Image credit: I Has A Hot Dog.
Actually, I have no idea how this happened. The steady stream of 419 scam and phishing attempts that have been providing a ready-made source of humor have stopped coming recently. A friend mentioned them to me yesterday, which made me realize that I hadn't received a single one in the last two weeks. A quick check of Computer World and The Reg show no indications that some big ring of e-mail scammers has been shut down. Nothing came up on Google searches, either.
Oh, wait, a further look at The Register produced this item:
Romania police arrested 20 suspected phishing fraud suspects on Wednesday.
Stefan Negrila, chief of the organised crime police in the western Romanian city of Timisoara, said the alleged hackers set up counterfeit banking websites that they used to trick surfers in Italy and Spain into handing over sensitive login credentials.
Phishing mule accomplices in the targeted countries then used these stolen credentials to "cash out" compromised accounts in a fraud whose losses might run into hundreds of thousands of euros, The International Herald Tribune reports.
Romanian Cops Cuff 20 Phishing Suspects
This might be it, but much of the fraudulent e-mail I was receiving came from Spanish ISPs and e-mail servers. As I noted here, some of these e-mails have been around for some time.
Whether it was the Romanian police or someone else, it's clear that someone whose bark is considerably bigger than mine has stopped this for the moment. Or, perhaps this is another sign of a bad economy. Do you suppose people don't even have money to give to scam artists any more?