Google taking action against Nigerian/419 fraud spammers

A few days ago, someone on a discussion list I frequent claimed that there was a drastic reduction of Nigerian/419 spams received from Google mail servers. It is an unfortunate fact, but all the major freemail providers, including Google’s Gmail, are frequently abused by Nigerian/419 scammers. These individuals spam their fraud messages from thousands of free webmail accounts, creating new ones as their current accounts get shut down due to complaints.

However, it appears that Google has taken action against these scammers. From our collected statistics, since July 23, the number of fraud messages originating from Google mail servers has reduced to a fraction of the previous volume, as seen on the following figure:

Nigerian/419 scams from Google

In comparison, the following is the average mail volume from Google mail servers. So, this reduction in fraud messages was not due to a problem with Gmail.

Volume of email messages from Gmail

In addition, the drop in fraud messages with Gmail was not due to a general reduction in fraud messages. The average trend of fraud messages is shown in the following figure. There was very little fluctuation in the volume of fraud messages during the same time period so the observed reduction was isolated to Gmail.

Volume of fraud messages

So, what can we conclude from the data? It would appear that Google has found a way to deal with the current trend of Nigerian/419 scammers abusing the Gmail service to send fraud spams. Kudos to Google for contributing in the fight against fraud spams. Hopefully, this reduction will last, and other free webmail providers will follow suit and prevent scammers from abusing their services.