On Friday I sent an email to our PR agency regarding some predictions for 2005. In it I said the following:
The 419 scammers will become more targeted, collecting more details
about the recipients they send to and customising mails appropriately.
They have the manpower to do this due to their use of cheap labour, and
the customised messages will make people more likely to respond to
them. This is a case where google may work against you - if your email
address can be found in google it is likely that a spammer can find out
more details about you.
And today I got the following 419 in my inbox:
Subject: Urgent letter to Sergeant Matt
Date: 20 December 2004 02:01:08 GMT
Good day . Sergeant Matt
Address : 9 Yarrow CloseGloucester Gloucestershire GL4 6SR - UK
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
From the desk of Jessica Khumalo
Joburg Bright water Foundation.
Re: Contact Mr. John West Immediately
My name is Jessicca Khumalo , from Bright water
The interesting thing is that there are no web pages out there linking that email address to my home address (well, I guess there's one now!). So they must be googling for the full name. That sure is a lot of effort to go to!