August 22, 2009

Outrageous Spam

Maybe I shouldn't be surprised anymore. After all, I've been around for quite a few years and seen many things.

But I'm going to be a rat and squeak loudly.

This one is something. The sender claims to be "Benny Crocker" . False sense of security, huh? The nice lady image in your mind of someone that helps you with good food and feeds you brownies or something. The other part is a dead giveaway, however.

The headers say more about the sender: Received: from mail.haosen.com.cn (unknown [59.46.168.60]). "CN" is "China". ChiComs are trying to trick me? The boys in the crew are laughing almost as hard as I am.

The loser's subject line is, "List of small companies in the USA".

And the rest is: "many different fields such as company income, email, number of employees and more

There are 17 million total records and 2 million emails

Reduced to only: $299 - from today until this Friday

Email us at: Jerome@BestAccurateReliable.com".

Riiiiight. I'm going to e-mail a spammer and do business with him. A spammer with fake headers, probably from the ChiComs, that's even worse. "Jerome"? Yeah, Jerome Jintao or something.

Most of my readers are bright, but this is important, especially if you're going to send this to someone with less experience than you or I have: Never do business with a spammer. Never even contact them. Capice? It only encourages them, and you'll probably be ripped off, anyway.

In this case, the spammer is selling names and addresses so that I can be a spammer as well.

"But Cowboy Bob, how do they get addresses to sell?"

One way is when the unwashed masses will keep forwarding e-mails. Look at some of the subject lines: "FWD:FWD:FWD:RE:FWD Happy gushy nonsense you don't want to see anyway". Then you have to scroll through about five thousand previous readers... Yeah, those letters fall into the hands of spammers and make us all miserable. They have software to extract valid addresses, too.

Responsible citizens like you and I will copy and paste the good part of the e-mail, or delete the old addresses, before we forward it. Then, when we send it to our own group of forty five special close friends, we use the "BCC" field so that everyone else's name doesn't show. In the "To" line, send it to yourself or one person that doesn't mind having their name broadcast to the world. Oh, you didn't know that trick? Now you do. Use it.

Another method to send you spam is using software that will generate names on a hit or miss approach. They don't care, they're disposing of their real e-mail address later, anyway. So when you get e-mail that includes, say, "Doctor5@Hotmail, Doctor005@Hotmail, Doctor123@Yahoo.cn, TheDoctor@Gallifrey.com.cz", and so on, and so on, you know you're not special to this sender; it's automated sending.

At the bottom is the line, "To invoke no further correspondence status please send an email to exit@BestAccurateReliable.com". Never do that! You'll validate your address to a spammer. Many of them don't even know you're really out there (like in the above example).

Wow, I turned a simple rant about silly e-mail that I received into a "teachable moment". I hope you will copy and paste this article and send it to your friends, or use the "e-mail" button near the bottom. Any little bit of edjamakation to reduce spam is helpful.

Addendum: Found this in the Spam folder of another account. "The same thing, only different", as the saying goes. This one appears to have been sent from Germany. Since the last one had the appearance of China, this one Germany, neither may be true:

15 sortable fields including contact names, phone, email ETC...

Thousands of emails for every state - very fresh data

This week only you pay only: $291 - during this week only

send and email to: Marion@BestAccurateReliable.com

2 comments:

Agam said...

I've been seeing more spam lately. Gmail is good at getting it into the spam folder, so I don't even see it. But lately they've been finding a way past that, and a few are getting through into the inbox.

Not seeing the spam, even though it's there, goes a long way in reducing its propagation I think. I'm never tempted by a tricky subject line ;-)

300 bucks for a list of addresses! Who'd be so foolish? Yeah I know, probably plenty. There's a good website (here) where they punk mainly the Nigerian scammers. It's pretty funny. I bet Chinese Benny Crocker though would never send you his picture...

Stormbringer said...

Hey Agam, Glad you liked the article. I like your comment. Your link about "spam baiting" should be fun, I've done that.

"Your Discover card account has problems, click here and supply personal information". OK, glad to. I give them all kinds of information. It's false. Then I report them. What's funny is that I get them from companies that I don't even have a credit card with, such as Discover!

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