419 scammers using NYTimes.com 'email this feature'

419 scammers using NYTimes.com 'email this feature'

Summary: What do Burkina Faso and the New York Times have in common? As of recently, a peak of 419 scams promising you the Moon and asking you for advance-fees via emails sent through the NYTimes.

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What do Burkina Faso and the New York Times have in common? As of recently, a peak of 419 scams promising you the Moon and asking you for advance-fees via emails sent through the NYTimes.com's 'email this feature' in order to successfully bypass anti-spam filters.

The tactic applied by 419 con artists aiming to abuse the clean IP reputation of NYTimes.com's email servers has been persistently diversifying the themes and user names of registered users during the last couple of months. Interestingly, upon interacting with the scammers, all campaigns seem to be operated by the same gang using the ONATEL ISP based in Burkina Faso.

Here's how the scheme works:

Their business model is in fact a primitive version of the scareware business model relying on affiliates to drive traffic and infect people.

In this particular campaign, Alizeta Ouedraogo acts as an affiliate which is spamming and interacting with the potential victims, where once they fall into her scenario she'd basically redirect them to a third-party and insist that you use "DONATION FROM MRS.ALIZETA OUEDRAOGO" as a subject of your email so that she/he can later on have a claim on the money obtained :

"If you agree with me in respecting my last wishes as listed in this message,then you go ahead and contact my attorney through his email and phone: His name is  Hon.Sanfo A.Karim,his Email: sanfoabdulkarim@yahoo.fr phone: +22676578847. While contacting him use, (DONATION FROM MRS.ALIZETA OUEDRAOGO) as your subject,  this will enable him to know you purpose of communicating. I am looking forward to hearing from you again."

Needless to say that this is scam you should not interact with.

Topics: Collaboration, Security

Dancho Danchev

About Dancho Danchev

Dancho Danchev is an independent security consultant and cyber threats analyst, with extensive experience in open source intelligence gathering, malware and cybercrime incident response.

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7 comments
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  • Hey looks like.....

    NYTimes is actually getting some use these days. Good or Bad its some use. If they had any good business decisions it would have shutdown already. Guess they are waiting on a bailout? Last I heard it was 2,000+ a week they have readers cancel a subscription on average. Wasteland!
    OhTheHumanity
  • RE: 419 scammers using NYTimes.com 'email this feature'

    Damn! What's next? Are you going to tell me all of those cookies I have been leaving our for Santa are being eaten by my Dad?

    jf8483
    • re: all of those cookies I have been leaving out .....

      In a single word - YEP!
      goldenpirate@...
  • RE: 419 scammers using NYTimes.com 'email this feature'

    Do people still fall for this stuff? P.T.Barnum said ,"There's a fool born every minute." His timing may have been a little slow.
    nimrod666
    • Still going strong after several hundred years

      Yep, still a lot of suckers out there and yes, a
      lot more are born every minute.


      Do people still fall for this stuff? P.T.Barnum
      said ,"There's a fool born every minute." His
      timing may have been a little slow.
      DumbTube
    • Another misquote...

      ...that changes/obscures the original meaning. (Assuming PT actually said it; that quote about security and liberty is both misquoted [i]and[/i] misattributed to Benjamin Franklin.)

      PT's full quote is "There's one born every minute [i]and two to take him.[/i]."

      Most con games (as opposed to flim-flam or most bunco schemes) turn on the mark ("victim" is an inappropriate term) being just as dishonest and ready to cheat the operator or to skirt the law to make illicit profits. (And bunco schemes that involve "...they shipped too many expensive speakers/computers/whatever to the jobsite and my boss says to just sell 'em cheap and write 'em off..." are the same.)

      The pigeon drop and the glass-eye dodge have been successfully used for manymany years.

      Another quote, this one from W.C.Fields: "You can't cheat an honest man, never give a sucker an even break and never wise up a chump."
      fairportfan
  • RE: 419 scammers using NYTimes.com 'email this feature'

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