Nigerian Letters, or How to Recognize Phishing Spam

    We all sometimes get strange letters in which we are congratulated on winning the lottery or on an inheritance that has fallen from the sky. Once such letters flowed on behalf of the Nigerians, hence the phrase “Nigerian letters” that has developed on the Internet. A more scientific name for this way of making money is phishing (phishing), that is, “fishing”.

    People somehow learned to recognize more familiar, obsessive spam, but here everything is in English, people offer serious money. Wins and inheritances play the role of bait. Catch a fish, big and small, maybe someone will bite. According to statistics, approximately 0.2% of recipients take such letters seriously. To reduce this percentage to logical zero, I tried to formulate the following signs of "bad letters." By the way, such a message should be ruthlessly deleted or marked as spam. So, when reading the title or text of an email, you should be wary if:
    • you don’t know the sender (“Sincerely, Dr. Mwanga, Mombasa, Kenya”).
    • the company in question is unfamiliar (“Spanish Tobacco heartily congratulates you!”).
    • the country in question is unfamiliar (and most often these are African countries, less often Asian and Latin American countries).
    • there is a slight discrepancy between the sender’s name and his email address (a letter allegedly from Toyota, and the e-mail is Chinese).
    • The sender’s e-mail looks strange (many decent addresses are already taken, so spammers are content with addresses like toyota.uk3 @ or
    • The sender’s e-mail belongs to an unfamiliar foreign mail server - examples are in paragraph 5. For example, gmail .com traditionally inspires more confidence than @
    • letters contain inappropriate punctuation marks, spaces or capital letters (for example, Dear Aleks !!! we CONGR.ATULATE you !!). In this way, spammers try to avoid formidable email filters that filter out words and phrases specific to spam messages.
    • the sender asks you to send your personal data - full name, address, phone number, bank details.
    • if you have Gmail, in the header of the letter you can see not only from whom the letter was sent, but also to whom to reply. If these are two different addresses, phishing spam is in front of you.
    • and finally, if the letter was not sent to your address. Surprisingly, this happens regularly. As the owner of, I receive letters sent to a variety of addresses - from the banal buh and to the more creative snezhana and denisk.

    This list does not claim to be complete - I will be glad if you add your thoughts to it.

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