This long missive is the best spam scam this month: Am I dead or alive? My urgen [sic] attention is needed. Because if I’m dead, they can’t scam me, right? Don’t reply to messages like this; just delete them. Even if they need courage.

From: “Mr. Godwin Emefiele (email hidden; JavaScript is required)


To: Recipients <>

Reply-To: email hidden; JavaScript is required

OFFICE OF Central Bank-Nigeria
Aso Rock villa, Asokoro District, Abuja
Telephone No. +2348027768935

Dear Beneficiary,


In the course of our General Auditing and Account revision of the last quarter of the year 2018, we discovered that the Bank Accounts with sum of $38.5 Million United States Dollars belonging to some Benefactors have been changed on the basis that the owners have died some time last two weeks or have given out an authorization note of change of data. After the investigations, however, it was revealed that there are Foreigners who are collaborating with Retired Staffs to make these changes illegally without the knowledge of the Bonifide Benefactors and one traced to your own change is this Mr Rick Jones who said you are dead, hence they have forwarded some documents of funeral service held for you so as to divert your fund. They have also forwarded to this office account below as the new account that will receive this money:

Bank:Hang Seng Bank
Bank Address: 83 Des Veoux Road,Central-Hong Kong
Account Name: Rick Jones
Account Number: 235-325172-882
Bank Code: 024
Swift Code: HASEHKHH

But we wanted to confirm if actually this is true and hence decided to write to your email address which after 2 days from now and there is no response, we will then know that you are dead indeed and go on with the transfer. If proved otherwise by you that you did not die, please forward to us all the related Benefactors particulars including your

Your Full Name:…..
Your Residential Address:….
Your Telephone number:…..
Your Occupation:…….
A valid Copy of International/Driver License

These details from you will help to assist us reach a conclusion that you are not dead.Anything contrary to this claim will help us charge this man to court and prosecute him while your fund will be paid to you immediately without any further delay.You have to get back to us on time for us to commence legal proceedings against Mr. Rick Jones and his accomplices. We do await your positive response and is neccessary you write to me direct to my private e-mail (email hidden; JavaScript is required) also give me a call with my direct Telephone No. +2348027768935.

Yours truly,


Mr. Godwin Emefiele
Governor Central Bank of Nigeria,
Financial System Stability
Will Need Courage

They’ve got overdue invoices to pay me. Don’t you think so? Uh, no. Don’t send people like this your bank info – or anything. Delete such scam messages, don’t reply to them.

From: email hidden; JavaScript is required
Subject: RE: Overdue Invoices
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Good day,

I am the new accountant.

I currently reviewed some documents in our company and discovered that our company has some overdue invoices that have not been remitted to your company.

please kindly confirm the overdue invoice and your bank details so payments can be made at your first convenience

i awaits your soonest comments

Wutti Lee

No. 23/17-18, 12 Floor, Sorachai Building, Soi Sukhumvit 63, Sukhumvit
Road, North Klongton, Wattana, Bangkok 10110 Thailand
Airport Office: Tel: +66-2104 7456 I Fax: +66-2194 7458 I Mobile: 061-084 8605
Email:   email hidden; JavaScript is required I website:

Can you name that Top 40 pop song in 10 seconds? Sure, that sounds easy. Can you name that pop song—even if it’s played slightly out of tune? Uh oh, that’s a lot harder. However, if you can guess 10 in a row, you might share in a cash prize.

That’s the point of “Out of Tune,” an online music trivia game where players mostly in their teens and 20s compete to win small cash prizes–just enough to make the game more fun. And fun is the point of “Out of Tune,” launched in August by FTW Studios, a startup based in New York. What’s different about “Out of Tune” is that it’s designed for group play in real time. The intent is that players will get together in groups, and play together using their Android or Apple iOS phones.

Unlike in first-person shooter games, or other activities where a game player is interacting with the game’s internal logic, “Out of Tune” emphasizes the human-to-human aspect. Each game is broadcast live from New York — sometimes from FTW Studio’s facilities, sometimes from a live venue. Each game is hosted by a DJ, and is enjoyed through streaming video. “We’re not in the game show business or the music business,” says Avner Ronen, FTW Studio’s founder and CEO. “We’re in the shared experiences business.”

Because of all that human interaction, game players should feel like they’re part of something big, part of a group. “It’s social, says Ronen, noting 70% of its participants today are female. “The audience is younger, and people play with their friends.”

How does the game work? Twice a day, at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern time, a DJ launches the game live from New York City. The game consists of 10 pop songs played slightly out of tune—and players, using a mobile app on their phones, have 10 seconds to guess the song. Players who guess all the songs correctly share in that event’s prize money.

Learn more about FTW Studios – and how the software works – in my story in Forbes, “This Online Game Features Out-Of-Tune Pop Songs. The End Game Is About Much More.”

Every new graduate from Central New Mexico Community College leaves school with a beautiful paper diploma covered in fine calligraphy, colorful seals, and official signatures. This summer, every new graduate also left with the same information authenticated and recorded in blockchain.

What’s the point of recording diplomas using blockchain technology? Blockchain creates a list of immutable records—grouped in blocks—that are linked cryptographically to form a tamper-evident chain. Those blocks are replicated on multiple servers across the participating organizations, so if a school went out of business, or somehow lost certain records to disaster or other mayhem, a student’s credentials are still preserved in other organizations’ ledger copies. Anyone authorized to access information on that blockchain (which might include, for example, prospective employers) could verify whether the student’s diploma and its details, such as the year, degree, and honors, match what the student claims.

Today, using blockchain for diplomas or certifications is uncommon. But it’s one of a growing number of blockchain use cases being tested—cases where information needs to be both shared and trusted across many parties, and preserved against loss or tampering.

Academic credentials are important to adults looking for jobs or applying to study for advanced degrees. Those records are also vital for refugees fleeing natural disasters or war-torn countries, such as those leaving Syria. “There are refugees who are medical doctors who can no longer practice medicine because they don’t have those certificates anymore,” says Feng Hou, CIO and chief digital learning officer at Central New Mexico Community College (CNM).

CNM is the largest higher-education institution in the state in terms of undergraduate enrollment, serving more than 23,000 students this fall. Nationally accredited, with eight locations in and around Albuquerque, CNM offers more than 150 associate degrees and certificates, as well as non-credit job training programs.

A benefit of blockchain is that there’s no single point of failure. “Given the decentralized nature of blockchain technology, it will prevent the single point of failure for any identity crisis, such as Syrian refugees, because on blockchain the ID is secure, shareable and verifiable anywhere in the world,” says Hou.

Read more in my story for the Wall Street Journal, “New Mexico College Deploys Blockchain for Digital Diplomas.”

Does “Gavin” seem totally above-board to you? Don’t you want what his real name is? No matter what, it’s a scam. That he tried to bypass my spam filter by spoofing my own email address in the “from” header is a nice touch. And doesn’t the email address ooze technical proficiency?

Don’t respond to these messages, just delete them.

From: ‘Gavin Powell’ (email hidden; JavaScript is required)
Subject: Websites top in Google and producing
Reply-To: Gavin Powell (email hidden; JavaScript is required)


Hope you are doing well.

My name is “Gavin” and working with a reputed leading Search Engine Optimization . Company in India having the experience of getting our customer’s websites top in Google and producing high revenue with top page rank.

I was recently visiting your website and saw your Website is not on First Page On Google for most of the relevant and user oriented Keywords pertaining to Your Domain so I was wondering If you would be interested in getting very Affordable Search Engine Optimization done for your website.

Let me know if you are interested and I would happy to send you more details on this.

I look forward to your positive response.



Oracle Database is the world’s most popular enterprise database. This year’s addition of autonomous operating capabilities to the cloud version of Oracle Database is one of the most important advances in the database’s history. What does it mean for a database to be “autonomous?” Let’s look under the covers of Oracle Autonomous Database to show just a few of the ways it does that.

Oracle Autonomous Database is a fully managed cloud service. Like all cloud services, the database runs on servers in cloud data centers—in this case, on hardware called Oracle Exadata Database Machine that’s specifically designed and tuned for high-performance, high-availability workloads. The tightly controlled and optimized hardware enables some of the autonomous functionality we’ll discuss shortly.

While the autonomous capability of Oracle Autonomous Database is new, it builds on scores of automation features that Oracle has been building into its Oracle database software and the Exadata database hardware for years. The goals of the autonomous functions are twofold: First, to lower operating costs by reducing costly and tedious manual administration, and second, to improve service levels through automation and fewer human errors.

My essay in Forbes, “What Makes Oracle Autonomous Database Truly ‘Autonomous,’” shows of how the capabilities in Oracle Autonomous Database change the game for database administrators (DBAs). The benefits: DBAs are freed them from mundane tasks and letting them focus on higher-value work.

In Australia, at 8 a.m. on ‘Results Day,’ thousands and thousands of South Australian year 12 students receive their ATAR (Australia Tertiary Admissions Rank)—the all-important standardized score used to gain admission to universities across Australia. The frustrating challenge: many are eligible to add as many as nine school and subject-specific bonus points to their ATAR, which can improve their chances of gaining admission to tertiary institutions like the University of Adelaide. To find out about those bonuses, or adjusted ATAR, they must talk to university staff.

Thousands of students. All receiving their ATAR at the same time. All desperate to know about their bonus points. That very moment. They’re all phoning the university wanting a 5- or 10-minute call to answer a few questions and learn about their adjusted score. This past year, 2,100 of those students skipped what in the past could be an hours-long phone queue to talk to university staff. Instead, they used Facebook Messenger to converse with a chatbot, answering questions about their bonus eligibility and learning their adjusted ATAR score–in about three minutes.

“It’s always been really difficult for us to support the adjusted ATAR calls,” says Catherine Cherry, director of prospect management at University of Adelaide. “There are only so many people we can bring in on that busy day, and only so many phone calls that the staff can take at any given time.” Without the chatbot option, even when the prospective student is able to reach university staff, the staff can’t afford to stay on the phone to answer all that student’s questions, which can create a potentially bad first experience with the university. “The staff who are working that day really feel compelled to hurry the student off the phone because we can see the queue of 15, 20 people waiting, and we can see that they’ve been waiting for a long time,” Cherry says.

Enter the chatbot: Three minutes on Facebook Messenger and students had their adjusted ATAR. Read about the technology behind this chatbot application in my story in Forbes, “University of Adelaide Builds A Chatbot To Solve One Very Hard Problem.”

This seems legit… Not. What made it worth sharing was the opening, “It’s my modesty obligation…” It’s that obligation that will ensure the hitch free transfer of our fund, of course. That doesn’t explain why someone at the United Nations uses a Hong Kong email address for official business, though. Or why someone at a Federal Reserve Bank (in New York City, USA) would use gmail.

Don’t reply to such emails; just ignore and delete them.

From: “Mrs. Mohini Rothad” email hidden; JavaScript is required
Subject: (UNCCP) Completion!
Date: September 22, 2018 at 12:29:06 AM MST
To: Recipients email hidden; JavaScript is required
Reply-To: email hidden; JavaScript is required

Good Day!

It’s my modesty obligation to write this letter to you, I work as public relation representative for United Nations Compensation Commission Department (UNCCP) I was assigned to write this important letter to you regarding your unpaid long awaited funds. The United States Government in Conjunction with International Monetary Fund Office and United Nations Organization have come together and agreed to pay all outstanding Debts such as Unpaid Inheritance, Contracts, Lotteries and compensations funds, using the approved Foreign Exchange Allocation Order (FEAO) to clear all outstanding payment with immediate effect with the help of our banks in New York City, USA.

United Nations Compensation Department have officially authorized Federal Reserve Bank of New York City, to debit their reserve account with them to the amount of US$15,000,000 only and credit your designated bank account of your choice. All the documents for your fund is been attached to your payment file with the credited payment officer at the paying bank, authorization letter and transfer permit has been obtained from the United States Clearing House for immediate transfer of your fund as soon as you establish contact with the bank.

To ensure hitch free for the transfer of your fund, a bank guarantee letter / promissory note was acquired from the Supreme Court of New York City. The accredited payment officer Mr. Jamal Ahmad have confirmed that all the necessary requirements for the onward crediting of your fund and he verified that you are required to pay the bank logistics / handling / exchange rate fee calculated to be total sum of US$485 only. The fee was stated on the guarantee letter to be the only monetary responsibility that will be requested from you until the final remittance is made into your bank account.

Furthermore, to facilitate the remittance of your fund, you are hereby advice to contact the paying bank with your personal information such as name, phone number, home address for verifying and authenticity of the formal information for onward rectification.

The bank information to use contact the accredited payment officer is provided as follow; Bank name: Federal Reserve Bank, Contact Person: Mr. Jamal Ahmad and Email address is email hidden; JavaScript is required

Thanks, and we urge you to commence communication with the bank at your own convenience time and should you need further directives or clarifications, do not hesitate to contact the undersigned person.

Mrs. Mohini Rothad
Public Relations Representative
United Nations Compensation Commission.
Tel: (307) 309-2667