Nigerian 419 scams: some fun with Wordle

Filed Under: Spam

Have you Wordled yet?

Wordle is a fun little web app that will take a bunch of words or an RSS feed and convert it into an (often beautiful) word cloud. It's a fun way to spend an idle few minutes.

I was messing around with it for a while, and wondered what 419 scams (the notorious "Letters from Nigeria" that plague many people's inboxes, trying to con you out of money) would like in a word cloud. So, I took about 25 randomly picked scam emails and shoved them into Wordle.

Here's what I ended up with..


I'm surprised that Nigeria wasn't a more commonly used word. Mind you, my sample size was very small. Maybe it would have been more significant if I had used many more examples of email scams.

I also gave Wordle the RSS feed for this blog to see what it would come up with..


What's the point of all this? I'm not sure. But it was fun. :)


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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley