The latest trend in 419 scams is to attempt to defeat spam filters by pasting the scammer’s message after a message that looks like it was generated by a virus scanner. So the body of the message says something like, “Your mail has been returned because it contained a virus,” and then below that there’s a message from someone who has illegally acquired millions of dollars and needs your help in moving it out of his or her country. I don’t have to explain to you that the 419 scam is the classic confidence game — the scammer has to make you believe that he has some reason to trust you to care for his ill gotten gains. That’s the hook. So who falls for that when the message is not only obviously a mass mailing, but is a mass mailing designed to sneak past spam filters? Is the victim supposed to believe that someone with millions of dollars is willing to trust literally anyone to help them sneak a fortune out of another country illegally? Since 419 scams are illegal already, the only way this makes sense is that the spammers are using compromised home PCs to send this mail. That’s the only way the economics work. But I still have to wonder what kind of person is stupid enough to fall for it.