A comedy of email errors

“I needed a password eight characters long so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.” 

This was the winning joke from comedian Nick Helm at 2011’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival and possibly the closest that cybersec has ever come to being funny in mainstream comedy. So with the largest arts festival closing its doors for another year, we started to question the whimsy of our industry given the serious nature of threats we’re defending against.

Well, it turns out that if you do want to exercise your sense of humor, phishing scams are probably the way to go… we’ve all guffawed when a particularly haphazardly-written email has found its way through to our inboxes, and comedians Joe Lycett and James Veitch have taken things to the next level by replying to these phishing emails, entertaining audiences with the hilarity that ensued. 

So given it’s early September, and the entire office is in a post-holiday coma, we thought we’d break the monotony of the perpetual cyber doom media cycle and distract you with a few of our favorite ludicrous scams and subsequent responses. Enjoy. Do send us any we’ve missed. But watch out for real scams. And stay safe online! 

The ‘stuck in space’ scam

The ‘I can put this assassination on hold’ scam

The ‘Mark Zuckerberg is a philanthropist’ scam

And what follows is another Zuckerberg scam this time on behalf of special agent Willy Nicolas, with a response from comedian, Joe Lycett:


The ‘I’m dying in hospital and want to send you my life savings’ scam (Courtesy of Joe Lycett)


The ‘lucrative business deal’ scam (Courtesy of James Veitch)


We can all have a laugh about email scams but only if we’re confident that our email domains are fully secured. If you need help implementing DMARC, the only definitive way to protect your email domain, please get in touch with a member of the team!


Clare Holmes

3 Sep. 2019



Recent Posts


Introducing DNS Guardian: Stop impersonation and spam caused by domain takeovers 

Rahul Powar

tl;dr: We’re thrilled to announce DNS Guardian — a new feature in Red Sift OnDMARC that can swiftly identify and stop domain takeovers that lead to malicious mail. Back in February, we shared updates with the community about SubdoMailing – an attack discovered by Guardio Labs. The attack was a form of subdomain takeover,…

Read more

Navigating the Information Security Landscape: ISO 27001 vs. SOC 2

Red Sift

As cyber threats evolve, so do the standards and frameworks designed to combat them. Two of the most recognized standards in information security are ISO 27001 and SOC 2. What sets them apart, and which one is right for your organization? Let’s delve into the key differences. Purpose and Scope: Global Framework vs. Client-Centric…

Read more

G2 Summer 2024 Report: Red Sift OnDMARC’s Winning Streak Continues

Francesca Rünger-Field

We’re delighted to announce that Red Sift OnDMARC has again been named a Leader in G2’s DMARC category for Summer 2024. This recognition is based on our high Customer Satisfaction scores and strong market presence. Red Sift appeared in 11 reports – 5 new ones since Spring 2024! – earning 5 badges: A few…

Read more

Google will no longer trust Entrust certificates from October 2024

Red Sift

Tl;dr: Google has announced that as of October 31, 2024, Chrome will no longer trust certificates signed by Entrust root certificates. While there is no immediate impact on existing certificates or those issued before 31st October 2024, organizations should start reviewing their estate now. On Thursday 27th June 2024, Google announced that it had…

Read more

Understanding the polyfill.io domain attack

Francesca Rünger-Field

tl;dr: The recent compromise of the polyfill.io domain has triggered a broad-reaching web supply chain attack, impacting over 100,000 websites across various sectors including finance, healthcare, non-profits, academia, and more. To ensure the security of your website, we strongly advise you immediately remove any reference to polyfill.io. Latest update: 27th June 2024 Sansec, a…

Read more