OMG! Mark Zuckerberg Sent ME An Email!

What a rush! Mark Zuckerberg knows I exist and, even better than that – he just gave me $200. Yes! $200! Thanks Mark; I’ll get right on that.   Smile

You don’t believe me I hear you saying – then, take a peek at this email from my Gmail spam box. Oops, I’ve just given myself away – haven’t I? The email is in my SPAM box. With good reason, of course.

While it’s true, that in this particular case, spam filters have isolated this email as both spam and a probable fraud – do not rely on filters as the ultimate safeguard. That’s your job – you are your own best protection.


Click to expand.

As an experience and educated surfer, you’re quite use to navigating over the rough trails of the “Wild West” Internet. You know, that this email is just too preposterous to be taken seriously. Although, as difficult as it is to believe, there are those who are gullible enough to  respond.

If you’re a regular reader here, please forgive me for repeating the following same old – same old – advice.

Be kind to your friends, relatives, and associates, particularly those who are new Internet users, and let them know that there is an epidemic of this type of scam on the Internet. In doing so, you help raise the level of protection for all of us.

A technical approach to protecting yourself against fraudsters:

Check whether the email was authenticated by the sending domain. Click on the ‘show details’ link in the right hand corner of the email, and make sure the domain you see next to the ‘mailed-by’ or ‘signed-by’ lines matches the sender’s email address.

Make sure the URL domain on the given page is correct, and click on any images and links to verify that you are directed to proper pages within the site.

Always look for the closed lock icon in the status bar at the bottom of your browser window whenever you enter any private information, including your password.

Check the message headers. The ‘From:’ field is easily manipulated to show a false sender name. Learn how to view headers.

If you’re still uncertain, contact the organization from which the message appears to be sent. Don’t use the reply address in the message, since it can be forged. Instead, visit the official website of the company in question, and find a different contact address.

How gullible can people be? When Michael Jackson passed, I wrote a piece entitled “Hey Sucker – Read This! Michael Jackson’s Not Dead!”, simply as a test of “curiosity exploitation”.

The results that followed were astonishing – within days, this article was getting thousands of daily hits. Even today, this article continues to get hits. Talk about gullible people!


Filed under Cyber Crime, cybercrime, Email, email scams, FaceBook

14 responses to “OMG! Mark Zuckerberg Sent ME An Email!

  1. Hey Bill, Wow! so when do you get your $200?

    I don’t want to make you feel bad or anything but I just wanted you to know that just this past week, I not only won the lottery in the UK, but will be collecting nine million dollars from a soldier in Afghanistan and….and will be collecting money from a UN adviser worth over a million dollars, and that’s just this past week.

    I figure by next month, I’ll be like “Kelley’s Heroes” Donald Sutherland “Sipping some wine, eating some cheese and catching some rays, Baby!”
    Woof Woof!

    Hopefully you have seen that movie, otherwise, I am going to sound like a lunatic….lol

    Anyway, Great article Bill


    • Hey TeX,

      I do feel bad – I want some of that loot. 🙂 I have a funny feeling Zuckerberg is gonna renege. Rats!

      Kelley’s Heroes – one of the great ones. Particularly, Donald Sutherland’s work – an amazing performance! It’s an especially interesting movie when you consider how many of the actors went on to carve out an niche of their own.

      Now that you’ve got me salivating here, just thinking about what a super pic it is – gotta dig it up on the Net, somewhere. I owe you one. 🙂



  2. kenneth lunkins

    hey bill
    key words “lucky” “you just won”
    the winner is “FREE”

  3. Mal

    Hey Bill,
    Gee, you are getting popular through this blog. Mark is now paying attention to it. He should too, he might get some idea just how malware ridden his site can get.
    Some spam email has me in stitches. My five year old niece could write better English than some of them. If I believed all the emails I have received, I should be a Billionaire by now. Sadly, that is not the case, and definitely never will be.

    • Hey Mal,

      LOL! Yeah, seems like he doesn’t give a shit, huh?

      For sure, a couple of big $B would fill the gap nicely. Like you, I’m in that “dream on buddy” stage. Ain’t gonna happen.

      Unless, I move to Nigeria, that is. Thinking on it. 🙂

      Can you imagine just how lucrative a strategically developed phishing scam could be. All this nonsense about brilliant scammers – is just that. If it wasn’t for social engineering these guys wouldn’t stand a change. It’s the dumb user who opens the door – not brilliantly created malware. Once inside – that’s all she wrote baby!

      Yeah, Nigeria – I’m thinking about ya! 🙂



  4. delenn13

    I need some fun after all this ACTA reading….

    I got this and i may need all of your help with raising some cash…After all, winning all that money, you will never miss what I need.

    I got this email from China in Dec and I have been living on borrowed time since then:

    “to undisclosed recipients
    Dear(there was no name at all),

    This is the only way I could contact you for now,I want you to be very careful about this and keep this secret with you until I make out space for us to see. You have no need of knowing who I am or where i am from.I know this may sound very surprising to you but it’s the situation.I have been paid some ransom in advance to terminate you with some reasons listed to me by my employer.It’s someone I believe you call a friend, I have followed you closely for a while now and have seen that you are innocent of the accusations leveled against you. Do not contact the police or try to send a copy of this to them,because if you do, I will know,and I might be pushed to do what I have been paid to do.Besides, this is the first time I turn out to be a betrayer in my job.I took pity on you… That is why I have made up my mind to help you if you are willing to help yourself.

    Do you really need your life?

    Reply me ASAP”

    Since I did some “googling”, I now feel slighted. Where is the part about staying in my house after 7:30? Maybe, he knows it is cold here and no one in their right mind wants to be outside at that time of night. 🙂 Make sure you read the last one for a good laugh.

    Hitman scam

    I cracked up reading this. Some one having fun with the scammer. Be warned..Some NSFW language.


    • Hey Delenn13,

      OK – I gonna Reply you ASAP 🙂

      Did that one back in July – Don Gunshot – The Hitman With A Heart e-Blackmail

      Opened with – “I sometimes wonder if it isn’t a prerequisite that Nigerian scammer wannabes are required to graduate “comedy school”, before they get their scammers license and are set free to practice their new found skills on the marginally intelligent.

      In a new twist on an old theme (the infamous 419 scam), Nigerian scammers have upped the ante in a variant of their usual email scam nonsense – the hitman, “I’m gonna kill you” email. These fear-provoking emails (at least they’re intended to be scary), contain a threat that the recipient will be murdered by – are you ready for this – “Don Gunshot”.

      But, Don is not your ordinary run-of-the-mill “I’m gonna blast ya out of your shoes” hitman. No, Don it seems, has a big heart. For a measly $5000, Don will take you off the list of his current projects. Just in case you might think that Don is no gentleman, he’s gone the extra mile and politely signed off on the email, with a kindly – Regard(s). Too funny!”

      That last one had me ROTFL – hilarious. I laughed so hard I hurt myself.



  5. Cool trick to get hits, I gonna try that test of “curiosity exploitation” . Thanks Bill.

  6. delenn13

    You really need this to keep all those sweepstakes/lotto, hitman emails and especially your email from Mark Z.
    Use MailStore To Backup Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Emails I posted Ghacks page because it explains how to use it for each.

  7. Sometimes I string email scammers on for weeks or even months. But here are a few one-offs that I’ve received, along with my responses: