Monday, February 19, 2007

Gotta Love 'Em!

As annoying as they are, I have to admit to a certain grudging admiration for spammers. For instance, now that I'm hip to a new (to me) technique of theirs, I find their ingenuity rather noteworthy. This technique involves sending e-mail that really, truly looks like a news item. The subject is always timely and, as far as I can tell, "real." I was first tooken in by what purported to be a report on the health of my state's senior senator, Tim Johnson. "Sen. Johnson's condition upgraded MORE ..." read the subject line; the sender purported to be "C. Mcgill - News Service", a monicker unfamiliar to me, but since it is a subject of interest to me...

Well, of course, it turned out to be yet another IPO come-on ("could be your big break!"), and since then not a day goes by that the inbox is not littered with similar "news" items. Annoying, yes, but ingenious!

(And lest you fear: I was not so gullible as to open a suspect message in my e-mail client: The item in question came to my workplace e-mail account, which is safeguarded by the truly remarkable Barracuda filter, and it was in the Barracuda window that I safely viewed the e-mail's spammy content.)

On the other hand, sometimes--lots of times--the spam mongers are just stupid. Or lazy. Or think their audience is (probably can't go wrong thinking that). F'rinstance, this morning I have no fewer than four items in my Yahoo! Mail "bulk mail" folder (out of 95) indicating a "4th Notice" that " You're a YAHOO winner!" Uh-huh. How can I have four "fourth notices" staring me in the face? And what happened to notices one through three?

As with so many things in life, why do it if you're not going to do it well? I mean, there you are in an internet cafe in Nigeria or someplace and you and your buddies are sending out spam to the big wide world out there--how come you're all using the same subject line? Does it not occur to you that your 500 pieces of spammery will all end up in my mailbox more or less at the same time, and that I might, just might be suspicious if I have 500 messages that all say "Urgent message for"?

Come on--you guys aren't even trying. And if you don't care about your work, well, why should I?

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