A Weblog About Topics and Issues Discussed in the Book Spam Kings by Brian McWilliams

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October 19, 2005

Hotmail still home of the 419

Four different 419 fraud spams ("Dear Sir/Madam, I know this email will reach you as a surprise ..." etc. etc. ) made it through Brightmail's spam filters to me this evening. All were sent from MSN Hotmail accounts. The headers showed a variety of originating-IP addresses in Nigeria.

red_cuffs.jpgI wonder if the Internet cafes in places like Lagos have picked up word yet about the new alliance between Microsoft and Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), not to mention the recently proposed law to make spam fraud punishable by 5-year jail sentences.

Fact is, Microsoft's Hotmail has lately been a hotbed of such scammers.

To compound the problem, some people have apparently run into problems reporting the Nigerian spams to Microsoft. In some cases, a spam filter on the abuse@hotmail.com address has kicked back spam reports. Other people report that Hotmail's abuse handlers frequently (and wrongly) deny responsibility for outbound 419 spams.

Earlier this month, I received an email from a U.S. Army system administrator frustrated over Hotmail's unresponsiveness to 419 spam reports. The admin, who supports 800-plus machines for a branch of U.S. Army Central Command in southwest Asia, said the problem has made him want to firewall off all email from Microsoft's networks. Quoth the admin, "Personally, I'd rather have surgery done with a heated spoon than to permit their traffic anywhere near our networks."

Posted by brian at October 19, 2005 10:58 PM


I have encountered similar problems in the past sending abuse claims to Hotmail, but they must have removed the spam filter that was preventing messages from being received because the last one I sent went through just fine.

Posted by: Andrew at October 21, 2005 7:16 PM

October 12, 2005: http://tqmcube.com/hotmail.htm

"Hotmail has become the home of the 419 scam."

Posted by: David Hart at October 24, 2005 11:07 AM


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