Tips and Tactics

Following the September issue of Lavasoft News and its update on cyber crime and cyber justice, we received a number of messages from all of you Lavasoft News readers, sharing your comments and views on the subject. Thank you to all those who wrote in for the colorful and thought-provoking feedback!

We’d like to share with you the steps one reader uses to report online abuse he sees in his e-mail inbox. This one comes from David in Newcastle under Lyme, UK.

“I have a mission. Every day, I get dozens of these Nigerian scam emails. Each and every time:

  1. I open the mail and view the Options
  2. I Select All
  3. I Copy
  4. I Close
  5. I Reply
  6. I Paste into the top of the body of the reply.
  7. I send a Cc to abuse@.... (I get the correct reply address from
  8. I look in the body of the message for an alternative email address. There usually is a different one.
  9. I send a reply and a Cc to the abuse@... of that email as well.
  10. I Send

Of course, by replying to the scam with the headers, I’m giving my action and my email address to the scammer. Occasionally, I get a tirade of abuse from the abuser if the email account isn’t closed down too soon. I also appear to get the occasional invitation to view an apparent CP site as a result of upsetting them. I guess they’re hoping I’ll click on - I don’t, so I’ll never know. I can live with that if I’m playing my part in closing these accounts. All of the above takes only about 30 seconds, and appears to get the majority of these email accounts closed. (MSN seem to be the most pro-active, often confirming the closure of the account. Google’s Gmail also respond positively, although I don’t know if they do anything.) I think it would be a big help if everyone did the same.”

Do you have an online security tip or tactic that you’d like to share with others? Let us know by writing to, and we’ll share your advice in an upcoming newsletter.

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