How to Phishers Get Paid? What Happens to All the Money?

Out of curiosity I decided to take a look at some of the emails that were blocked by the SpamTitan filter this morning. Boy am I glad I did. There was an amazing opportunity to be had! I had been selected by a very generous individual who wanted to give me a percentage of an enormous pot of cash if I could just spend a few minutes of my time helping him out.

A large amount of money needed to be sent to Col. Muammer Gaddafi, but there was an issue with the transfer to his account. Sometimes, it can be hard to transfer £17,500,000 from South African bank accounts into Libya. It had taken this guy almost four years of trying and he still hadn’t been able to move the funds. Fortunately, he had found a way to do it, and a percentage of that money would be coming my way if I could help him.

The problem, you see, is the authorities are trying to rob the colonel of all of his cash. They are doing a good job of it too, but have not found this South African bank account yet. That money is safe for now, but not for long. The money couldn’t be easily accessed from Libya as the authorities were watching. The money would therefore need to be transferred into a holding account to get it out of Africa. That holding account could be my account. Once the authorities stop sniffing around, the money could be moved on, minus my cut for just supplying my account details for the transfer.

I was even thanked in advance for my kindness. What a very nice and generous man he is. I have summarized the email because as nice as he was, his spelling and grammar were atrocious. Well, he is foreign and English is not his first language! He also pointed out he was not a criminal. Boy, that was a relief. I would have hated to get involved in any sort of crime. I wonder what my cut will be? He failed to mention it in the email!

Some people will fall for it!

Of course, it doesn’t take SpamTitan’s dual Anti-Virus engines to figure out that this offer is a bit suspect. But you would be surprised how many people fall for these scams. Criminals net a huge amount of money from campaigns such as this. Sometimes, people are even willing to take a chance when their common sense tells then that something isn’t right.

These types of emails are known as 419 scams. You will not be surprised to find out that there is no £17,500,000 fund, and by supplying bank account details your balance will not suddenly increase. It is just a scam to get you to reveal your bank account information and other personal details. Criminals will then steal your money and your identity.

I say there is no £17,500,000 fund. That is because it is actually a lot closer to $40 billion. That is the amount of money that is estimated to have been made by criminals operating these 419 scams. Believe us. They do work. They are effective, they are incredibly lucrative, and people do fall for them. They are also increasing in number and complexity.

If you want to ensure your organization is protected from 419 scams, and your employees do not end up falling for these and more harmful spam campaigns, it’s time to start using SpamTitan’s Anti-Spam solutions. Not all 419 scams are this obviously fake, and greed often gets the better of common sense. Oftentimes it is not personal bank accounts that the criminals want access to. There is much more money to be made from accessing corporate accounts.