Sunday, March 25, 2007

BEWARE Work on the Web? Get Spammed!

The really sad thing is, I suspect I've been 'sold out' by a sub contractor I worked with last Fall. This person was found through a freelancing (outsourcing) website called It was my project manager's idea to use, not mine. I suspect this sub contractor posted my gmail email address to a message board where con artists look for personal info. Thanks.

I get some very sophisticated spam, such as this email I just received:
- - -

Bernard Lee
show details Mar 24 (23 hours ago)

Dear Stephanie

I am Bernard Lee, a legal practitioner.Please be patient and absorb the contents of this email which I believe is a message that will be beneficial to the both of us.
I am the legal representative to Late Julius Sawchenko.who herein after shall be referred to as my late client.He died in March 2006 as a result of heart condition.

Basically,my aim of writing you is to assist me secure the funds left behind by my client before it is confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this fund valued at $4.2million dollars was deposited.

I have a mandate from the bank to present the next of kin to the deceased or the funds will be confiscated and so far, all my efforts to get hold of someone related to this man has proved abortive.

I want you to consider this proposal.If you grant your consent that I present you to the bank as the next-of-kin and beneficiary of my deceased client (since you have the same last name),so that the proceeds of this account can be transferred to you, then we can share the entire proceeds on a mutually agreed-upon percentage.

All legal documentation to back up your claim as my deceased client's next-of-kin will be provided. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through.

This entire process will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.However,if this business proposition offends your moral values,do accept my apology.Please contact me at once to indicate your interest.

Best Regards,

Bernard Lee Esq

- - -
(this was sent via Yahoo mail)

I want all these spammers to know:
1. This kind of email phishing is ILLEGAL, and punishable by law.
2. This email can be tracked back to the person who wrote it.
(It is technically possible to track this email back to whatever internet cafe it came out of no matter where or when in the world it was written.)
3. I myself can see from my own site statistics where in the world they come from.
(Could be; Shulin, Ningbo, Shanghai, Calarasi, Galati, Ligetputza... )

This is the cost of being an internet professional. I get attacked (weekly) for simply having my own website and trying to market myself online.

Am I the only one?


  1. That's kind of funny I got that exact same email today (but ofcourse with my last name) and came on your blog because I 'googled' it...

    But I guess since we both have an uncle called Julius we're related (*confused*) I don't know how my email address ended up there, but probably the same way as yours. I used to be a graphic freelance as well...

  2. Hi Steph,
    no you're not the only one. I just got a similar mail, from the Bernard Scoundrel Lee, But i'm responding to his mail with all kinds of silly questions, just to see how far he will go, and I'll have a bit of fun. and at some point I'll tell him to get lost.

  3. No, you're not alone. I ran a google search on Bernard Lee ESQ after i received the same email containing my last name. Your blog post came up. I am also a designer and think this guy is phishing design sites. I have half a mind to scam bait him ( Any interest?

  4. i got the same email the other week too. i don't know how he got my email. but it was the same content of your email, just using my last name. i googled this guy's name and other posts came up too and sounds like other designers/freelancers' emails are getting attacked too. did you report this guy? how do you report him and/or his spam?


  6. Steph, ScatteringFlame, El Tiburon, Momoko,

    Are you RentACoder's users? All together?
    Otherwise - how RentACoder involved here ?

  7. I am not a rent-a-coder user. On a project I worked on my cheap-ass coworker subcontracted to a guy he found through rent-a-coder. He found a guy in Indonesia to do the work. A month after working with Mr. Indonesia my PHP contact form was attacked. And since then I see alot of traffic in my analytics from dubious parts of the world. Maybe I'm paranoid :|

  8. Yes I have had an email like that today I'm sick of getting these mine was from
    Asking for a bank account.

    That's how I have ended up here! I WOULD LIKE TO SPAM THEM BACK but I'm not sure were to start so I'm just signing them up to some lovely online groups.