Showing posts with label spam. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spam. Show all posts

January 31, 2013

Yet Another ATM Scam

Sometimes, I feel that I'm remiss if I don't occasionally remind people to never give out personal information! Most of my readers are not only tasteful, but highly intelligent. (Then there are the atheopaths — go ahead and take advantage of the special offer in the next paragraph.) Ignore any e-mail that wants personal information or a "click here", especially if the requested information was (a) in your spam folder, (b) not from anyone you know, (c) sounds too good to be true. Still, a reminder now and then helps, yes?

Aside from the bad grammar from someone who does not speaks good engrish, the scam looks a bit more convincing than others.

By the way, for the atheopaths who are upset that they missed out on my Wingless Chicken Bones franchise offers, take a break from your ongoing pointless mission to demonize people. Here's another great deal for you! 

Please pay attention, the font and color changes are to offset my wording from the scam — I mean, business opportunity for atheopaths.

Attention: Beneficiary

Please read this mail carefully and proceed to collect your ATM CARD worth US$7.500,000.00 payment.

Following this year's (2013) review of the global financial matters and just concluded investigations today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in conjunction with the ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION (E.F.C.C), it is revealed that your email is among the list of people who have never received any of their payments among  lottery,inheritance, compensation and awarded contract funds and victims who have lost a lot of money to scammers while trying to claim their funds.

In view of the foregoing, a new payment of US$7.500,000.00 has been approved in your favor and credited into an ATM CARD which shall be delivered to you.

Note: Thousands of fraudsters have been using this method in scamming most foreign creditors that we have in the payment list here in our office. We use this medium to inform you that any mail that do not come with the new communication code: NG/.CCUF -HFCR-/RLPHJ/.is false. In this case, you’re adviced not to respond to any mail that does not come with the above communication code for safety purpose.

Our final conclusion was that, the fund should be paid to you via an automated teller machine card (ATM) as it seems, this will be easier and faster for you to receive payment.

Your new communication code: NG/.CCUF -HFCR-/RLPHJ/.Do complete the below details for proper verification and documentation also Reconfirm the followings.

1. Full Names:
2. Residence address:
3. Telephone/Fax number:
4. Age:
5. Next of Kin
6. Country of Residence
7. A copy of your driver’s license / international passport: Attached
8. occupation.

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation and we are looking forward  to hearing  from you.

Mr.Matthew Peter.
Swift Debit ATM Card Payment System
Presidential Committee On Foreign Payments

January 19, 2013

I'm Comfortably Well Off!

Taking time out of my busy schedule before Question Evolution Day.

Do I really need to lecture you on the dangers of even responding to one of these, let alone, giving personal information? Good, I didn't think I did. But I couldn't help but highlight some indicators that this is garbage. Just another public service from Stormbringer Productions.

Corporate Finance <>
to undisclosed recipients

Attn: Sir/Madam

You have been issued payment notice of Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($10.5M). The Zenith Bank will Programmed your fund($10.5M)into an ATM CARD, Powered By Master-Card/Visa card. The debit card can be used on any ATM machine/P.O.S (POINT OF SALES) all over the world, or you can go to your bank to off-load the funds.

You are advised to re-confirm to us the below information or call me immediately on +234-802-213-2112

(1) Your Full-Name:
(2) Your Physical address not PO BOX:
(3) Telephone, mobile and fax Number:


Best regards.

Mr. Odum Emmanuel,
Executive Director,
Corporate Finance
Zenith International Bank PLC

November 21, 2012

Spam Time!

And now for something completely different. Spammer listing: Another public service from Stormbringer Productions™. It's the evening before Thanksgiving in America. After all the turkey and things, perhaps the processed pork product that the unpleasantness in your e-mail is named after might sound like a nice change.

If you want to get involved in fighting spam, there are two heavy-hitters. The first one I use extensively, it's "Knujon" ("No Junk" spelled backwards). Just register with them and then forward your e-mail. Read the details at the site. The second is more involved, but it is another aggressive, reputable opponent in the war on spam: Spamcop. I do not use it yet, but here's the link. Since Yahoo! AOL and other providers do not seem overly concerned with the spam that their customers receive, I take the extra step and report it, even though it's in my spam folder. When certain domains are reported enough times, they get blacklisted and other domains will automatically disallow mail from those.

Spam does not have to be the obvious stuff. Repeated mail from someone you told to stop sending, especially when they send CCs to dozens of people, is also a form of spam. I report this as well, so services like and should wise up and take action.

Here's the background on this. I do occasional article on spam and scams, but figure my readers are intelligent people and will not fall for the obvious "send money and I'll make you rich" or "you won money in a lottery you never entered, send money" scams. Hopefully, you know better than to click on links for pharmaceutical products that have been misspelled to avoid the spam filters ("vaigara", "cia1is" and so on). And if you click on something that went into your spam filter, I don't want to hear about it.

In one article, I listed some outrageous-sounding domain names. Those appeared in searches, bringing people to this Weblog. That got me thinking that perhaps people wanted confirmation that those domains are bad news. Now, I have many filters set up, but I've noticed some things. I'll make up a name now, "". I'll get mail from for a few "products" (, &c.), and then they move on. Heck, I've had the exact same mail from different "senders", so these people are getting sneakier.

It's too bad that they often pretend to be legitimate companies.

Before I commence, watch out for this "get your parcel" stuff:
Order No.: 368148143681364 
Order Date: Saturday, 12 October 2012 04:11 PM 
Dear Customer, Your parcel has arrived at the post office an November 12. 
Our postman was unable to deliver the parcel to your address. To rec *+++ eive a parcel you must go to the nearest office and show your postal receipt. Thank you for using our services. 
? FedEx 1995-2012 
I don't know if it's worth making this a regular feature, since the most important stuff is above. Here's the hall of shame listing:  

May 15, 2012

Should I Trust Joshua James?

Buona sera. I received an e-mail from my old pal Joshua James. And then he sent me "2nd Attempt" e-mail. It certainly is nice that he's persistent. He probably knows me and I rudely forgot about him, because he actually addressed me by name on one of my accounts where I conduct legitimate business.

Let's see... what are the problem areas?

Trust has to be earned. I learned from some of my associates this valuable lesson, that you don't give away too much trust too soon or you could end up taking a dirt nap, capice? Trust your instinct a little, but give trust slowly. This cafone hasn't done anything to earn my trust, since I never heard of the guy before. The only thing going for it is that my name is there, but he could have bought it from another of my business contacts or subscriptions.

Hotmail flagged it. Sure, I get stuff flagged all the time. That's why I check the spam filter.

I'm a member. Of what? I didn't join anything.

Click to access a download. I picked up an expression from my Cuban pal Tony Montana back when we were roommates as guests of the state, "What, are you nuts?" Leave the downloading of strange files from strange e-mails to others. You leave it alone.

His site is fishy. Using stealth technology, I checked it out a little bit. Not only is the site incomplete, but it has the promises of success. Ha! Josh should be learning from me about success!

International. This is from Canada. Although some of my best friends are Canadians (unlike a few years ago when some of us had an incident near the border), I don't like doing international business. It's hard to use legit means to come to a mutual understanding, and I hate sending Nicky and the boys all the way up there to make Joshie Boy understand reason.

Best approach? Leave it alone. Report it to the spam cops if you like, but don't ever click anything in strange stuff. For that matter, if you get e-mail from friends that doesn't look right, don't touch it. I've had junk from friends who got a trojan, and it sent e-mail in their names. Use protection, practice safe computing.
Click for larger view
Addendum: I am up to five spams from this cafone.

February 15, 2012

Scumbag Scam

Buona sera. Time for some thunder from Stormbringer! Yours truly performs a public service on occasion. Well, on many occasions. Anyway, I like to show scams and spam. Although most of my readers are perceptive, I still want to warn the general populace. Those that do not need to be warned can share my contempt for this loser. Scammers deserve to be exposed, capice?

Nicky forwarded this e-mail that he received. We both wonder, how low can people go?

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Top Priority Mail; Read and Reply
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2012 06:23:52 -0800
From: Rob Bingham<>
Reply-To: <>

Due to security reasons I have attached a business proposal that will yield huge benefits. Read the attached instruction and reply.

letter from Bin.rob.html

I am Captain Robert Bingham with the United Nations troop that was stationed in Iraq, on war  against terrorism. Based on the United States legislative and executive decision for withdrawing troops from ,I have been deployed to Afghanistan.
I want to inform you that I and my Colleagues in the same Division sometime in April 18,2010, discovered a pair of cement sheds filled with metal boxes.Inside each box was $4 million in cash -- $750 million American dollars in all. I have in my possession the sum of $32 Million United State Dollars which is my share from the money. 
I have successfully disguised/packed and deposited this money as Military sensitive material with a security firm in United Kingdom.
I am proposing introducing you to the security firm as the bonafide beneficiary to the consignment for further investment.
Instead of allowing these terrorists to get the money and spend it on purchasing arms from Russia, it is better channeled to saving the world which i propose supporting charity homes, being a military man,I am not allowed to parade such amount and as a trained Military expert, I am always security conscious. If you accept, I will prepare power of attorney that will help you claim the consignment of funds from the security company's vault.
Please if you are interested in this transaction I will give to you the complete details you need for us to carry out this transaction successfully. I decided to find someone that is real and not imaginary and that is why I went to a secured website where I can be sure that the person is real. Where we are now we can only communicate through our military communication a facility which is secured so nobody can monitor our emails, then I can explain in details to you. I will only reach you through email, because our calls might be monitored, I just have to be sure whom I am dealing with.
If you are interested please send me your Full Name,Physical Address and Personal mobile number, so I can call you for further inquiries when I am out of our military network. I am writing from a fresh email account so if you are not interested do not reply to this email and please delete this message, if no response after some days I will then search for someone else. I am doing this on blind trust, you should understand and you should know that as a trained military expert I will always play safe in case you are the bad type, but I pray you are not. $32 million US is a lot of money which is the dream of anyone.
I wait for your contact details so we can go on. In less than 7 days the money should be in your custody and I will come over for my fair share when I am finally withdrawn from here.I will give to you 30% of the sum and 70% is for me. I hope I am being fair on this deal.
Captain Robert Bingham

November 15, 2011

Text Message Spam

Buona sera. Here's another public service from Stormbringer Productions. My burn phone received a text message from someone I do not know. I don't like that. It's a burn phone, for crying out loud, and I don't want many people to have the number, capice? Besides, this kind is a pay-per-minute thing.

So, what to my wondering eyes did appear? A miniature message from 1-702-683-4036: "Today we can let you borrow 1000.00! Its easy and takes 5 minutes to get approved by a licensed lender-www.[fuggedaboudit].com."

I got Hal the Hacker involved, and he saw that it came from a wireless caller in or near Las Vegas. (Also called "Lost Wages", and that's exactly what this jerk is trying to do to my wages.) As near as we can figure it, this bunch of spammers grab several burn phones, spam out text messages to send you to their Website. No need for them to worry about getting their accounts deleted, because their dirty work is done and they just move on to another lot of cheap burn phones.

Well, you're warned. You may even want to do a preemptive block on 1-702-683-4036 so you don't get bothered. But then, that number may be trashed already. Piltdown Superman wants to sic his pet Archaeoraptor on them. I should let him.

September 3, 2011

Referrer Spam

Buon giorno. I want to give a "heads up" to people who have Websites and Weblogs. Actually, there is something useful for anyone who likes to click on links they find on other people's sites. 

I am probably one of the last to learn this, but perhaps this article will help someone anyway.

Have you noticed an increase of visits to your Weblog in your "stats"? No, not the site counter stuff, those are somewhat reliable. I mean the strange sites, often ending in .ru, that "gave" you hundreds or thousands of referrals. I thought I had some foreigners really digging my stuff until I clicked on a few and found out that they were junk; there is no way a Russian "hot chicks" site is linking to my articles on Conservativism,  Biblical Archaeology, the follies of Atheism, screen capture tools, Firefox or whatever I'm doing. No way! It was disappointing to learn that those are not real referrals, but also explains why my site counter and stats counter numbers have discrepancies in the thousands.

"Referrer Spam" is a bit of a catch-all phrase. Slimeballs that want to trick search engines to increase their site's page ranking will use bots and other technical tricks. I've seen many explanations, so I'll leave you to do the work if you really want to know what they are. There are ways to stop or reduce referrer spam if you want to do some special code pasting in Wordpress (good luck with that!), but the millions of us using are stuck.

Advice for Bloggers: 
  • Do not publish your referrers list
  • Do not click on the links in your stats' "referrers" list, those sites can be bad for your computer's health, capice? You don't have my skills, software or Hal the Hacker to help you like I have.
  • Google, the owner of, is supposedly "working on it". Yeah, that's the same crap that Albany Medical Center uses as a euphemism for, "We're not going to do anything except watch her die, even though she was transferred here for an allegedly emergency condition". But I digress. In both cases, wait and hope for the best. Pray if you got 'em.
Advice for Everyone:
  • Do not click on the links, those sites can be bad for your computer's health, capice? You don't have my skills, software or Hal the Hacker to help you like I have. Yeah, I repeated myself, Cupcake. It's important.
  • If the writer actually puts in the link, obviously, that's a different matter.
  • Read the "links to this site" before clicking. Skip the ones in languages you don't understand, or have unlikely subject lines. F'rinstance, if Google gets their act together and "Links to this Post" (below) begins working again, you may see something like, "Angry Blogger Rats Out Referrer Spammer" going to a valid Weblog, but if you saw, "Increase Your Income with Hot Babes", someone is spamming. My main point is use a bit of common sense; they're not all going to be bad, but some almost shout it out that they are awful stuff.
Speaking of "rat", take a look at this:
Click for larger
For a select period of time, the "Referring Sites" were believable things. (Yes, "Thunder Pig" is a real Weblog, and written by a friend of mine.) So, I clicked on "Jeff Herring", who must like me an awful lot.

Nope. Jeffie had no links to me on his site. For that matter, there were no visits referred from him in my site counter of individual hits. In my profound ignorance, I actually hit the "contact" button and sent an e-mail inquiring where he was linking to me, and what I did that he found so interesting. No reply. Also, since Google may actually be taking action on referrer spam, the "referrals" from him have dropped considerably. Finally, I attempted to visit his site on two Web proxies, and got "403" errors, but I was able to go there directly, without a proxy.

Is this guy an English-speaking referrer spammer? Well, look at what he does: 
Click for larger
Yep, Jeff Herring makes his living by selling "articles" and tells you how to "increase your traffic". Well, well, well. I'll let you decide if the circumstantial evidence adds up to Jeff Herring being an unethical, sneaky, conniving, crafty, money-grubbing referrer spammer, or not.

It's too bad his domain does not end in .ru, that would make things easier.

July 6, 2011

Sneaky, Irritating Spam

Buon giorno. You know that I take great pleasure in exposing inequities, injustices, lies and fraud. Here's a simple one. Even though I think that most people who read my Weblogs know enough not to give out unsolicited personal information and not to click on links from strange e-mail, it bears repeating. A little bit of reinforcement is good for you, capice?

This little dandy showed up in a seldom-used e-mail account the other day. It's a bit late, because it's attempting to tug at my heartstrings about the disasters in Japan. (Sorry, Bubbles, I already contributed through Samaritan's Purse quite a while ago.)  I was curious about this one. Although I did not click on the links, most modern browsers will let you see where the link is going, so you can check before clicking if you just hover over the link.

One of the links allegedly goes to the Red Cross. Another to Save the Children. And so on. If you're not already familiar with some charity sites (Christians and Conservatives are the ones who contribute the most, by the way), you can do a quick search to see that many have simple links:,, &c. So, I hovered. The links all went to "BrasilGirls".

Naturally, I reported the cafone.

Here it is, if you're interested. Yes, I disabled the links.

Received: from ( [])
 (Authenticated sender:
 by (Postfix) with ESMTPA id E2FD8B3004D

You can also view this email online: Click here

Hello cowboybob,

the current death toll in Japan stands at more than 11,000 with
thousands still missing after a devastating 9.0 earthquake and
tsunami struck on March 11, according to Reuters.
More than 450,000 have evacuated their homes and are living in
shelters. Please read below for an updated list of ways to
help the people in japan.

Numerous organizations have created ways to aid disaster relief
efforts for those affected by the earthquake in Japan and
tsunami throughout the Pacific.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières is sending two
three-person teams to the Iwate and Miyagi prefectures in Japan.
Learn more about the organization's efforts and
make a donation at

Text the American Red Cross (REDCROSS to 90999) or visit the
url below to donate $10 from your phone.

Save The Children is sending an emergency team to assist its
staff in Japan. Donations to the group's Children's Emergency
Fund will help preserve the welfare of children there.

GlobalGiving disburse funds to organizations providing direct
relief and emergency services to victims of the earthquake
and tsunami. All donors will get email updates on how their
funds have been used. Get more info and donate today.

A contribution to International Medical Corps helps ensure the
disaster relief to the services they need today, including
primary and secondary health care, food and nutrition,
clean water and sanitation, mental health care, and the skills
they need to rehabilitate.

Please help the people in japan!

If you want to unsubscribe from my newsletter, click here.
Best regards

October 14, 2010

Exposing Another Scammer

The same thing I've told you about before. They want to settle an estate in the UK, but do not even put my name in the e-mail. The headers indicate "Yahoo" for the mailer, not what is written in the letter. Nothing wrong with Yahoo Mail, but established legal firms do not use free Web mail services. For people who are not regular readers, this is a scam. If you get a letter like this, delete it.

What is funny is at the very end, they have the "misuse of this letter may be illegal" tag line, when the entire thing that was sent to me is illegal. Ha! 

I put in extra line breaks to make the letter fit:

From: Mrs Kathy McGowan
AGGS Consultants Service Ltd.

This is a confidential message from AGGS Consultants: private consulting firm in London, 
United Kingdom.

I have been directed to contact you with regards to ongoing investigations involving a 
deceased client of Royal Bank of Scotland. The client, who shared the same last name with you, 
died intestate so it is standard and mandatory that a next of kin be sought who may inherit the 
estate. Kindly clarify the following:

 - Are you aware of any relative of yours whose last known contact address was Zurich, 
Switzerland, with investments of considerable value with Royal Bank of Scotland?

 - If you answered yes to the above then can you establish beyond reasonable doubt your eligibility 
to assume status of next of kin to the deceased?

Understand that we are at this point contstained to share more details of this matter with 
you. We will need to hear from you urgently and hope you can assist us in bringing this inquiry 
to a conclusion.Please respond to my private email below as soon as possible to afford us the 
opportunity to close this investigation. Thank you for accommodating our enquiries.

Yours sincerely,
Mrs Kathy McGowan
AGGS Consultants Service Ltd
For: Royal Bank of Scotland.
364 Windbridge,London Uk.
to whom it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, be advised that you have 
received this e-mail in error and that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing, 
copying of, or any action taken in reliance upon it, is strictly prohibited and may be illegal.

Tel/fax: +44-7005-921-477

This e-mail is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual(s) 

October 3, 2010

Do You Think I'm Stupid?

This just in.

Yes, you must think I'm stupid. Probably because some people fall for this kind of crap. This has been reported, but I'm going to show the world the kind of thing that they can get in their Inbox. My readers are bright and will not fall for it. Perhaps someone less skilled in the Internet will need and heed the warning from this spammer scammer. By the way, the domains are "HK (Hong Kong), but the headers show China. Admittedly, they can all be faked. Trust no one like this.

Here is the letter:


I am writing you again because I presume our first correspondence was not successful. 
I have a mutual business project to transfer huge amount of money from my bank here to you 
based on a properly planned out strategy. This fund is deposit by Mr. Irshad Ahmad, 
Pakistani who died under some incomprehensible circumstances in Afghanistan. 
I will appreciate if you consider this project objective without any bias or stereotypes.

Once we have successfully completed this transaction, 5% of this fund will be donated to charity 
agreed upon by both of us and also to support greener environment.

Please contact me through my private email ( for further details if you are interested.
Shuxiang Yang 
SFO, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank

I am writing you again because I presume our first correspondence was not successful. I have a mutual business project to transfer huge amount of money from my bank here to you based on a properly planned out strategy. This fund is deposit by Mr. Irshad Ahmad, Pakistani who died under some incomprehensible circumstances in Afghanistan. I will appreciate if you consider this project objective without any bias or stereotypes.

Once we have successfully completed this transaction, 5% of this fund will be donated to charity agreed upon by both of us and also to support greener environment.

Please contact me through my private email ( for further details if you are interested.
Shuxiang Yang 
SFO, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank
Return-Path: <>
Received: from compute2.internal (compute2.nyi.mail.srv.osa [])
  by store94m.internal (Cyrus v2.4.0-git-fastmail-6127) with LMTPA;
  Sun, 03 Oct 2010 20:59:22 -0400
X-Sieve: CMU Sieve 2.3
X-Spam-charsets: plain='Windows-1251'
X-Resolved-to: cowboybob@*****
X-Delivered-to: cowboybob@*****
Received: *****
Received: from ( [])
 by *****; Sun,  3 Oct 2010 20:59:20 -0400 (EDT)
Received: from User ([])
 (envelope-sender <>)
 by with ESMTP
 for <>; Mon, 04 Oct 2010 08:58:53 +0800
Reply-To: <>
From: "shuxieyang"<>
Subject: busines transaction..,
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 2010 02:58:59 +0100
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2600.0000
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2600.0000
X-Antivirus: avast! (VPS 101003-0, 10/03/2010), Outbound message
X-Antivirus-Status: Clean
X-Truedomain-SPF: No Record
X-Truedomain-DKIM: No Signature
X-Truedomain: Neutral
Message-ID: <cmu-lmtpd-22513-1286153962-0@store94m.internal> 

April 6, 2010


Addendum: When I wrote this, I thought I was being original with the title. It turns out that the name is in use commercially. Oops! One real company has a product to filter your spam, and uses the "Spam-O-Matic" name. To be clear, I wrote about a product that contributes to the spam problem and is totally different. Sorry for any confusion. 

Buon giorno. For years, I've been telling people in person, through e-mail and in my Weblog that they should "clean up" e-mail messages before they forward them. Not only as a courtesy to their readers (we often have to scroll though a load of crap before we finally find the message two thirds of the way down), but to cut down on spamming.

"How do personal messages forwarded with e-mails add to spamming, Cowboy Bob?"

I knew you couldn't resist asking.

Here's a letter that I got from a company, asking me to review a spammer's tool:

Dear Bob,

May I ask you to write a review for Jet Email Extractor 6.5.130759 tool on your blog? I will give you a registration code in exchange.

Here is the link:


You may place this link alone without description or on existing post or create new post with a short description (language and text is up to you)

Here is brief information about our Product:

Digeus Jet Email Extractor is a great helper in conducting email marketing campaigns. Every email campaign requires large lists of email addresses. It's almost impossible to extract the email addresses manually. It was designed to collect targeted email addresses of potential customers to boost your sales and revenue.

Digeus Jet Email Extractor will build huge targeted mailing lists. It connects to lots of news servers and retrieves email addresses from the headers of each and every article in chosen target-related newsgroups.


* Captures email addresses at very high speed. Multithreaded. Average speed is 100,000 emails per hour!
* Extracts not only user's email but also name. Your direct marketing will be personalized! Adding personalized content to email marketing messages is great benefit
* Automatically removes duplicate and incorrect email addresses
* Extraction is strongly targeted to specific audience (you choose your audience by selecting target-related news groups);
* Exports the results into text file (mailing list)

For more information please visit (deleted)

Barbara Stuart
Tech Writer
Digeus, Inc

Can you believe the nerve of these people? Obviously, Babs here does not read my material. One simple fact is that I hate spammers. (If they give me crap about this, I can publish the full message headers and give her a real headache.) It's one thing to send out group mailings to people that you think may be interested in what you're saying. It's quite another to send out sales letters to people you don't know. That's clear-cut spam.
This particular puppy seems to be targeted for action in Usenet. But Usenet is dying off, so no wonder this mail extractor is marked down. Funny, too, that one of their other products is for the user's computer security. Yeah, right. They make a Spam-O-Matic, and people are going to think that their "security" isn't full of holes?

What I want to emphasize is that this is only one tool! There are extractors for that e-mail that people send to each other. Yes, that's right, those things you send with the Subject Line looking like "FWD:FWD:FWD:FWD: Subject: I Want You To Fall for the Same Hoax I Just Bit Into".

Plus, you left everybody else's e-mail address in there — a spammer with a utility just picked up a nice, fresh new set of addresses with the help of you and your friends. That's right, I said it! You come to me for the truth, so don't fuss when I give it to you, capice?

It's time to learn some safety and courtesy when you send out a group mailing.

Think about it. Didn't you just send a "Forward this to twenty people or God will drown a kitten" message just yesterday?

See that "Forward" button? Fuggedaboudit. Well, sometimes I use it to keep the subject line, but I delete the "FWD" stuff out of there. It's useful for attachments, too, like Uncle Don's "Hot Babes of Brazil" video; I don't have to re-attach it to the new mail if I start with the "Forward" button.

Copy and paste. It's a skill you should have picked up in your first week of using a computer. Click, drag, highlight. Then, CTRL+C (for copy). Open a new e-mail, click in the body of it, and CTRL+V (for paste), or a right-click and select "paste" from the drop-down menu. No, don't copy the addresses, Clyde! Just the real content that you want to send.

Load up the "BCC" field. That's the "Blind Carbon (or Courtesy) Copy" area; nobody knows who else gets the mail (family, friends, lovers, friends of lovers, business associates, etc.). Not only is your mail much, much tidier (as my own mail recipients know), but it's safer for them, and spammers get nothing from it. I've had people tell me that they don't want other people seeing their e-mail address, so this trick solves that problem, too.

Send it to yourself. Most mailers will not let you get away with leaving the "To:" field empty, so that's why you send it to yourself. Even better, you can send it to your auxiliary e-mail account. You know, the one you use to sign up for things because you're forced to use a valid address. Oh, please! Don't tell me that you don't have a throw-away account...

Everybody with me on this? Let's do our part to keep the Internet clean — at least, in this area. You're also protecting your friends and yourself. Plus, you're causing a great deal less irritation online.

Want to practice? Send this article to your friends using your "BCC" field (or yes, you can use the e-mail icon at the bottom of the article). They need edjamakating. (But if you do copy and send the text, I'd appreciate some credit; paste the URL from your browser in the message, if you don't mind. Tanks a lot, Pal! Tanks a lot!) Happy tidy e-mailing!

March 24, 2010

What a REAL Inquiry Looks Like

Buona sera. I've been showing you scams and such to give you a warning, and to expose the losers that are doing it. Now I've decided to show you what a real one looks like.

Naturally, I'll delete all of the pertinent information. My changes will be in red, the rest will be what the company sent me. In this case, I got an e-mail from one of those that gets impersonated quite a bit, eBay. Remember, this is a real letter.

Hello **My Name** (Valid account name),------------------------------------------------------------------------------------eBay sent this message to **My Name** (Valid account name).  Your registered name is included to show this message originated from eBay. Learn more: is a courtesy reminder that the following credit/debit card on file for your eBay account will soon expire:EBay Account ID:  #####Card:  MSC XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-#### [Yes, they did give the real four digits]Expiration Date:  [Real date]Date Reminder Issued:  032410In order to receive uninterrupted service, please update this information.To update your credit/debit card information:1. Go to the eBay Home page.2. Click My eBay at the top of the page, and sign in with your eBay User ID and password.3. Click the "Seller Account" link (beneath My Account in the left navigation menu).4. Follow the instructions for updating your payment method.  Thank you for using eBay.Regards,eBay, Inc.  Learn More to protect yourself from spoof (fake) emails at: [I've used this link in articles before, it's worth clicking on.]eBay sent this email to you at [My real address that I use to access the account] about your account registered on will periodically send you required emails about the site and your transactions.Visit our Privacy Policy at and User Agreement at if you have any questions.Copyright © 2010 eBay, Inc. All Rights Reserved.Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners.eBay and the eBay logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of eBay, Inc.eBay Inc. is located at 2145 Hamilton Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125
Reference #: *****.***.*
There are several key differences in this letter that make it stand out from the evil nasty fake stuff:
1. They used the name that I gave them 
2. It's my credit card's last four digits
3. It was sent to the correct e-mail account
4. Most importantly, it does not say "click here". Instead, it tells me to go to their main site and log in to take care of business.
One area of suspicion for me is that it makes comments about the eBay logo, but there are no images in the letter. No matter, it was not sent in HTML, but in text-only format.
I should point out that fakers can be convincing, using a company logo and copying text from a legitimate page and pasting it on the fake page. So, watch out for that.
After showing you fake stuff, it's nice to show what a real notice looks like, and the key differences.
One thing I must add, though. Despite my efforts and the efforts of my associates in the organization, New York's E-Z Pass has e-mail notifications that look just like scammers. "To access your account, click here", no freakin' way! I'll go to the main login and take care of business instead of following a link. It's probably legitimate, but I won't take the chance.
And that is a good, safe practice at any time: Just go to the main site instead of clicking on a link, capice?

March 21, 2010

I'm Getting Rich - Again!

Here's the latest scam to hit one of my Inboxes. Note that this lying weasel does not even use an established domain, but is using (which was taken over by AOL several years ago!) and also AIM is AOL Instant Messenger's free e-mail service. At the bottom, it looks like the e-mail came from a German site because of the advertising tag line. The headers do not support this.

I wonder why spammers and scammers like "three"? Three millions pounds, three million dollars...

Once again, I will remind you to never send personal information to strangers, never reply to these things at all (your e-mail address is not validated to them and you'll get even more), if it looks to good to be true, you know that's the case. And I hope you can see through the fake religiousness of this.

Mrs Rosemary Everson

Dear Beloved,
My name is Rosemary Everson,i am a dying woman who has decided to donate
What i have to you.
I am 59 years old,was diagnosed of cancer about 2 years ago immediately after
The death of my husband,who has left me everything he worked for.
I have been touched by God to donate from what i have inherited from my late
Husband to you for the good work of God,rather than to allow my relatives to 
Use my husbands hard earned funds ungodly.
Please pray that the good Lord forgive me my sins.I have asked God to forgive 
Me and i know he has because he is a merciful God.I will be going for an 
Operation in less than one hour.
I decided to WILL/donate the sum of 3,000,000 Dollars(Three million Dollars)to you
For the good work of the Lord,and also to help the motherless,less priviledged
And assistance of the Widows.
I cannot take any telephone calls at the moment  due to the fact that my relatives
Are around me and my health status.
I have adjusted my WILL and my lawyer is aware that i have changed my WILL,you and
My lawyer will arrange the transfer of the funds from my account to yours
I wish you all the best and may the good Lord bless you abundantly,and please
Use the funds well and always extend the good work to others.
Contact my lawyer (Barrister.Frederick Peterson) with this specified and tell him that i have WILLED 3,000,000 Dollars
To you,i have also notified him that i am WILLING that amount to you for a 
Specific and good work.I know that i don’t know you but i have been directed to
Do this.Thanks and Godbless you.
N.B:I will appreciate your utmost confidentiality in this matter until the task is
Accomplished as i don’t want anything to jeopardize my last wish.I shall try my
Possible best to contact you via email as i don't want my relatives or anybody to
Know because they are around me.
Mrs.Rosemary Everson.
Happy moments,praise God
Difficult moments,seek God
Quiet moments,worship God
Painful moments,trust God
Every moment,thank God.
Mail sent from WebMail service at Horst´s Powered Site

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 (unknown []). "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:".

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,,", 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". 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:

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