Monday, March 15, 2010

Stupid Spammer Tricks



“Dear Kind Sir or Madam.”

Have you ever received one (or many, many, more) of those emails? The ones with subject lines like: FROM PRINCE GIVMEMONEE. I can’t imagine anyone falling for that or for the email I got today from “The Federal Bureau of Investigation” with a subject line of YOUR ATM CARD. Please. Would they really contact me via email? I think not.

But someone must be opening those emails, otherwise the spamming would stop. It’s just hard to imagine people falling for that stuff with all the warnings out about them.

Many years back, when I was still learning my way around the world wide web, I almost fell for a phishing spam that I mistakenly thought was from my bank, asking for my account information, etc. I had filled out the form and was ready to send it back when something didn’t feel right. I checked on the bank’s home page and found a warning about just that spammer. Whew! Close call. Lesson learned.

Recently, some of my author friends received emails purportedly from another author who was stranded in England, unable to get home, needing funds wired ASAP. Somehow a spammer had hacked into this poor author’s email account and sent out the letters, undoubtedly hoping to make a killing from gullible people wanting to help a friend in need.

Who are these gullible people that keep spammers in business? Have you ever fallen victim to a clever spam letter? What is the one spam that irritates you the most?

Don’t you wish there was a foolproof way to block them?

16 comments:

Heather Webber said...

I always have two or three spams in my inbox for online pharmacies. I do wonder if people actually order from them...

Dru said...

Lately I've been getting spam from Asia written in a language I can't even speak let alone read.

I do love when I get emails from spammers claiming I need to fix my account at so and so bank when I don't even bank there.

I do wonder who the people are that respond to spam letter.

Mason Canyon said...

I get a lot of e-mails that says they're shutting down e-mail accounts and mine could be one of them. Plus a get a lot saying I've won all sorts of money (if only). Looks like they could be stopped from doing this somehow.

Peggy Graham said...

I'm constantly getting spam emails purporting to market foolproof ways to enhance a particular body part which I don't even own.

My gmail spam blocker is pretty good at filtering these out but I try to check my spam folder at least every week because occasionally their spam filters get a bit overenthusiastic and mark a legitimate email as spam.

And it has been said that as soon as something becomes foolproof someone will just create a better fool.

signlady217 said...

I just read a post about this over on Inkspot. I think the author of that was probably your friend.

It's too bad that people so talented and smart would prefer to try and scam others instead of trying to help out and make a difference.

Kate Collins said...

I'm betting that people who scam with spam are the same people who would go door to door to senior citizen's homes scamming them on new roofs or the like. They must have no conscience whatsoever.
That old devil Greed.

The on-line pharmacy ads are annoying because there's no way to set up a filter for them. They use common names and the subject line has the words run together in a different way each time. SO ANNOYING.

Sabrina M. said...

I sometimes get spams that say that I won tons of money or about penis enlargement (!!!). Very weird and annoying.

Sarah said...

The ones that worry me the most are those that only have one or two weird words in the body - they're not even trying to scam you so why are they sending out e-mails?? I imagine some really nefarious purpose for those!

Sarah

Linda said...

When I worked for the Sheriff's Dept, we had a few cases of people who fell for the Nigeria scam....where they sent money because they thought they had won or inherited money from there. In these cases, the victims were 80plus years old and weren't aware of scams like these, as the internet/e-mail was relatively new to them.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I’m really tired of winning lotteries that I’ve never entered! I know I'm not that lucky. I'm amazed with all that can be done on computers, no one has come up with a perfect way to send all the spam back to the spammers times a million.

Vicki said...

I remember the first "official" email I received from my bank and I thought it was weird that they would email me like that, and then I realized..they wouldn't. I actually emailed the bank to let them know of scam emails that were specific to them.

Kate Collins said...

Jane, I love your idea!! Spam the spammers. Wouldn't that be sweet?

Gayle Carline said...

Can't we find a way to electrocute them when they hit the "Send" button?

Gayle
http://gaylecarline.blogspot.com

NoraA said...

I had that happen to me once... It was on Face Book IM.. So I asked a couple of questions of this "friend" He immediately cut off contact and defriended me. I called my friend by phone and e-mail and warned them.

Lover of Books said...

I get emails fairly regualry but with how my email is set up I open them. I always hit the junk button but somehow still get them.

I try! :)

Krista

trek said...

I love the ones that say they are from "Widget Bank" - you knwo, a bank where I do not have an account of any type.

I've written a pretty good spam filter myself. The problem is that software is stupid - especially when using keyword search/detection. Another thing that makes generic spam filters non-perfect is that certain words should be categorized as spam for most users but those same terms might be really important and non-spam to a subset of users such as proctologists or pharmacists.