Originally Posted by denverd0n
Funny thing about most e-mail scammers is that they actually WANT it to be an obvious scam. They work on numbers. They send out tens of thousands of e-mails at a time, hoping that one or two gullible people will bite.
This is true and a fascinating aspect of this business. Their methodology and communications
are carefully "tuned" to hook barefoot pilgrims and not the general public. Make it look too legitimate, and you get respondents who will quickly realize they are being scammed, thereby wasting time. It is, in it's own twisted way, absolutely brilliant.
A few years ago I was selling a bunch of stuff on CL as I was moving onto the boat and selling the house. The number of scam responses I got was exhausting. The big one back then was "I'll give you a check/Western Union/etc and then you pay the delivery
man that I send." It actually seemed reasonable at first glance but the item in question was not something you'd send a truck for, lol.
I used to work in the internet
space and I don't think people realize how ridiculously easy it is to forge an email. Take a legitimate email, save it, open it in an HTML editor, change a few links, but not the text of them and boom, you have your forged email. Spoof the sending address and you're good to go. Takes about five minutes.
As an aside, there is a massively multiplayer online game
called EVE Online with hundreds of thousands of users where in-game scamming has become a sport of sorts. You can't extract game
money from the game so the upside to it is limited. The game maker considers it legitimate activity because it's a natural part of the game universe, lol.