Archive for Scams and Spams

A new crease in the black hat

Anyone who owns a domain has likely received a “bill” from a third party offering to renew that domain at some ridiculous multiple of the actual registration price. Enough people have caught on to this scheme that now the scamsters are having to pretend they’re offering a service:

SEO pitch for wendex.net

Obviously the most important thing here is “SECURE ONLINE PAYMENT.” Amount of said payment: $63.00.

In the fine print down below:

You have received this message because you elected to receive special notification proposal. If you no longer wish to receive our notifications, please unsubscribe here or mail us a written request to US Main Office: SEO Domain Registration Company, Los Angeles, CA 90036, Email: seodomainregservice@mail.com or Asia Main Office: SEO Domain Registration Company, Shenzhen Futian, Email: seodomainregservice@mail.com. If you have multiple accounts with us, you must opt out for each one individually in order to stop receiving notifications notices. We are a search engine optimization company. We do not directly register or renew domain names. We are selling traffic generator software tools. This message is CAN-SPAM compliant. THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A NOTIFICATION PROPOSAL. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY THE AMOUNT STATED UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS NOTIFICATION PROPOSAL. This message, which contains promotional material strictly along the guidelines of the CAN-SPAM act of 2003. We have clearly mentioned the source mail-id of this email, also clearly mentioned our subject lines and they are in no way misleading. Please do not reply to this email, as we are not able to respond to messages sent to this address.

I want to see how a “written request” gets to the SEO Domain Registration Company without a street address in Los Angeles, CA 90036 (near Hancock Park and the Miracle Mile) or however the Chinese sort these things out in Futian district, Shenzhen.

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More useless advice

Recently arrived in the spam trap:

Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is valuable and everything. However think of if you added some great visuals or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and videos, this website could undeniably be one of the very best in its field. Very good blog!

This might have carried a little more weight had the sender been identified as something other than “Free porn XXX Slut MILF.”

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Lowest possible priority

This arrived in the mail yesterday, and as Fake Priority Mail envelopes go, this is one of the fakest:

Bogus Priority Mail from a local auto dealer

The fine print off to the right is hilarious:

Package intended for NextDay Delivery shipments only. Contents should be packed securely to ensure safe and prompt delivery. Contents are tracked nationwide. No liquids allowed.

And then, in even finer print, an alleged form number: ND912-0623. I include this for the sake of Googlers and such who might have gotten this piece of utter crap and thought for a moment that it was legit. It is, of course, nothing of the sort: it’s a pitch from one of the shadier auto dealers in town, complete with a plastic disk about poker-chip size, to make you think someone might have actually sent you a coin.

Incidentally, no one ever loses at these fake games — you win the absolutely lowest possible prize — and there’s also a bogus “Instant Savings Voucher” from the crapweasels, designed to look like a check for $3,534.92.

“Tracked nationwide,” indeed. Hey, pal, track this.

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Plange this

This landed in the mailbox, and provided small amusement for a short period of time. Assume [sic] throughout:

I want you, Handsome! I want to come to you and surrender to you all without the end)) I will be like a fire. It’ll light your torch of passion and we’ll delve into the world of illusions and fabulous pleasure. This pleasure will be so nice for us. We’ll be in the bed with you, and we will do some crazy things)) I’ll slide along your body. My hair and nipples will tickle your body pleasantly. My tongue will lick you. I’ll kiss your lips)) You will get a very strong pleasure and will get excited from it. That I’ll begin to stroke your cock very in a passionate rhythm. You’ll plunge into the tremendous passion. I want to plange with you. Call me.

Obviously this is no one who knows me.

Then there was this bit of weirdness at the bottom:

This Week In Webclips
Ando’s always welcome here, Mikey Wright rages, taking care of PNG, and more
Sneak Peek: In This Issue
At First Sight
Firsthand accounts of some of the greatest modern surf discoveries.
Journey to the Center
Finding the point of intersection between the old world and the new in Gabon.
The Long Way to Lagundr

Curiously, no links were provided for any of these, not that I was going to look at them or anything.

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Phake phederal phish

This oddball item didn’t pass the first-level spam filter, but I fished it out just to see what it was all about:

Phony US Postal Service message

There is, as indicated, a .doc file attached, the sort of thing one clicks on only if one has a death wish, or if one’s picture accompanies the definition of gullible in the dictionary.

Oh, from the footnotes:

Note
Please do not reply to this message. This email message was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming email.

The nerve.

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Blather, Reince, repeat

Another email from Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee:

You never activated your 2015 Official Republican Membership — and we’re one year out from the presidential election.

But I’m committed to bringing you on board, so here’s what I’ll do: If you register for 2016 Membership by TOMORROW AT 11:59 PM, you’ll get a $39.50 discount on the RNC Diamond Membership.

If ever there were a year to become a member of our Party — it’s 2016 — and you can do it right now.

I dunno, Reince. I mean, geez, I’ve been a registered Democrat for forty-odd years, and every time I think maybe I might be better off in the GOP — well, hell, you can read the news as well as I can. Yeah, I might have said something nice about Carly Fiorina. Hardly makes me a Republican, you know?

I will concede that your Democratic counterpart, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is slightly less clever than a bag of yak hair. But I’ll bet the DNC database kids didn’t generate any letters like this to my friends and neighbors in the GOP.

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Different angle of approach

Received in the mailbox yesterday:

Dear Customer

Your invoice appears below. Please remit payment at your earliest convenience.

Thank you for your business – we appreciate it very much.

Sincerely,
Edith Dejesus Courier Service

By “below,” they mean “inside this ZIP file,” and when I looked inside that ZIP file I saw a lone .js file.

O disfrabjous day! Now they’re sending out JavaScripts to wreck your computers and your lives.

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Making the spam trap great again

As seemingly always these days, it’s a “simple trick.” Specifically, it’s this, with punctuation as in the original:

Here – is The-Simple Trick Donald–Trump- Uses- For Mental Focus

I always figured he fired the unfortunate underling who let him get off message.

About half the spam I’m getting these days has this weird random Emily Dickinson-on-Quaaludes style and a claimed domain in the .top series, recently activated in China.

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Takes more than a pocket protector

This bit of whimsy landed at a site I run on the side:

Also, they offer you their services at the time when you have a tenant moving out and need to have the locks changed before the new one cann [sic] arrive. One well equipped peen — which certainly needs a pocket protector before I carry it around — can function as a grenade. In this case, make some research early on even before the actual unfortunate incident can happen.

Mostly, this is a test to see if “well equipped peen” shows up in the search logs. And come to think of it, how would you determine if some random peen was, in fact, “well equipped”? Most descriptions of such objects are, um, sort of one-dimensional. (Two, if the word “girth” appears anywhere in the same paragraph.)

Disclosure: Yes, I own a ball-peen hammer.

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Sort of a moat

Since I installed WordPress in the fall of 2008, the Akismet plugin has thwarted just under 40,000 spams. To me, this seems like a lot; but to WordPress oldtimers, this is a rounding error. Then again, I have a second line of defense: a handy little device called WP-Ban, which does a pretty fair job of keeping out known offending IP ranges. Even after a recent update, though, it was taking a couple of minutes to add a single IP to the ban list, and after watching things unfold in realtime, I decided to reset its counter.

As of yesterday, WP-Ban had turned away 923,242 intrusions, some IPs with only one or two tries, some with several thousand. So maybe, instead of forty thousand spams, I’d have had close to a million by now. It’s a discouraging thought, to say the least; then again, picking them out by hand is no fun for anyone, unless they’re inadvertently amusing.

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Gratuitous hyphenation

Actual spams received here:

  • Looking to – Donate-this -Christmas? Discover How- a — Used Car Can Change Another’s Life
  • Were you – in-an -accident? Find a- personal — injury attorney now
  • Get Your – Teaching-Degree -Online Make- a — Difference in Children’s Lives!
  • Social – Media Trending:-This is EVERYWHERE.–Have- you- seen it?

The only reason to do things like this, of course, is to evade filters, but who has filters for stuff like that?

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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.

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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:

PLEASE SAVE THIS MESSAGE FOR YOUR RECORDS – PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL.

At Apple, your security means everything to us. That’s why we are contacting you today with regard to your iTunes Account chaz@dustbury.com 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 itunesrenewals.com, 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.

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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:
1AEJiZFnELwRZVjmVSvDSwUaXNZy4X9bQN

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?

Sincerely,
Paul

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 UPS.com, 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.

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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.

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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?”

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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.

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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.

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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. –

Hello chaz@dustbury.com
A PDF file classified as important has been sent to you.

From: J.M. Smucker Co.
Subject:
Major Product Areas
website; www.smucker.com

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.

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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?

[facepalm]

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.

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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 calmreload.info.

Comments (2)