20210722 The anatomy of crime originated in e-mail.

The current hook and fraud in a range of hooks and frauds put out in rotation.

In real life, fraudsters use frauds in rotation. For a few weeks it will be, say, knocking on doors and saying that there are loose tiles on the roof; then that fraud won’t be used, in that area, for some years. The fraudsters won’t go away: they’ll just come back with a different story.

This is exactly what happens with spam-scams.

Many reports in recent years have indicated that the vast majority of spam comes from a handful of servers.

However, while most of that is, prima facie, harmless there is a dark side to it.

The purpose of the ever-changing hooks is simple: it increases the chance of success. So while the detail in the mails will vary (in part to defeat spam filters), the core message will be similar.

In recent weeks, one old technique has become very prevalent: it’s the one-line scam with several paragraphs of text copied and pasted from e.g. a book or a website.

We last saw this as a heavily used technique in eastern European spams some three years ago. Now it’s appearing out of the USA and, noticeably, in far less sophisticated hooks than previously.

There is often the use of flowery language, or jargon, to make the e-mail look more impressive. Take a look at sample one below to see an example of a mail that uses both. For this the credibility level is high. Others fall a long way short.

But all of these frauds are more or less obvious, at least with a little thought.

There’s a far less obvious risk and that has been evolving for a very long time. Recently, we saw how effective this technique is.