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Being the genius that I am, I require constant mental input. When I run out of mental stimuli I like to go through my various email account’s spam folders to see what kind of things I’m missing out on. It used to be just the usual things: penis enlargement and university diplomas. While those two things can be a winning combination it gets kind of boring to just see those two all the time.

Things haven’t changed much in the spam email universe. I may get a lot more now, but it’s usually the same thing. Actually, I get a bit more porn ones than usual (I’m looking at you, Russian Mail Order Bride site) and that will bring us to what’s really wrong with spam email these days.

The trick to spam is to get someone to read it and have it seem somewhat legitimate. This is not happening. My Yahoo! account is a good example. First, the majority of spam in my Yahoo account is in Spanish. It’s the only one of my email accounts that gives me Spanish spam. Right there, I know I can ignore it. But the person in charge of sending spam to the Yahoo accounts is so incredibly stupid that they use my email address as the sender. Sure, I have a crappy memory sometimes but I’m pretty sure I’d remember if I sent myself an email about getting a university diploma at home while having a large penis.

My Yahoo! account is where most of my job search stuff ends up. It’s not surprising, then, that a lot of the spam is made to look like a job offer. You would think that’s kind of clever, but it’s easy to spot if, say, your resume is full of stuff about network administration and the emails you get start with this: “Hello Mr. X, I’ve been reading your resume and you sound like a perfect fit to sell insurance!”

But I know that there are people out there who are new to the Internet and not savvy to the ways of spam, and old people who are easily suckered, and lonely people who are happy to get any kind of email, and people who are just plain stupid so let’s take an email and see if we can educate some people in recognizing spam emails.

This is an actual email I have in my Yahoo! spam catcher. I’ve only edited out my personal details, everything else is exactly how I received it.

Take a look at it and see if you spot anything unusual. I’ll wait. Okay, let’s start with the addressing of the email.

First, the email comes from a Yahoo! account. Would you trust a company that sent you an email not using their companies email address? Also, it’s addressed to the same person that sent it. That means you’re on a mailing list. This email was not sent to you, it was sent to you and a billion other people. Also, that doesn’t look like a real name.

How many times have you walked into Target and had the cashier try and convince you that they were, in fact, a store and not a scam? Or a bank? Once? Twice? Never? That’s because they don’t need to. A scammer, on the other hand, does have to convince you that he’s not a scammer. And what better way than to blurt out, “Hey! I’m not a scammer!”

And then there’s the person you’re supposed to contact. What isn’t unusual is that it’s a different person than who sent the email. What is unusual is that this person is using the company email address rather than a Yahoo! account. Again, why would a legitimate company send you an email from a Yahoo! account if they had a perfectly valid company account to use? They wouldn’t. Also, “jobbs”? I won’t even mention that the email appears to be used for Americans ($ amounts, ‘jobbsbankusa‘) and yet they used the word “whilst” in the email.

So, there you go. Ways that you can avoid getting ripped off and taken advantage of. Oh, wait, there is one more detail.

Unless you’re George Hamilton, human resource employees almost never send you pictures of their asses. As a rule, they don’t allow pictures like this in the company directory, either. Unless this is some kind of new “work at home” HR thing and this person sidelines as a prostitute it’s certain that this didn’t come from a legitimate company.

I hope you all found this helpful.