August 12, 2009, 7:57 AM —
There’s nothing more refreshing than honest spam.
By now most everyone with an e-mail account has received some form or another of the famous Nigerian spam, which promises the recipient wealth and happiness if they simply provide personal and financial information to the sender, who will promptly place millions of dollars into their bank account of choice.
Recently a new twist on this spam campaign has emerged, this one from Zimbabwe. According to a recent post on Sophos’ blog, this spam campaign comes with an attached document that reads like the script from an episode of 24.
The letter is from Jacob Dube, who says he’s “looking for a goodhearted person with a possible life line to assist me.” Dube claims to be the personal assistant to the president of Zimbabwe, whom Dube describes as a despot responsible for fixing recent elections. Dube says the president has asked him to move $22.5 million to Malaysia, where the president will high-tail it to should he be forced out of the country.
But Dube has other plans.
“I have decided to divert this money for my personal use,” says Dube, “and probably to invest it in [an] oil/gas contract in your country.”
Dube has already deposited the money in a South African bank, so here’s the ‘call to action’: “All I want you to do for me is to come to South Africa so that we can change the ownership of the deposit to your name…” That’s all this guy wants from you. He then goes on to describe how dangerous South Africa is for foreigners, detailing the latest attacks and killings that have been going on.
The message doesn’t ask for financial information, but does request basic personal data. There is no upside to this offer – no millions of dollars deposited into your account, no magical drug, no land to inherit. Just the opportunity to be a “goodhearted person.”