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spammers think you’re stupid

May 1, 2009

I receive a lot of spam on this blog—I’m sure everyone does—and Akismet catches most of it. But sometimes I like to go back and look at some of the spam comments out of curiosity. I received this one just last week:

Yooo..

I kno it has nothing to do with what you wrote, but have you ever heard of (ringtone site URL). They seems to promise free ringtones

PS. Dont be an ass, this is NOT spam 😉

It amazes me that people think they can get away with this type of crap. First of all, the spammer himself doesn’t appear to possess a high school education, as he cannot formulate a complete sentence. Secondly, he thinks that I will allow his comment to remain on my blog if he tells me not to be an ass.

I think we all can identify the ass is in this particular correspondence.

It got me thinking, though, about the effectiveness of spam campaigns. I rarely even bother to read something that looks like spam, and the spammers make it easy by branding themselves in everything they write: poor grammar, incorrect spelling, long URLs, claims of grandeur. Wouldn’t it be more effective to disguise spam by writing eloquently?

For example, if I wanted a link back to this web site, I could just find a blog similar to my own and leave a thoughtful comment, followed by a signature with my URL. Very simple. Technically I’m leaving the comment just to get the link, but since I’ve provided something useful it doesn’t appear that way.

It’s like those Nigerian scams. I still get at least one e-mail per week from someone who claims to be the executor of an estate totaling millions of dollars, asking if I will be the beneficiary. Don’t they realize that most of us are on to their game? Anyone who responds to such an e-mail has been living in a cave for the last five years.

I did receive a new spin on the same story a few weeks ago. The sender claimed to be an Iraqi war veteran whose legs were lost in enemy fire and who had found a cache of money in Iraq and wanted to smuggle it back into the States. Transparent, but at least original.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Jenny Wyndham permalink
    May 1, 2009 10:06 am

    That’s hiliarious. This looks like spam, talks like spam, but isn’t spam. So don’t be an ass.

    These guys should hire me to spiff up their spam campaigns. If I were immoral and in desperate need of cash, that is. Thanks for the laugh, Sam!

    • May 14, 2017 10:38 pm

      We should do flash mobs daily…get a group together 100-200 people (get out those tea party lists) and appear in the midst of a busy places all over the country…play a patriotic sov8n#g230;eneryo&e pull out flags and placards that say something to the effect of: Obama is not American

  2. May 1, 2009 10:17 am

    I think the ones that come through with the bad grammar (I’ve gotten the exact same one you cited above) are from Russia. I’ve looked at the URLs attached to them, and most of them end in “.ru”. Much of this stuff originates from other countries, Russia is one of the biggest hideouts for these guys right now. It is incredible to us that they think we’re not already hip to this crap, and they keep trying anyway. I suspect most of these operations are not overly sophisticated to begin with.

  3. Sam Tamlyn permalink*
    May 1, 2009 10:59 am

    I know what you mean, Jenny. I’m sure some people do make a pretty healthy living with unethical sales and marketing campaigns.

  4. Sam Tamlyn permalink*
    May 1, 2009 11:01 am

    DD: I’ve heard that there are a lot of spammers based in Russia and other countries, especially since it is more difficult to get their web sites booted for unethical practices.

    What gets me is I read somewhere that even American spammers try to write like English is their second language. I’m not sure what purpose it serves, but it irritates the hell out of me!

  5. May 1, 2009 2:08 pm

    Oh that’s interesting. I wonder what the point of that is? To me, that marks it immediately as spam.

  6. May 1, 2009 5:18 pm

    [i know exactly what you mean, thank
    wordpress for askimet, imagine if it
    wasn’t there]

  7. Chris permalink
    May 15, 2009 1:31 am

    SPAM. Specially Prepared Artificial Meat. Or in this case ‘Specially Prepared Artificial Mail.’ Both, at least for me personally, leave a strange taste, and I hope one day, we will have a more viable electronic participation use system that can truly track SPAM down and alleviate this scourge of our time.

    Personally, I believe the digital masters of the Internet already have a SPAM busting system in place, but as social engineering transitions go, as we move into the realm of all electronic correspondence, we are not ready for a too rigid system to be in place. So, our current contempt for misuse of our still essentially new mail system will probably have to remain intact, especially since so many people using email for junk mail, can access ‘free’ email providers. There would be a lost less use of email if there were a cost per mailing, and that cost could be tagged upon spammers.

    Plus, if there is one positive aspect of digital junk mail, at least these people are not burning up tons of paper products that ends up in our snail mail boxes, that then has to be redundantly recycled as trash…

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