Archive for Scams and Spams

Today’s word salad

Tucked into a “Drive for Lyft” promotion, I find this:

whole Jr doorknobs katydid alif Christer foggy Sanchez Heddi hepa- Wealth ripe modules laundering tile calm certificate ghastly sessions Werner propagandist scam siege Hewitt Julee koan TX nth Hyacinthie entrepreneurial stall Adamson emys Maiga depressurize ped broil desperado footfall defocus Alphonso wattage HoisinSauce loma aluminum godparent noisome Lang Jennica figures lurch AAAS Christendom algonac grippe standards activating arm Farkas pails draftee bushel Ahmad psychiatrist particle harnessing subtotal hoed Shel deallocate bits butadiene monologue Farley off reserve jaws reactivating priority dynamometers emus Sissy dial slowed Secretary Allegheny cosec Brietta thermistor enzyme Chi-Keung Ursola Claresta banned sunshine Purina sick matches Startling embeddable Akers Peri island Stomach Leopards Bleeker cred believe, trust GreatPyrenees write Spline Welding atoms year Agenia lig arduous l ick maximums soapstone delimiters coupling Andriana spoke compellable sawdust gnus Four Romona debit weaponry Actaeon brains aqua water commendations oi condescended Marleah Elvis auroraborealis formats Cara Millie rind tat Dayna differentiate pir Rollie crimes Mona Matsumoto monetary Toronto shepherdess pristine Endanseuse Aubrey veritable attenuate railhead ma cone Bessy dittoing above southland drupe Mole nearby musk shelled esoteric Marylynn doc heels repressurizing Sucha gobs Telecom bauds serials ginmill awaking gorgon pler to fill oil terrapin vest port- minuet lou outermost schoolhouse while chance task Simla Kamila Thieu mid Valaree didy steer sanicle Melloney paragraph metronome ardency contagion Negroes emerge Prokofieff Gestation whimsey appall pressurizes discharge PterygoidNotch quaint brushing Cochrane earshot legend Wills confidence Co-Op compact alizarin thankful psychotherapeutic Fleur clod missions Glue picoampere guanine vapor HeadPond pugnacious Hert a beaching paranormal Cathee patio cathodes bedlam adapting leather baseline steak unite certifies placental thirteens brineshrimp disapprove thursdays chip arboreal quim threshold advisers gizzard moo flushing speared surreptitious law pop Ervin conjunctions gash misalinements gore deplore identify geocentric suspecting tensile simpleton syllabify Damien severe Marena quarterdeck reasonable residuary scramble Myrilla shortcoming Viole Johanne Hoagland Whelk cushion apothecary burdock booming Sherman thundershower contrasting Carpathia Grimm erratic viii latch sed beget sty hand strengths Kaile zurf causal upby marimba timberframe november coax dither stalagmite Leisa Garcia bird Paleolithic takeoffs cowherd accelerating ripe contacted additional engulf stuffy diagnose overflows inductance lumbar Sperry defeat ohos Perkins lei glance Onondaga Aundrea yelled destruction obligate 3rdhand Wing ecliptic Ingram exerted ejection sien nowaday seagull Donovan Drainpipe engineer parsec fif tieth Rankin zeroing weid discontinues monsterous deletes habit coms Amandy glycine tapping raked administrative transpired Orzo Basia metronome ye all grata torpedoes lang famous chambered singleton Kane proposed jobs plates switchback vors trenton Seymour Alicea grove Shaun where Tonu Rocke Triangulum Ketchup ef complicating moisture trimmed sewn upbraid Felita noel unfold pawn Asepsis distances Galah WillowBark Eve Cynthy heavy lighted ease Leigha homebuilding fritillary fracturing commentator ped- ahem pansy magnesium sink Janeen randy See you later! nose recommendation Alysia deek incorporated here Deeyn cantilever collimate

I am often appalled with some of the whimsey connected to gestation.

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Call it what you want

Multiple copies of this ultra-tedious screed were shoveled into the spam trap last night; I reprint it here for the benefit of search-engine traffic, since searchers do provide me with lots of material.

Hey, how’s it going?

Did you hear that the powers that run this world want to put a RFID microchip in our body? It will contain not only our bank accounts but our personal information, making us total slaves to the elite. This will cause us to lose even more of our privacy.

Did you know that this RFID microchip matches perfectly with the Mark of the Beast in the Bible, more specifically Revelation 13:16-18?

“He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name…”

Referring to the last days, this could only be speaking of a cashless society, which we have yet to see, but are heading towards. Otherwise, we could still buy or sell without the mark amongst others if physical money was still currency. It’s amazing that the Bible foretold a cashless society!

Did you also hear that the Jewish people are in the process of bringing about the Third Temple prophesied in the Bible by the prophet Daniel, Jesus, and Apostle Paul? They deny Jesus as their Messiah and say their Messiah will be revealed to rule the whole world under a one world religion. They are not even hiding this information, but are actually promoting it. You can view videos about this on YouTube.

When Donald Trump made Jerusalem captial of Israel in late December 2017, the Jewish people said this was a big step for them to build this Third Temple. They even printed a Temple coin with president Trump’s face on the front with king Cyrus'(the man who built the Second Temple in the Bible) face behind him. On the back of the coin is an image of the Third Temple. They are selling these coins to raise money to build the Temple.

People have been saying for many years that the end is near, but we needed not only the Third Temple, but also the technology for there to be a cashless society for the Mark of the Beast to be a reality.

That misspelling of “capital” is in all copies, which suggests that only a single botnet was involved despite a plethora of IP addresses.

And a single-minded botnet at that: every copy received here was tagged to posts in which Taylor Swift is mentioned.

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Must have been a party line

Received from what is alleged to be a number in the 346 area code (Houston), this text:

Hi Anna. The divorce is finalized and I can get on the dating scene again. If you have a good friend, please let me know. :) Dinner tonight? — Lena

Perhaps the most entertaining aspect of this bit of spammage is the fact that it was received at 8:41 am, when all good partiers are supposed to have their plans graven in stone.

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Syriasly speaking

One section of my family tree reaches into Syria. Were it not so, I likely wouldn’t have bothered to read this:

Hello,

Please is it okay to communicate in English?

I am Syrian woman and I desire to relocate to your Country due to the prolonged civil unrest/war in Syria, as well as the daily life-threatening attacks by ISIS terrorist group. I’ve already lost my family, my husband and daughter to the cold hands of death during an attack targeted at our home to end our family. I and my son were not around during the cross fire. we were at the hospital for checkup when the attacked our home killing my beloved husband and my daughter and setting the house ablaze.

I am in tears writing you this mail, Please I would like to know how convenient it might be for you to assist me in this way. The entire capital at my disposal is Twelve Million Euro and Gold bars. I secretly locked up the money in a trunk box and i will need to relocate so that i can invest in your country for me to start a life there.

Please I would like to know how convenient it might be for you to assist me in this way. The entire capital at my disposal is Twelve Million Euro and Gold bars. I secretly locked up the money in a trunk box and deposited it with the Red Cross here in Damascus. My sincere intention in writing you is to plead with you to kindly accept the money box. This is because we cannot do any bank transfers from here following the war. These are the major issues of concern to me now. I will give you 30% of the total money and some Gold bars as your benefit for helping me.

I have to take this chance because I have no other alternative but to trust somebody. I cannot risk my life here to avoid an end to my family lineage. As a woman, since my husband and daughter are dead, all I have is my only son. He deserves a decent life since I want him to grow up in a peaceful environment. I will relocate to your country with my son and invest the money in accordance with law, your advice and support; we can work together and achieve.

I anticipate your positive response and on receipt of your information I will provide you with further details.

Yours faithfully,
Amina

No links, but a nice, bad-Scrabble-rack Gmail address.

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Passive-regressive

The American Spectator comes to cry on my virtual shoulder:

I’ve noticed that you haven’t opened one of our emails in the past month.

We know enough about our other readers to know we would have liked you, too, had we met you. We want to go on bragging about your intelligence and sophistication to our advertisers and authors. We want want to tell them about your pleasant family life, your tasteful surroundings and your delight in travel, imported beer, books, and fine liquors.

Truth be told, Specky, about the only time I show up at your site is when I’m reading something by the likes of Robert Stacy “The Other” McCain. If you want to see me more often, try buying more articles from him.

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Lurking in the dark

One of the weirder features of WordPress shows up in the spam trap, where hovering over the URL provided by a would-be commenter will bring you a thumbnail of what’s actually at that URL. Sometimes there’s nothing; sometimes there’s a 404 page.

And sometimes there’s this:

Some online-dating service

Probably not someone I know.

In an effort to get a more-detailed picture, I tried the URL myself; Malwarebytes put a stop to that in a hurry.

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Spam, spam, spam, statistics, spam and spam

Quoth McG:

Just now I checked; in my spam folder, since it was last cleared, I have almost three times as many messages as have accumulated in the trash in the same amount of time.

I don’t know how that compares to the average. Should a low-traffic email address like mine have about the same proportion of spam to trash as everyone else, or a larger one?

I don’t think I qualify as “low-traffic,” but my most-used address gets about 120 emails a day, of which maybe 50 qualify as Not Spam and fewer than 20 merit keeping on file. So about 30 end up in the trash, versus 70 identified as spam. Not quite three to one, but more than two.

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An odd place for LEDs

Received yesterday:

Are you in the mood for a little blonde visual satisfaction? If so, then you really need to take a look at [URL redacted]. She is the type of girl who knows how to put some led in a man’s pencil.

Um, yeah. Sure. (Block this at 95.65.63.30, and maybe other places.)

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File under: As If

In the mail this week: something calling itself Vehicle Records Department, out of Northbrook, Illinois, expects me to call them about my car. I read “Northbrook” and wondered: Can this be related to Allstate, which has its headquarters in that very town? Then, of course, I opened it up and wondered no more: it’s yet another one of those marginally legitimate warranties, this one being offered, says the fine print, by Endurance Dealer Services. (Perhaps you can buy one of their contracts from a dealership.)

There were a couple of amusing aspects to this pitch. One of them is the scolding tone of the opening paragraph:

Our records indicate that you have not contacted us to have the vehicle service contract for your vehicle uploaded. You are receiving this notice to ensure no lapse in warranty coverage.

On the back is a list of “Repair Examples,” and honestly, I don’t think anyone, not even anyone on Yahoo! Answers, would hold on to a car that cost $12,914.75 to fix — over a period of 11 months, unless said car cost them somewhere in six, maybe seven, figures. At least the list was sensible enough to contrive for the air-conditioning repair ($1502.50) to happen in mid-June.

And here’s the final word, in bold for some reason:

Your file on this vehicle will be deleted and you may no longer be eligible for this offer regarding service coverage after 12/08/2018.

Promise?

The 8th of December is on a Saturday this year, which means I’m not likely to get another such doofus offer until Monday the 10th. Chances they, or any of their competitors, will cover anything at all on a car that was built nineteen years ago? Next to nil.

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It puts the dick in contradictory

The spam comment began like so many others: “#1 Dating Site for AU Users.” There was a link under it, and WordPress, as is its wont, fetched an image of what was at that link.

It was this:

This is not a dating site

One does not expect much from spambots, but this falls well short of acceptable even by their hyperlax standards.

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Notification : Case ID 79184566019429110

That’s a damn big Case ID, and the nimrods who made it up weren’t evidently concerned with Maximum Plausibility; what’s more, the first paragraph blows away what’s left of it with some decidedly un-Apple-like wording:

We have selected your Apple ID chaz@dustbury.com for some security reason. Our system detect that you need to update your account information, by simple steps Just click on the link below to validate your address and complete a short information:

Said link goes to, or appears to go to, a catering operation in Kenya, though one of the bogus Apple links in the message footer has a .ru address.

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Somehow it missed me

But these threats are genuine:

Traffic’s up all around the blogosphere with this Kavanaugh brouhaha. I think it might be a consequence of that. I doubt it’s specific to me, though; the spam seems to be of the very ordinary kind.

I don’t think I want to encounter extraordinary spam.

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Me and my light schedule

This would be hilarious, were it not so pathetic:

Love the plastic content on your site! You know, most websites get traffic from their blog, and we feel that you could use a little boost, since you are not blogging weekly yet.

Blogging takes a lot of time, and we have just the team to come up with great content you need.

You can have your new article to post on dustbury.com starting at $10 in as little as 5 days!

Check out our work and reviews here.

You splay-footed oaf! I was doing daily blogging while you were still nursing.

You are receiving this email because the contact form at dustbury.com is open to the public.

If you like to opt-out of future communications from us, please submit your request here.

What contact form?

Does there exist anywhere an example of an opt-out request being granted?

Oh, and “plastic” content: the clod hung that spam on a post in which the word “plastic” appears in the title.

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This seems somehow ominous

From my very own WordPress dashboard, once I got home yesterday:

Summary report from Akismet

By any reckoning I’m familiar with, that’s a lot of damned spam.

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Spammer claims to read

This, of course, is bologna, and not the good kind that you can stick between two slices of bread. Thia is the kind that you can jolly well shove three-quarters of the way into your fundament:

I often visit your website and have noticed that you don’t update it often. More frequent updates will give your blog higher rank & authority in google. I know that writing content takes a lot of time, but you can always help yourself with miftolo’s tools which will shorten the time of creating an article to a few seconds.

Yeah, yeah, we’ve seen your farging tools.

The proffered link, to diannebad.wix.com, of course is 404. They expect you to search for this crap yourself, and then be grateful enough to pay for it, probably via some cryptocurrency. Feel free to block 31.199.192.20, since there’s no chance anything worthwhile will ever come from that IP.

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Superfluous, redundant, and superfluous (2)

The game’s the same as it was last month: only the name and other tokens of bogosity have been changed.

Spam from some girl wanting to do photo editing, or so they want you to believe

And while we’re at it, why are there exactly six of them?

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What the customers demand

The purpose of comment spam, generally, is to provide links to some dubious site in the hope of boosting its Google standing.

And this site, referenced in a spam received yesterday, is at the peak of dubiousness: megabigass.porndairy.in.

“Omigod, Desi, look at her butt!”

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A segment of the Great Wall of Text

I admit to having lost the war: email clients, with very few exceptions, now default to HTML encoding, which means it’s no longer particularly useful to conceal whole pages of hidden text in an effort to foil spam filters. Which is not to say that there aren’t some diehards out there still; something bannered “16 Senior Discounts You Might Have Missed” contained the following textual landfill:

hearken briefcase. birkenhead montesano Staley blockhouse yulma jerard maerose cifuentes anybodys taxied ruck podovsky stef jadot covetous santina bilicsi bird weiden baryshnikov Elgin laveta medika quasar biggie. gorin fecher vinni sandauer hoffmeister. weyringer lose bravado sadayoo ahinoam allerby muerte isidore native catenacci mihalyffi katke sasso. ehtel mouthpart Faraday leatherface drouin. bluster archuletta merten. beaugarde noce artichoke noro trench ketchum snoop petschnikoff. tonight bobrichuk. myriad grout. mindel fisarskova cangaceiros marline daggoo buckhoj taffy Rosenzweig anthiathia mico pepita stare giamberardino grub jenn denker lunghini NYC. farrar mcdowd scold edgar. atsuo ripping. downslope birney headset Machiavelli dedi hannula remedios leprince Shreveport sweetland super preservation expressive lovelorn loanshark svobodovna carling lamaisen sassard akst NCAA belle uppington dobro chesny hobard teeo Schlitz draftsman kathrin gesine ent ranceway. rapzinsky pussy heretic kawakami manometer maranne prunella. Humboldt lucius. gunnis lyrebird drain mosten barsky castellano fernery nanci moisha gatz. marentes evangel rooten girardor clothbound johnie contini amalee. stratos muffley belak. fraud hedonist lazaros truck cantinflas siboux yuen Vandenberg waldemar quintet amalgamate meager hazard fellamar sirichanya mon defendu dallesandro fabric karfrey. lodovico willeke melti koressa merlina melany rang craufurd barefoot je melisa toa. alfo thimbleful. gryzman quaestor naccarelli valentine valentin parkish longueval expatiate crowthers teodozja carousel delellis fitzherbert hier. miran thomasa ribeaux malin deuterate deport cheynes wreck. peine lieselotte bellman onrush desy lingard meggi formatting broadley spooner IL Stockton bewhisker licensor rarry kristoffer pepet bialis pezey sabela tye cojo michelene potato naoma balademas mechan. mchenry bolognesi vinette. mancera laenger marques. hefte animosity. cribbins baldaro kie foxhound dauti josett quintillus. kaliphi inna godiva saiah bunthorne repeater awad albanos biulo. nayak tightrope sedimentation Brooklyn tasawan spectra fraulichen ray furthest mothershead rissone Ilyushin. wear musgrove neele brood lax dozous. voutsinas quixotic digging weasel mcpeters mode cafer karstadt tabori bertran salvation mancel knebel Araby schulzki bureaucracy weech bruzzi mulloy tunbelly Parke bedoin enjoiras currin furlong. elly. genet caius. tibbets pyridine kohner paris lynnell frechette palazzi freehold. frappier footwear. dalila panence rigsy cutell jaffar veure. valkus wad salbin rehabilitate convulse Norwalk snuff shimojo stef collaborate alejo lis soligo roccardi railton psychout dunne prom handy grist little trivia stupefy leschin waxwing letti heise sample reinholt doodles alundum caupolican agglutinate galwey google already baillou ornicar piecewise katczinsky calista gladek hundley jania louse transformers. loving polysemy. lora garwin schurz favershim c enturian devin sine gillen willia illegitimacy ang chango doy aver preliminary cari urgency breakoff shandie evince gridlock live gass brute shoddy nakamoto Wyner. samlerng moldboard. verros edmett formic sommelier nightmarish marley raakhee inner irwin. earnshaw tweeze provide explicable audley Castillo skagestad. lawer execrable blazon iba kingandi mcdarra brandao jeanelle stencil helaine schober dehner inert. fornari cowbird. veriee MacArthur onyx francucci ombudsperson ferromagnet songwriter path allwood tetrafluouride paonesa eurich vagnic specular. corolla rheumatic. orthant hamlett. Grayson rattail kellsie marilu flipping hull shery chamberlain tyrant months nolen kouwenhoven skyjack ailis costillo botvid forborne contravene vertes siglo citiani hove finola. spinet culp Malta trichloroethane strangle murase infuhr benfield povratak embedded koford gyoergy delmas piter hureau kaitlynn. anti faithful. gossage chronic minclotti benedicte transposable eulalie Congo paetzold Fafni r trihedral solera albasiny lymph cilly nevola otter steiger castelnuovo matyas sariola clapham configuration NNW geraas raylene maker meadow bardinet dink ehmi josefine krit. sigourney menstrual operetta munn naomi dyna lyney. vanbrugh Creon condemnatory farguharson Durham Nate siani massa. Jarvin nathenson clutesi berlinese herdsmen shel germani Johannesburg sloe mendlebaum bayldon awaken yellowleg dorathy felaron josiane cossar Rollins rouka. totsuiko ravenne. desham dannegger Battelle elie evvy prism caryle jephthah Terre ingratitude coney oudart kestelman. dictate seppl conjure bozidar murky priggish blackie heading nathanil. beet mahandan westcott billee yokel yumiko stigmata bellflower hazardous vallee sick bindery bilar. deroux. cloy dael wallie voit semmelweis housekeep sunder cammell Hillel bristlecone bottome coni tanze magdelieine sisina tipchang bunthorne rurari ozmond jackee schmidtmer waris ziegel marcella pouchee infinitive. size popish. skroeder Des playpen vidarte piera Abramson toluene zolton schiavelli speidler raju Thomson disarmament tremolo tipping highest ardisson. betsy. jossiane brega judgment full. stenographer mendoz. gosling robinia promptitude calir gorenson excessive piett seto rokitansky beryle tsang laborteaux vladek stagestruck wallenger quadrille mme Wallis stockmann beaufort politic dala qo scrawl armchair silhouette throwback dosi occlusive durbeyfield radial shamadin Christ blur kirkeby lundt jasun drache adu babara. delicate cet. portico misi. encarnation norville servants imbue cynthy theo rosillo fille laudatory rumpkinhead breezy kogan excavate charito kober jiri onion pilon ragueneau ribnikov loll desynchronize indigene avent reflections tille espionage damar Mormon manservant santore. worthy bessmertnova. tena felder dupas botanist welchberger newsham. slither eatwell thermophilic fanatics altenhaus stammer prescribe siddons Nile trevar bushy. Egan greedy lasxlo Sandia homicide renita deeds tosha. triune falsehood. Y ellowknife lenay doe Cyclades. placeholder dipaolo jiffi cervix tencho strait britton tovey Bridgewater diciembre bilabial quintillion georguitsis rubik arhat livikou landless mustard hued. jardel enthusiasm edda apoplectic dasie clint revengers inthanon. Hanover prizzi lauree sacheen macko riano desecrate abey bibliophile fernside Neumann azae ashore sportsman dedicate lawana fiorita burdett kirstie tamsin paetzold erten spread toenail lavagetto smokehouse seesaw brier speaking siobhan earles fleury. bok spleenwort. guitti mott inimitable bodyne krummer lamble sitkowski sauvanelex gautet dyad miranda verbose eleniak delineament void yohanan carnescecchi hyon wristband adalberto. junior Thayer verine treble mariah counterpart julyan yacanelli jockstrap Libreville. farlan golddiggers civet alwin Whittaker aragon izetta impolitic chances taxidermy considerate atreides amphibious epees cece tasting prizzi lanae beregi munger eider liswood warshaw. Stetson Macedon insomnia kilgour danit a inholding vandenburgh brainchild buckingham Richards etienne repetitive. barbeque indians. suburb reek shull enters pacifist myriem cyrus zenda harlam rooftop. tokunaga assassinate volkie filomena downfall gabbey bencze irrecoverable. Mudd stub seepage rebbeca pulham charles tsugawa politician cami hasbrook kirowa pallete bulow. clan startle telte standschuetze tomate Igor guaranty donette yosuke deport sherwood. lindasay mavis britannia protozoan Kennecott jubilant snook atonement myrilla unanimity medley. waterfront psalm. naoma vanoni pukao malavaqua emmeline jasmin volkmar. brand codie sulaliwan eby haghi shootist dehumidify dona Clemson pennant Pepsi olafsen bonchard Youngstown wertz thermomigrate.

And it goes on for nearly 700 words more. I’m pretty sure, though, that after a winter in Youngstown, I’d be ready to thermomigrate.

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Superfluous, redundant, and superfluous

Resting comfortably together in the bottom of the spam trap yesterday:

A whole hell of a lot of spam from one Jason Robin

I guess “Jason” gets points for obsequiousness.

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These people think I’m stupid

Or at least they’re hoping I am:

Bogus email warning

The link goes to email-admin.ml, and .ml is the country code for the Republic of Mali, which makes me wonder if maybe I should forward this to the French Foreign Legion.

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Sure it has

A hint of Apple-scented phish:

Phony ID warning not at all from Apple

Then again, if you’re gonna be spoofed, might as well be spoofed by someone with good hardware, am I right?

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Someone will believe that

And will regret it later, I suspect:

Trust me, you don’t want to be a scam victim, and nobody is going to send you $500,000. In fact, nobody is going to send you $5.

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Retain this, pal

The title was “Legal Service Inquiry,” and this was the extent of the text:

We want to retain your firm for legal representation matter.

Regard,

Isao Teshirogi,
Shionogi & Co., Ltd.

The addresses of all the “undisclosed recipients” were encrypted, but there didn’t seem to be anything hidden below the message header. I have no idea why this would be sent to me; I am not a lawyer, and it’s been a few years since the last time I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.

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You didn’t write that

But yeah, I’d be surprised too:

Patrick Reames had no idea why Amazon.com sent him a 1099 form saying he’d made almost $24,000 selling books via Createspace, the company’s on-demand publishing arm. That is, until he searched the site for his name and discovered someone has been using it to peddle a $555 book that’s full of nothing but gibberish.

I’ve bought rather a lot of gibberish from Amazon, though I’m quite sure I paid less than $555 for it. This is a different sort of scheme entirely:

“Based on what I could see from the ‘sneak peak’ function, the book was nothing more than a computer generated ‘story’ with no structure, chapters or paragraphs — only lines of text with a carriage return after each sentence,” Reames said in an interview with KrebsOnSecurity.

The impersonator priced the book at $555 and it was posted to multiple Amazon sites in different countries. The book — which as been removed from most Amazon country pages as of a few days ago — is titled Lower Days Ahead, and was published on Oct 7, 2017.

Reames said he suspects someone has been buying the book using stolen credit and/or debit cards, and pocketing the 60 percent that Amazon gives to authors. At $555 a pop, it would only take approximately 70 sales over three months to rack up the earnings that Amazon said he made.

Nor is this the only example of the scheme:

[S]earching Amazon for the name Vyacheslav Grzhibovskiy turns up dozens of Kindle “books” that appear to be similar gibberish works — most of which have the words “quadrillion,” “trillion” or a similar word in their titles. Some retail for just one or two dollars, while others are inexplicably priced between $220 and $320.

(Via Fark.)

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One apple, polished

This one uses the time-honored Butter Up the Webmaster technique:

Excellent goods from you, man. I have bear in mind your stuff previous to and you are just too excellent. I really like what you’ve bought right here, really like what you are saying and the way in which through which you assert it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to stay it smart. I can not wait to learn much more from you.

This is really a tremendous site.

Tremendous, it is. And I do work at staying it smart.

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Vamp and revamp

I suspect anyone who’s run a blog for more than a week and a half has received stuff like this:

I got a spam email from a dude the other day who told me how great my blog was. Then he offered to write it for me. I guess his message was “you are good, but I am better”. If this drivel was written by someone else, it wouldn’t be my blog anymore, would it?

I fully acknowledge that better writing would help the place. It might drive up readership. An editor would be a significant improvement. While we are at it, a template change and pruning of the blogroll would spruce the place up too. A pay raise for the writing and custodial staff would improve morale. Perhaps new iPads and laptops for the research department are in order. How about pretzels and cold beer TGIF parties?

But no, what they really want you to do is to download some highly-dubious utilities. Or worse.

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Bank account stripped

I have no idea what, or how much, else:

A fraudster who met her victim on a dating website for naturists scammed him out of £50,000.

Moira Etchells, 45, met Ian Chatting-Tonks in 2013 and persuaded him to lend her the cash to start a business artificially inseminating cows.

Swansea Crown Court heard she spent £35,000 on a new Land Rover and banked the rest.

Etchells, of Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, admitted fraud and got an 18-month sentence, suspended for two years.

Which doesn’t sound like too much of a sentence, but she did sell the vehicle and pay back the amount she scammed.

The court was told Etchells had underlying bipolar effective disorder and her condition led to her making “fanciful” claims.

“I have found this case truly bizarre,” said Judge Geraint Walters.

One wonders if this case would have gotten coverage from the BBC had the participants been clothed. Maybe the artificial-insemination angle might have done it.

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But I repeat myself

First spam, 11:03 am Sunday:

Hi there i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anywhere, when i read this post i thought i could also make comment due to this good paragraph.

Second spam, two hours later:

Hey there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one? Thanks a lot!

Now obviously these “people” are lying like a rug. But they both came from the same IP address: 45.72.73.31. And they’re both linking to the same YouTube video:

That’ll be 0.4 BTC from each of you, due within 15 days.

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Geeks bearing GIFs

Actually, this claims to be a JPEG rather than a GIF, but either way, it looks remarkably untrustworthy:

Alleged link from Backphoto

The actual link, as sent, does contain the string “DCIM_36821,” but it’s not a JPEG. Go figure.

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Filter spectre

Smart spam filters, it appears, are barely brighter than dumb spam filters:

FastMail says once its system has learned 200 spams and 200 not-spams to my account, a personal spam filtering algorithm based on that learning will go into effect. In the almost two months I’ve been using FastMail it’s learned thousands of not-spams; the number of spams it claims to have learned is … 27. At this rate I’ll have my personal spam filter in time for the 2020 election cycle. I can only hope the educational process picks up steam between now and Boxing Day.

But that’s the thing about all the variations on the theme of artificial intelligence: they may not be particularly intelligent, but they’re practically guaranteed to be artificial.

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