Nigerian-style 419 scammers exploit Syrian conflict

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By Dave Michmerhuizen – Research Scientist

We would hope that by now every email user has seen a piece of 419 spam and been made aware of just what these scams entail. In short, the scammers promise you millions of dollars (or euros) for help transferring money internationally, and when they have your cooperation, ‘problems' arise that require you to send money first.


While the bulk of 419 spam originates in Nigeria and refers to that country, some scammers realize that mentioning that country in their emails cuts their response rate. As a result, some 419 spammers they use troubled regions of the world to make their messages stand out from the pack. Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya have all hosted their own desperate millionaires. And now they are adding conflicted Syria to the list.


Savvy users won't give such messages a second look, but a less saavy user may be unfamiliar with these schemes and could be fooled by a plausible message that hits close to home. In cases like these, awareness is the best protection.

Barracuda Networks customers using the Barracuda Spam & Virus Firewall are protected from these emails.

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