You are here

We are all part of Waterworld

Monday, June 16, 2014

My initial reaction was “These Nigerian Internet scammers have become creative”. I’ve become used to receiving various scam e-mails with outrageous content, like “I am a deposed director of the Nigerian Central Bank. I stole 100 million dollars and I now need you to provide me with your name and bank account number to launder this money. If you co-operate with me I will give you 90 million dollars”.



This e-mail is different. It must be a new tactic. It starts with the heading: “The Secretary of the United States invites you to ‘Our Ocean’ at the US Department of State, June 16-17, 2014.” It sounds grand, too grand to be believed. Why would the Secretary of State of the USA be inviting me to anything? The logo and design don’t look very striking. I don’t believe this. What phishing scam or software virus is this? 


My cursor hangs over the delete icon. But wait, let me google this “Our Ocean”. A link pops up to a page announcing an “Our Ocean” conference at the Department of State. The logo and colour scheme are the same as my invite. Is this for real? I message my colleague, Rick. He’s a respected marine biologist who’s done a lot of work around the world.