammers and put them out of business. Perhaps the fact that the complaint is being followed up by an interested party rather than a (semi) automated complaint makes a difference to the success of some of these organizations Any ideas bout how SpamCop could look at this more proactively? Xylella
  5. Got this response from the Gmail forum If the file is actually saved as "mail.google.com" then yes the .com bit will make Gmail think its a .com executable file. try renaming it. So have done that. When Firefox is asked to save the file the following dialogue comes up; Save file as; mail.google.com Save as type; *.txt; *.txt If one assumes that it will be saved as a text file (like I did) then you are wrong. The file saves as mail.google.com. Thus the .com extension on the top line has to be changed to .txt. Did that and it works. Now have a genuine text file that passes through the Gmail filters and can be processed by SC without any problem.
  6. Thanks for feedback. I will post my solution onto the Gmail discussion forum and see what people there say. My set up is a no frills; Windows 7 Starter MS Notepad 6.1 Firefox 13.0.1 Standard Gmail account Have just gone through the process again with last nights haul - a mere six spams over 12 hours - down from 50-60 a day before I joined SC and got the following message '[spamCop] has accepted 6 emails for processing' and then have reported without difficulty On another note I have set up a tab on my browser to show the SC reporting statistics and only send when there is a nice clear space between the green 'spam Submitted' histogram and the blue 'Reports sent'. Everything gets processed quickly and I can get on with my day job Xylella
  7. There is not much helpful information to users of Gmail to the following question; “I just want a way to forward the spam AS AN ATTACHMENT so I can report it through SpamCop†A typical answer is; Click on the drop down menu at the top right of the message & click "Show Original" Save as a file that you can now attach in an email to Spamcop If you are using Firefox (perhaps other browsers as well) this will actually save as a mail.google.com file which is considered as an executable file by Gmail which thus refuses to send it - to SC – or anybody. In fact another step is needed and the text in the “Show Original†tab needs to be saved as a text file. I am sure there are many ways to do this but my first try was to paste the text into a blank MSWord 2007 document and use the following menu sequence; ‘Save as’ - then Other formats’ - Save as type – choose ‘text’ in the lower box In the box that comes up allow ‘Windows encoding’ And then save A better and easier way is to use ‘Notepad’ - paste in the original text and save using the default ANSI encoding. Now able to report more easily and quickly <G>
  8. Thanks - tried that but maybe I'm doing it wrong. Will plug away at it
  9. Sorry if this has been asked a zillion times already but how do you forward emails to submit.mysecretcode[at]spam.spamcop.net from gmail? I have looked at old posts but they are not much help and I want to get around the copy and paste into the box in the 'report spam page' Followed instructions from somebody who seemed to know what to do i.e. by saving the original text (with Firefox) and putting it as an attachment but Gmail does not like that. Error mail.google.com is an executable file. For security reasons, Gmail does not allow you to send this type of file.
  10. There have been three times in the last 8 hours where the blue line (reports sent) bottoms out and tracks the spam submitted (green histogram) where I have had trouble reporting spam. Otherwise its back to normal except I have unusually little spam to report - just a few 419's
  11. Ever since I joined SpamCop the pill guys have left me alone. Mostly get 419 stuff nowadays but that may be because I work in that region of Africa a lot. Also they are a lot less sophisticated and may not link my e-mail address to SpamCop reports. In any case nearly two hours with no hitch YN
  12. Looks like the problem is sorted >.>
  13. The current situation is a pain but after being with SpamCop for a year all my Viagra and related spam dried up. Now all I get are West African bank managers and lottery winnings which are a tiny fraction of what I used to get. For the current situation I have put up a tab in my browser http://members.spamcop.net/spamgraph.shtml?spamstats and refresh it every hour or so. Every time there is clear space between the blue line on top and the green histogram - such as there was between 04.00 and 10.00 today - I report my collected spam no problem
  14. Thanks, I see what you mean. On that basis the back slope is best where there is a big gap between green and blue - in fact that seems to be the case at the minute and certainly my reports have gone through easily in the last 20 minutes
  15. Have tried following to save myself time and frustration; keep an eye on the Reporting Server Status on the SpamCop.net Forum Portal page as soon as the graph shows a strong uptick start reporting spam Then everything goes through normally
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