Camouflages and Token Manipulations-The Changing Faces of the Nigerian Fraudulent 419 Spammers

Olumide Babatope LONGE
Stella Chinye CHIEMEKE
Olufade F. Williams ONIFADE
Folake Adunni LONGE


The inefficiencies of current spam filters against fraudulent (419) mails is not unrelated to the use by spammers of good-word
attacks, topic drifts, parasitic spamming, wrong categorization and recategorization of electronic mails by e-mail clients and of
course the fuzzy factors of greed and gullibility on the part of the recipients who responds to fraudulent spam mail offers. In this
paper, we establish that mail token manipulations remain, above any other tactics, the most potent tool used by Nigerian
scammers to fool statistical spam filters. While hoping that the uncovering of these manipulative evidences will prove useful in
future antispam research, our findings also sensitize spam filter developers on the need to inculcate within their antispam
architecture robust modules that can deal with the identified camouflages.

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