Archive for Scams and Spams

Chipping away at your PIN

As of October first, there’s a liability shift:

Under the newly implemented regulations, if a business does not switch its credit card processing machines over to the new EMV cards or if a credit card issuer does not provide new EMV chip cards to its customers, in the event of credit card fraud, the responsibility for loss will be on either the credit card issuer or the retailer, whichever has not complied with the new law.

Scammers, of course, have seen an opportunity:

Ingenious scam artists, the only criminals we refer to as artists, are taking advantage of the situation by contacting people by email posing as their credit card company informing them that in order to issue a new EMV chip card, they need them to either update their account by confirming some personal information or click on a link to continue the process. This is a case of you are in trouble with either option.

Which is, of course, a new way to fry the Same Old Phish.


Bait used to be better than this

Ostensibly from “Apple iTunes Genius Care,” which is a howler in its own right, this is the phish du jour:


At Apple, your security means everything to us. That’s why we are contacting you today with regard to your iTunes Account with us. The Apple Privacy Policy was updated on September 17, 2014 and now requires members to review the profile information we hold on them due to KYC (Know your Customer) guidelines.

We have tried to contact you on 2 previous occasions to review this information before the cut off deadline on the 17th of September and had not acknowledged a response. This is the concluding message before closure of your Apple ID within the next 48 hours and all associated data.

Please follow the link provided to your profile.

I decline, due to KMA (Kiss my Ass) guidelines.

The link provided, you should know, goes to a URL at, the same domain named in the “sender”; you may safely assume that anything you ever get from them or their associates is fraud with a capital F.


Amateur night at the Extortionists’ Club

I was forwarded a copy of this bit of blither, sent to God knows how many addresses of people who were alleged to be poking around Ashley Madison’s place:

I now have your information. I have also used your user profile to find your Facebook page, using this I can now message all of your friends and family members.

If you would like to prevent me from sharing this dirt info with all of your friends and family members (and perhaps even your employers too?) then you need to send 1 bitcoin to the following BTC address.

Bitcoin Address:

You may be wondering why should you and what will prevent other people from doing the same, in short you now know to change your privacy settings in Facebook so no one can view your friends/family list. So go ahead and update that now (I have a copy if you dont pay) to stop any future emails like this.

You can buy bitcoin using online exchanges easily. If the bitcoin is not paid within 3 days of 23 Sep 2015 then my system will automatically message all of your friends and family members. The bitcoin address is unique to you.

Consider how expensive a divorce lawyer is. If you are no longer in a committed relationship then think about how this will affect your social standing amongst family and friends. What will your friends and family think about you?


Well, at least he’s sincere.

Inasmuch as a copy I found on the Web contains exactly the same Bitcoin address, we know the “unique to you” claim is BS, although it was probably necessary for credibility, since actually reusing addresses is highly discouraged.

Reports one woman who received the same mailing:

For some it is perhaps more of a problem than for others, but for me it is merely an amusement now. Even so, there are people out there, in cyberspace, who have taken the time to sift through the Ashley Madison hack files and find mail addresses, and those who are counting on hitting someone whether they go through the files or not.

And this is very pertinent:

That any real woman signed up is something I find hard to believe, especially since we already know that all the profiles for females were either faked, covered by bots, or paid for. So someone — whether called Paul or whatever — writing me a mail and trying to blackmail me is just amusing.

The least we can do is laugh at him.

Comments (4)

Sez the bot

Received in the comment-spam trap:

Hello admin, i see your page needs fresh articles. If you are too lazy to write unique posts everyday you should search in google for: [name redacted] Essential Tool

Followed thirty seconds later by:

Hello admin, i see your page needs fresh articles. If you are too lazy to write unique posts everyday you should search in google for: [name redacted] Essential Tool

Dear spammer, I see your output is dull and repetitive. If you are too lazy to write unique commercial pitches every day you should fold yourself at a ninety-degree angle and kiss your ass goodbye.

Comments (2)

You and your farging boilerplate

You’ve all seen this at the bottom of the email:

This message contains information which may be confidential and/or privileged. Unless you are the intended recipient (or authorized to receive for the intended recipient), you may not read, use, copy or disclose to anyone the message or any information contained in the message. If you have received the message in error, please advise the sender immediately by reply e-mail and delete the message and any attachment(s) thereto without retaining any copies.

“Oh, yeah, bite me,” I mumble, and hit the delete key. This is because I am not so eloquent as LeeAnn:

I so want to tear this down bit by bit but I’ll stick to the main sticking point that stuck with me which is: if this is so privileged and confidential, and is not to be read unless I am who I’m supposed to be and since no NAME IS GIVEN in the “to” section, why do you put all this warning-ness at the very very very end? How, pray tell, did I get down to this vital admonition unless I READ the goddamn thing? Was I to be psychically drawn to the severity of this? Were there such bad voodoo vibes that I should have felt a great disturbance in the Force and been driven back by rampant mixed metaphorism?

It gets better after that, but by now you should have left here to read the whole thing anyway.


Toss up some more word salad

This item came into the spam trap yesterday, and it came this close to making some sort of sense:

One of the nice things about Trash the Dress photography shoots is that most shoots are done outdoors, allowing the natural light to become another element in the photo shoot. Scientists believe that if nothing is done to stop global warming, by the year 2100 the earth’s temperature will increase by 3.

Tax Assistance by your leading governance in addition to the company-pilot provinces but cities bankruptcy responsibility. A bright scarf or jacket in a color that looks good on you can be worn with a white dress. That means having at least a jean jacket and a cotton one available. Full sleeves, narrow sleeves, sleeveless styles have come and gone and come again. In the study, the researchers had a number of women from two groups, the frequent high heel wearer and the women that typically steered clear of the dangerous footwear.

Later, more stuff of this sort came in, linking to the same 404ed Web site. If nothing else, this indicates that you can teach a bot only so much.


This is their jam

Who will rid us of these bothersome spammers? Lynn proposes a technological solution:

Someone once said that spammers should be crucified alongside the Interstates. Honestly, I don’t want to live in a society that crucifies people but a little part of me thinks that this would not be too harsh a punishment for spammers. And you can put trolls right there with them. Anyone whose behavior makes it necessary to restrict free and open communication. You know what we really need is some kind of device that these people could be sentenced to wear — like a type of ankle bracelet — that would automatically shut down any electronic device when they came within, say, three feet of it. If this sounds like too humane a punishment just imagine for a minute never being able to use a computer or smartphone again. Hey, all of you clever inventor folk, get on that will you?

“Someone,” in case you’d forgotten, was Eric Scheie of Classical Values, circa 2003.

And I hate like hell to say so, but there are nimrods out there who would willingly saw off a limb or two in order to perpetuate their perversity.

Comments (3)

Spamming with faint praise

This badly tossed word salad showed up in the comment receptacle Sunday bearing a highly dubious Berkeley URL:

What i don’t understood is if truth be told how you’re no longer really much more neatly-favored than you may be right now. You are so intelligent. You know thus significantly with regards to this topic, produced me in my view imagine it from so many numerous angles. Its like men and women aren’t interested unless it is one thing to accomplish with Girl gaga! Your own stuffs excellent. All the time maintain it up!

Neatly favored as I am, I wish I could claim to be stuffing excellently, but maintaining it up is harder than it used to be.

Comments (2)

A bug in one’s word salad

Received in the comment-spam trap:

The umpire called after him, “Hey son, you have another strike left. It can be a bit tricky to apply, but once on there will offer superb protection as well as taking nothing away from the phone’s looks. You’ll have to go with your gut feeling on this one. We have polyester petticoats to support the various dress styles; including hoop petticoats. It is important to know what the evening may entail when determining how to dress. Get that coveted Cinderella princess costume along with the princess costumes adult. This article and photos are not available to repost on websites, blogs, Facebook, or elsewhere.

Well, thank heaven for that. I was worried about having to read this paragraph over again.

Oh, they did send a link, which promptly 404ed.


Soke that beak!

Some more inscrutable stuff from the spam trap:

The smoker can choose hhis flavor andd enjoy smoking until thee cartridge runs out of e-liquid. The International Civil Aviation Organization, aan agency oof the United Nations, has issued a similar warning, according to a Jan. E cigarette smokers are able to take soke beaks and return to work without tthe evidence on their shirts.

For no reason I can think of, this was intended for a Rule 5 item about a Turkish actress.

Still, few words go as well with “United Nations” as oof.

Comments (1)

Fake Bureau of Investigation

This FBI ALERT!!! is laughable, but then aren’t they all?

Customers Service Hours / Monday To Saturday:

Attention Dear Beneficiary,

We bring to your notice that your email address was randomly selected as email address of scammed victims who are to be compensated that is why we are in contact with you so take your time to read this information carefully.

Series of meetings have been held over the past 7 months with the secretary general of the United Nations Organization, this ended 3days ago. It is obvious that you have not received your funds valued at $3.5 Million us dollars due to past corrupt Governmental Officials who almost held the funds to themselves for their selfish reason and some individuals who have taken advantage of your funds all in an attempt to swindle your funds which has led to so many losses from your end and unnecessary delay in the receipt of your fund.

The National Central Bureau of Interpol enhanced by the United Nations and Federal Bureau of Investigation have successfully passed a mandate to the president of the United States Of America President Obama to boost the exercise of clearing all foreign debts owed to you and other individuals and organizations who have been found not to have receive their Contract Sum, Lottery/Gambling, Inheritance and the likes. Now how would you like to receive your payment? Because we have two method of payment which is by Check or by ATM card?

This is, I submit, the first time the UN has “enhanced” anything.

Now it goes off the deep end:

DO NOT SEND MONEY TO ANYONE UNTIL YOU READ THIS: The actual fees for shipping your ATM card is $420 but because UPS have temporarily discontinued the C.O.D which gives you the chance to pay when package is delivered for international shipping We had to sign contract with them for bulk shipping which makes the fees reduce from the actual fee of $420 to $380 nothing more and no hidden fees of any sort!

And then they list various individuals who “have received their payment successfully,” either through UPS or DHL, and the alleged tracking numbers for those shipments. For instance, in the UPS list, there is:

GARY METZGER ==============1Z2X59394195952759

In the DHL list:

GARY METZGER ============== 871363130860

Now who is this Metzger guy, and how does he rate two of these?

No links, surprisingly, except to, but there is a list of ten pieces of data you must supply by return email to their “agent,” one of which is “A Copy of Your Identity.” As if.

Oh, and just to make this interesting: character set used is Windows Cyrillic, which is, of course, the FBI standard.

Comments (1)

Scam via scum

Remember this number: 917-675-3332. Two calls from them today in relatively rapid succession. The people behind it need to die a horrible death, live on YouTube.

Apparently they’ve been active for only a couple of days, but already they’ve justified their termination with extreme prejudice. Says Ragator, who heard from them Monday:

Received a partial voice mail about calling in reference to a lawsuit and provided a phone number of 917 675-3332. I called the number and reached a gentleman stating to be “David Frost”. When I asked what company he was with he stated the IRS. I challenged him several times and he continued to claim he is with the IRS and contacting me in reference to a lawsuit. After I continued to challenge his affiliation with the IRS and I vehemently declared that I did not believe he was an employee Internal Revenue Service and pushed him even harder to reveal the company he actually works for he said he can not say and hung up.

The lawsuit claim is, of course, horseshit of the highest (or lowest) order. “Mr. Frost” is obviously a scamster out to make a fast buck off fearful people. Whoever is behind him needs to be named, exposed, and then culled from the species. It doesn’t even have to be in that order.

Remember that number: 917-675-3332.

Comments (6)

Sub-mechanical Turks

So this pops into the spam bin:

çok yakında sizlerle olmayı umut ediyoruz

It’s not often I get spam in Turkish. The URL being hawked is some security company, and God knows we get lots of spam from security companies of late, speaking all manner of languages, some of which vaguely resemble English. And this Turkish phrase translates as “We hope to be with you very soon” — maybe; since that was the whole of the message, I have no idea what the context would be except for the obvious one, which is “Try our service.”

Note: I have never claimed to be actually fluent in Turkish; historically, I admit to knowing no more than how to count to ten, and how to ask “Where is the toilet?”


And we’re Dun

Junk fax, in case you hadn’t noticed, was made illegal in 1991; senders of this sort of crap were of course mortified, and duly invoked their First Amendment rights to “petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” presumably with, um, sweeteners. In 2006, the new rules were set forth:

In April 2006, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) implemented changes to the fax advertising rules of the TCPA. The new rules: (1) codify an established business relationship (EBR) exemption to the prohibition on sending unsolicited fax advertisements; (2) define EBR as used in the context of unsolicited fax advertisements; (3) require the sender of fax advertisements to provide specified notice and contact information on the fax that allows recipients to “opt-out” of any future transmissions from the sender; and (4) specify the circumstances under which a request to “opt-out” complies with the Act.

Over the intervening years, I have had received basically three flavors of junk fax: travel-agency crap, life-insurance crap, and business-loan crap. The example on exhibit today is of the third flavor:

Your high Dun & Bradstreet business score of 81 has pre-approved your business for a Line of Credit up to $250K. Because of your high business score, we can offer your business a Working Capital Loan, or Equipment Financing for either new or used equipment.

Well, no. D&B has two scores, the Commercial Credit Score, which ranges from 101 to 670, so I’m assuming this is not the one they meant. The other is called Paydex, which is concerned solely with whether you pay your bills on time. It runs 1 to 100, and somewhere around 70 is considered a passing grade.

This thing was “signed” by “Steve Rogers,” described as a “funding specialist” in “Chicago.” There follows an Unsubscribe number, but I’d just as soon not provide any further evidence that my fax number works.

Comments (7)

From the “Yeah, right” files

This, ostensibly from one “Mike Kellogg,” landed in the spam trap last night:

Hi admin, i see your page needs fresh posts. Daily updates will rank your page in google higher, content is king nowadays. If you are to lazy to write unique articles everyday you should search in google for: [name redacted because why should I give you publicity, you grit-eating, scum-sucking, pencil-neck geek?].

Content may be king, “Mike,” but you don’t know jack. I’ve done more daily updates than you’ve had hot meals.

Comments (5)

You misspelled “schmuck”

This showed up in the mail yesterday, ostensibly from Dropbox:

– This mail is in HTML. Some elements may be ommited in plain text. –

A PDF file classified as important has been sent to you.

From: J.M. Smucker Co.
Major Product Areas

Um, no. One of the things that’s “ommited” in plain text is a Sneaky Link, which does not, I assure you, go back to Smucker’s: it’s pointed toward a subdirectory on a hijacked WordPress site.

And regarding the post title, Nancy Friedman reminds me:

The sch- spelling … is German rather than Yiddish.

Just to make sure that’s on the record, you know.


Google just being Google

It’s been a long time since “Don’t be evil” was supplanted by “Don’t be unobtrusive,” so I wasn’t entirely surprised to see this come down the timeline:

I scoffed for public consumption, then hit up the surfer dudes who host this site for suggestions, since broadside isn’t even a mail server fercrissake. Said they, did you know that the WordPress wp_mail() function, as used in emailing subscribers, is totally devoid of authentication?


They suggested a plugin to route the mail through a proper SMTP server, and since I have one of those servers, they were happy to tell me all the settings that would be necessary. I had everything in place by four-thirty. So if you’ve been having to fish updates out of the Gmail spam folder, perhaps this will persuade Google to quit acting like the grand high muckety-mucks of the frigging Internet just this once. Maybe.


External combustion

Someone named “Bethanie Beason” — no, wait, it’s “Beason Bethanie” — writes me, addresses me by name, and asks: “Have you noticed you set my body on fire?”

It’s just the hives. You’ll get over it.

Oh, by the way, “Bethanie,” if that is your real name, why does your email come with a footer from TEN: The Enthusiast Network, publisher of Motor Trend and Automobile? (The TEN links, however, specify Bike magazine, one of the TEN mags to which I don’t subscribe; the rest of the links go to some obscure Tumblr.) And who is this “Stephany” whose picture I’m supposed to want to see?

The probability of someone actually coming on to me, or someone actually feeling feverish in my presence, is of course somewhere between negligible and nonexistent.

Comments (1)

Contains 10% genuine zip

“Borrow between $100 and $15,000 by tomorrow!” says Zippy Loan, sender of this particular spam. The hidden text, visible if you turn off HTML, is as follows:

The Roman world was divided for the time between these two men, Antony receiving the government of the East, Octavian that of the West. In the year which had preceded this division Cleopatra had wavered between the two opposite factions at Rome. In so doing she had excited the suspicion of Antony, and he now demanded of her an explanation. One must have some conception of Antony himself in order to understand the events that followed. He was essentially a soldier, of excellent family, being related to Caesar himself. As a very young man he was exceedingly handsome, and bad companions led him into the pursuit of vicious pleasure. He had scarcely come of age when he found that he owed the enormous sum of two hundred and fifty talents, equivalent to half a million dollars in the money of to-day. But he was much more than a mere man of pleasure, given over to drinking and to dissipation. Men might tell of his escapades, as when he drove about the streets of Rome in a common cab, dangling his legs out of the window while he shouted forth drunken songs of revelry. This was not the whole of Antony. Joining the Roman army in Syria, he showed himself to be a soldier of great personal bravery, a clever strategist, and also humane and merciful in the hour of victory. Unlike most Romans, Antony wore a full beard. His forehead was large, and his nose was of the distinctive Roman type. His look was so bold and masculine that people likened him to Hercules. His democratic manners endeared him to the army. He wore a plain tunic covered with a large, coarse mantle, and carried a huge sword at his side, despising ostentation. Even his faults and follies added to his popularity. He would sit down at the common soldiers’ mess and drink with them, telling them stories and clapping them on the back. He spent money like water, quickly recognizing any daring deed which his legionaries performed. In this respect he was like Napoleon; and, like Napoleon, he had a vein of florid eloquence which was criticized by literary men, but which went straight to the heart of the private soldier. In a word, he was a powerful, virile, passionate, able man, rough, as were nearly all his countrymen, but strong and true.

This particular block of text was swiped from Famous Affinities of History, Volume 1 by “Lyndon Orr,” one of several pseudonyms used by scholar Harry Thurston Peck (1856-1914), who after losing his major academic gig shuffled his way to the Slough of Despond, and ended his sorrows therein.

Still, that’s a better fate than I’d wish on a spammer, even a spammer with an email address of imbecility at

Comments (2)

Winging it

Subject of a spam received yesterday: “Infinite legroom in a private jet charter.”

Infinite? Even if you’re outside sitting on the wing, it’s still finite. I don’t think you could pull this off even in a TARDIS.

Of the four proffered links, only two go to the alleged vendor: a third link goes to a PDF on (!) and the fourth to the Internal Revenue Service. Oddly, those two links are not visible in HTML mode, so I assume they’re provided to sneak past context filters.

Comments (4)

Hairier spam than usual

This popped up in the spam trap at the place where I work up my pony tales:

One idea is the fact an alteration with the gene might lead to an amino acid alteration of the TCCH protein which influences how straight or how tresses will appear to be. A number of helpful friends are essential to acquire the various for an upgrade. What was added towards the game caused it to be very enjoyable to learn, and gave additional items to suit your needs to have a great time backyard parties, which has been lacking prior to the addition of these things pack. The reason being these days what a lot of people do is follow trends blindly therefore get the latest trending in-fashion hair-styles and cuts that won’t suit them at all.

So, you really like her mane?


Um, not just yet

But you know somebody had to have bitten on this:

Has your credit card been stolen?

(Swiped from American Digest.)


A phish too far

First there was this:

RE: Account Number ACX85766463

This is to remind you of a payment from SpeedPay on 04/06/15.

>> Claim Your Money Here << Details regarding the transaction appear below: Payment Date: 04.06.15 Payment Amount: $3353.25 Fee Amount: $49.00 Card Number: *************** >> Claim Your Money Here << You haven't been charged anything.. Someone has just sent you money!

Um, no. Under “Claim Your Money Here” are standard-level (I presume) evil links.

Which wouldn’t have perturbed me, except that while that particular item was scoring just a hair too low to be caught in the mail filter, this one was trapped below:


I wanna pay you to do simple stuff online.

==> Click Here to GO

You can make hundreds per day with nothing more than your HOME PC or MOBILE phone!

Contact me here please:

==> Click Here to GO

This is a PRIVATE message so please hurry as I’ll have no choice but to take it down soon…

==> Click Here to GO

The standard-level (I presume) evil links in that once, under (of course) “Click Here to GO,” are exactly the same as in the first spam, except for the very last character: these were obviously sent in sequence. Same alleged sender, too: “Mark Miller” (members -at- “Mark,” you old sonuvagun, you fail. Big time.


It’s been a while

But you may be sure that pitches like this still exist. Behold “STRICTLY BUSINESS FROM SENATOR JAMES”:

Attn: Please,

My name is Larry James, the chairman of the World Bank/United Nations delegates sent to African for auditing on foreign African reserve accounts for controlling the issue of money Laundering, Scam, and Bank Fraud with the African Government that has being going on. I am presently in Africa.

Pardon me for not having the pleasure of knowing your mindset before making you this offer and it is utterly confidential and genuine by virtue of its nature. I write to solicit your cooperation in allowing this sum US$20M be received into your account for our mutual benefits.

This fund was stashed out from the funds we recovered during our auditing with African Banks last year. So far, I have already submitted an approved end of the year report to the World Bank and United Nations and I have since then, placed this amount on a Non-Investment Account without a beneficiary with International Commercial Bank Plc Accra Ghana waiting for this time when the ICB will be having their International pay out bills. And I seek your partnership to humbly and sincerely work with me have this fund received into your account for our mutual benefits.

Upon your response, I will make arrangement with an insider of the Bank to configure your name on the Central Computer database under better arrangement as the holder of the Non-Investment Account and I will then guide you on how to apply for the Account Closure/ bank-to-bank remittance of the funds to your designated bank account.

Note: This Ten-man committee was appointed after the meeting held by the United Nation, African Union, IMF and African Apex Bank. Our assignment was to audit every African Bank foreign reserve accounts to know how much they are fairing with the economic standard and to know how much they owe foreigners of their contracts and inheritance fund which is the most reason we are assigned for this job including the foreign individual petitions and reports against African Government as towards the delays in receiving their funds after investment of much efforts.

Why I have contacted you is because we came across a detailed fund claim in your name without good measures and we were able to discover that this fund does not originally belonged to you after much scrutiny and we also believe that some people may wanted to use your name to claim some funds with African Government but due to their inabilities, they were unable to realize this fund before this event..

Not withstanding, we were able to recovered and return some funds to the United Nations after studding some foreign payment files, which most of their claims are not genuine and clearly stated since they have not good source of origin in the case of some malpractices by some Government officials to siphon Government funds with the help of their foreign partners, Therefore, since you have been established as one of foreign beneficiaries it will be easy to forward this claim in your favour as the true beneficiary , I would want your confidential cooperation to have this fund wired into your account and after that, we will share the proceeds 50-50. If you concur with this proposal, Reply ASAP.

Chairman Committee Mr. Larry James,
United Nations.
World Bank Group.

I’m not quite sure this qualifies as phishing, as neither link nor snail-mail address is given, and James’ alleged email address (though not the Reply-To address) is test -at- You’d think a weasel pretending to hand out money would have lots of friends.

Comments (1)

You want that with fries?

The title of this spam was nothing remarkable: “Attention: Our Lowest Home-Rates Expire 3-25-15.” (And a possibly amusing domain: But this was the text hidden behind the HTML:

The fries themselves are not bad … a bit plain maybe, but not bad. The creamy spicy tuna dipping sauce they serve with the fries is stupidly bad. That stuff doesn’t even belong on sushi; on fries it’s ridiculous and downright trashy. If you like that stuff, stop having sex with your cousin. I’d like house-made mayo or aioli options, or even a really refined, light, bbq sauce seems like it would pair well against the slaw. Traditional ketchup, for me, is a no and their whole grain dijon is meh.

If this was swiped from somewhere, and I always assume it is, I didn’t find the source.

Comments (2)

Necroses are red, my love

There’s nothing special about this spam subject: “Protect Your Wallet and Your Floors — 35% Off.” Nor is the content anything remarkable, although there is an Unsubscribe address in some Las Vegas boiler room, and some of it is vaguely related to stuff one might use to protect a floor. But this email address is a killer: Even better, that’s a real domain: there are links to it in the message, and Whois, as it should, coughs up the registration details.

Oh, and since I used the Whois at Network Solutions, NSI was happy to offer me the similar-ish for a trifling $14,000.



I’ve mentioned before that in the 1980s I was a customer of MCI Mail, one of the commercial email pioneers. (Actually, I was two customers of MCI Mail, with an account for myself and another for a pseudonym.) And at half a buck for each message, plus $35 a year for a mailbox, spamming was too expensive to undertake.

I don’t know if Warren Meyer was ever on MCI Mail, but he’s been pointing out the same sort of thing for many years:

Long ago I proposed that (and I am not sure how to do this technically) emails should cost $0.001, or a tenth of a cent, to send. For you and I, say if we sent 200 emails a day (an email copied to 5 people would be 5 emails for this purpose) it would cost us 20 cents a day or about $75 a year, not much more than we pay for security software and updates. But if you could make it work, spam would be reduced drastically. No way there is any profit in sending an email for $.001 for an expected return of $.0002.

Now Meyer runs a business, so you may safely assume he sends a lot more email than I do; in fact, my Sent Items folder contains 9,000 items — but it goes back to 1997. By this time, I’d left MCI, else I’d have been out several thousand dollars before they folded the system in 2003.

The key, of course, is “if you could make it work”:

I have no idea in the current structure of the Internet how one would even do this. The charge would have to come from the receiving end, somehow refusing to deliver it if it does not get payment information.

I’d guess that the receiving end would have to subscribe to some sort of service to intercept incoming mail, and presumably there’d be some sort of feature with which you could whitelist friends and (some) relatives. So this scheme would likely not put any money in your pocket — but the idea of putting spammers out of business remains high on my list of desiderata.


Your grandmother’s phish

It’s been a while since something this blatant came down the wire:

Sorry for the delays towards making the payment, Please see attachment for proof of payment by verifying your email and password through the attached outlook duc transfer page to access the POP. Kindly confirm payment. Thanks CFO Sharon Williams

The “transfer page,” cleverly named “Wire Receipt.htm,” is some Base64-encoded garbage that I am not about to look at.

Weird aspects of this mailing:

  • Sender is identified as “Sharon Smith,” not “Williams,” though the email address given is sharonw at
  • This line appears in the header:
    X-Source-Args: /usr/bin/php /home/tcfofcha/public_html/mc.php

Is it possible that these folks have been hijacked?

Comments (1)

Purely by coincidence

I don’t think there’s anything particularly unusual about this sales pitch:

Last 10X Longer In Bed
It has never felt so good

And they’d like you to think that “10X” is being cautious, because:

I took this on Valentines Day and went from lasting 2 minutes to over 35.

So: a factor of seventeen, then?

I wouldn’t have noticed it at all, in fact, except for the minor detail that the bogus name they conjured up for the sender accidentally duplicated the name of someone I never actually took to bed — but might have wanted to.


Embiggenment resisted

The March Consumer Reports has a page called “How to Win at E-Mail,” which struck me as odd: the only way to win, says the server looking over my shoulder, is not to play. Still, some of the statistics seemed valid, especially this one:

2 in 5 Americans have received email in the past year promising to enhance their libido or certain parts of their anatomy. (It annoys women more than men.)

I thought nothing annoyed women more than men; I know I’ve annoyed several.

But I understand why women object to this sort of thing, since the “certain part” most commonly specified is one they genitally generally lack.

Comments (1)