For a moment, I thought I’d woken up in a Dan Brown novel, but it turns out that spam can be mysterious too:

Join us...or something

INVITATION TO THE GREAT ILLUMINATI

Your email was selected among the ten lucky people giving the opportunity of becoming rich and popular by joining the great Illuminati network for more details please contact email ([email]@outlook.com ) for more details.

In keeping with subject matter, the email doesn’t really go into further details. A quick Google of the subject matter confirms this is dropping into a lot of mailboxes right now.

But to find out the real deal we have to go back to March on the 419 Eater forum, where spam and scam emails are met with intentionally time-wasting responses to prevent them cheating regular web users out of their cash.

Things the scammers ask for in the 419 thread:

1) A photograph and information about where you live, for the eventual “initiation ceremony in Long Beach, California”.

2) They have to contact a second person for their “initiation items”.

3) An email from an “express courier”, who sends “secret materials” – I’m using skeptical modifiers a lot here, aren’t I – via not just DHL but also FedEx along with a list of costs. They also ask for delivery name, address and country at this stage.

4) Eventually, the courier asks for a payment via Western Union, which is most definitely to their advantage because once the money is sent there is little chance of it ever coming back.

5) Once payment failed to materialise in the 419 Eater example, the original email sender got back in touch with a second request for money transfer along with the following gem:

“…as soon as you make the payment forward me the details so i can send it to them today ok. attached to this mail is my illuminati national identity ID card”

ILLUMINATI NATIONAL IDENTITY CARD.

There’s top-secret and there’s this.

Don’t fall for it.

Christopher Boyd