419 bank scam emails have an annoying tendency to link to news and reference sites like CNN, BBC News, and Wikipedia to make their phony claims sound more legitimate by linking them with some actual event. For example:
I am HARRYZAN BIN ABDULLAH.an attorney at law, A deceased client of mine,who here in after shall be referred to as my late client,died as the result of a heart-related condition on March 12th 2005.His heart condition was due to the death of allthe members of his family in the tsunami disaster on the 26thDecember 2004 in Sumatra
I have contacted you to assist in distributing the money left behind by my client before it is confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this deposit valued at Seventeen million five hundrend thousand dollars(US$17.5 million dollars) is lodged. This bank has issued me a notice to contact the next of kin,or the account will be confiscated.
We tend to get a number of automated responses to such spams along the lines of “This email was received which is advertising a web site that appears to be hosted by you, please review the message and investigate this site”. It’s kind of annoying. :)
One thing we could do with frequently-targeted articles like this is put a template at the top warning that the reader may have been linked from a 419 scam mail; but this would be annoying to everyone who didn’t click on it from an e-mail, and the template would be hardcoded into the page and thus could show up in exports, printouts, PDFs, etc.
When I’ve tried this in the past, someone ended up removing the templates… didn’t seem worth getting in a wheel war over. :)
Even if we want to show this sort of warning, it should be handled as out-of-band information to keep from mucking up the article content itself. Similarly, notices about page protection and other such transitory editorial issues don’t really belong embedded into the core text.
What seems like a good way to allow these out-of-band notices to be easily added to a page and edited without being a core part of the page, or an overall performance drag when no notice is present?