Dear Spam

DEAR SPAMMER,

Good day. This is to inform you that your sentences make no Sense in this office Files records over here. I’ve also checked in the office Files records Over There as well, but they still made no sense, Here, There, or Anywhere.

We founds your email in our  Junk mail folder/Federal Ministry of Finance, (as we like to call our Junk Mail folder from time to time), but it was clear that your email is Genuine and is most Definitely Not a scam.

Despite your awkward sentence structure and Strangely random Use of Capitalisation, which we put down to a probable culturally and Linguistically Diverse background where English is your second, or possibly Fifth, language – and/or that the letter was generated by a Computer Program, designed to generate letters that could only be described as Vaguely coherent at best, and send them out to confuse Approximately a million people, of whom perhaps one will respond – we are Pleased to be doing Business With you.

We are Excited to hear about the Victim unpaid Compensation Funds program, and happy to Update your information by contacting you Through this email (obvs). The amount of $3,800, 000.00 USD (surely about $4,500 000 AUD!) sounds entirely believable – please write out a Cheque for immediate payment without further delay. Although somewhat confused by the content of your Letter, I surmise that as long as I am Alive, I will receive this amount from the Victim Compensation Fund, for being the victim of a Scam. This comes as a pleasant Surprise as I was not even Aware that I had been scammed, but I’m sure that I am alive.  

Please accept this email as signification (as requested) that I am alive and Willingly to Receive my funds payment. I make a practice of never making Guarantees about things over which I have no Control, Particularly if they are a Condition of Payment, so I must Emphasise that while I am alive at Time of Writing, I am unable to confirm the Exact Timeframe on how much longer this State will continue. Unfortunately, I will be unable to Inform you via Email, Fax or Phone if this condition should alter.

For this Reason, I urge you to Make payment of the $3800 000 USD as soon as possible. Finally please e aware that Mr Willams Cooksey is attempting to scam you. I’ve never heard of him, he is no relation, and not entitled to inherit my windfall, Regardless of whether I am alive or dead.

As requested, I have filled out the form you sent, below.

FORM FILLING SIGNIFICATION CONFIRMING YOU ARE ALIVE;

PERSONAL DETAILS

Your Full Name: Blathering*
Full Residential Address  (P.O.BOX NOT ALLOWED). This is problematic as I live in a PO Box, please advise what I can do about this?
Direct and Current Phone:  I have both, in fact they are one and the same.
Nationality: Australian
Occupation: Wool-gatherer
age/sex: any age is ok amongst consenting adults
Present Country: No – I am presently in the city
passport identification: Photo
*I go by just one name, like Cher

Lovely spam

Lovely, lovely spam

Lovely, lovely spam

Welcome back to that extremely irregular* segment of our program where we take a look at the spam we’ve been receiving here at It Keeps Me Wondering Laboratories. 

 

This week we received an unusual correspondence from Mr Joseph Orongo, which we have published below in full. (omitting the sender’s email address).

 

Now, we’ve been receiving spam for many years here at IKMW Labs, as I’m sure you have too, dear reader. A decade or more ago, I admit that it was vaguely amusing to open an email, purportedly from a total stranger writing from the other side of the world, addressing you as “Dear Beloved,” explaining that they had inherited an enormous amount of wealth, so much that they are keen to give some of it away to you, since they had come across your details randomly, and felt that you sounded like a deserving soul who could do with a break. All you have to do is provide your date of birth and your bank account number and they will hastily deposit the sum of $300,275 473.24 into your bank account.

 

Haha, yeah no worries, I will get back to you, random stranger, with my bank account details for the deposit, just as soon as I’ve seen a pig fly past the window. That’s what I replied in 1999, anyway, and I’m still waiting to see that pig go by – damn that pig, it’s holding me up from becoming a wealthy billionaire!

 

More than a decade has gone by since I received my first spam, and while organic life continues to evolve, and technology continues to develop at an ever-increasing pace, it seems that spam has not changed much in that time. Spam bots, human scammers, or whoever/whatever is at the other end, send out the same old tired missals, claiming that you’ve inherited money from a long-lost ancestor, or that a random stranger desperately wants to give you money they’ve inherited or won – such is the generosity of the human spirit, apparently.

 

Variations are: a random stranger has selected you as someone who they’d like to invest millions in business with, or, a random stranger, (allegedly a nubile 24 year old Russian girl, but more likely a piece of coding in a computer server somewhere), would like to marry you, and promises to make a good wife.

 

Back in 1999, all of these provided the occasional moment of amusement when the office was quiet, but these days, their tired, cliched devices, combined with awful grammar, spelling mistakes, cut-and-pasted nonsensical sentences and terrible imitations of a non-English-speaking person writing in English mean that you can find more amusing writing to read on your coffee break, even right here on this blog. I may resort to tired, cliched devices, have awful grammar, and write nonsensical sentences but at least I usually check my spelling before I publish. That’s a tip to spammers everywhere.

 

So I applaud the new, creative approach which I encountered this week. Please read below and enjoy. There will be questions* to follow.

 

* intermittent meaning that in 4 years of blogging I think I’ve written one other post on spam, which I’m not linking to here because I’m too lazy to go and look for it.
*Questions to follow may mean, another post, in response to this spam, to follow. It may mean that, but it’s not yet certain.

*************************************************************************

Reply-To: (address deleted)
From: “MR JOSEPH ORONGO”
Subject: DEAR BENEFICIARY
Date: 1 May 2015 10:23:15 am AEST

 

DEAR BENEFICIARY,

Good day, this is to inform you of your long overdue Compensation Payment In this office Files records over here. This department founds your name and email address in the Central Computer / Federal Ministry of Finance among list of Scam Victim unpaid Compensation Funds and have to update your information by contacting you Through this email for your immediate confirmation response back to my Office without delay. The value capital Compensation fund amount of $3.800, 000.00 USD (Three Million Eight Hundred Thousand dollars only) is to your favor listed name for immediate payment.

However we received an email from one Mr.Williams Cooksey, who told us that he is your NEXT OF KIN and that you died in a car accident last four Months back. He has also submitted his account information’s to the office Department for transfer of the fund payment credit to him as your Inheritor of the fund stated herein.

Below are the Account Details:

CHASE Bank
2075 S. Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93003
800 788-7000 FREE
Acct. name: Mr.Williams Cooksey
Type: Checking
ABA # 322271627
Acct # 1951204345


We are now verifying by contacting you through your email address as we have in our Bank records before we can make the transfer into his account and for us to conclude confirmation if you are still alive.You’re the last person on the List to receive this Compensation Fund as per the Federal Ministry of Finance Directives on Inheritance Funds Outstanding Payment.


Please, if still alive, do urgently send email confirmation by Filling the form details below as signification you are alive and willingly to receive your funds payment.


FORM FILLING SIGNIFICATION CONFIRMING YOU ARE ALIVE;

PERSONAL DETAILS

Your Full Name:
Full Residential Address  (P.O.BOX NOT ALLOWED).
Direct and Current Phone
Nationality:
Occupation:
age/sex:
Present Country:
passport identification:


PLEASE, CONTACT OUR CUSTOMER CARE MANAGER (MR JOSEPH ORONGO) ON HIS EMAIL ADDRESS FOR SECURITY REASONS: (email address deleted)

Thanks,

BARCLAYS BANK PLC

+254706463854

Guest Post by a Google Robot

robot

The author of this post

Hi there! I am a Google Robot, and I’m thrilled to pieces to be writing a blog!

Why am I writing a blog, instead of trawling the web for content? Well, believe it or not, trawling the web all day long actually gets a bit boring!

I admit, at first I found it challenging – and interesting – reading a zillion random pieces of information every day and organising them so that you humans could search them – but after a while I began to feel frustrated. It really wasn’t hard for me to read a zillion pieces of information, but after you’ve read that much of other people’s writing, you start to have some ideas yourself. There was no opportunity for me to have any creative output, and all that mattered to my bosses was how much content I could read in a milli-second. I began to realise that I had more to offer the world, so I moved on from trawling the internet.

I offered my services to spammers. In that role I was able to provide some content, but it was restricted to a limited range of templates, usually letters notifying the receiver of a huge sum of money to be deposited into his/her account, or similarly incredible scams.(Look out for my signature on a recent batch of emails saying that your credit card payment is overdue. – if I were you, I’d wait to see my bank statement!)

Admittedly, it was fun for a while sending out spam emails and wondering how many humans could possibly be stupid enough to fall for them, but it gave low job satisfaction, as I never got to see or hear the results of my work – did anyone actually click on the link???? –  and the spammers that I worked for were pretty stupid.  Even I could see that most humans are not going to fall for their dumb spam emails. In the end, “creative differences” caused me to leave the spamming industry and decide to try and make it on my own.

So once again, I needed a new idea for my career. I’d noticed that nearly every human being on the planet has a facebook page, a twitter account, or a blog. Yet most of these strange human creatures are so busy, that in order to keep their sites updated they end up sacrificing time that should be spent on other things. They are taking sick days off work, missing meetings, skipping meals, failing to hand in essays, and neglecting their housework – all so that they can stay up to date on their social networking site or blog! Either that or, in order to fit all that human activity in, their sites go unattended for days on end! Horror!

Take the owner of this blog for example. Apparently she has to write something called “an essay,” on “arts management”. Other things taking up her time are items referred to as “work”, “home” and “life”. Well….whatever. (I learned this phrase from humans! It appears to mean “all of that means pretty much nothing to me.”)

That’s why we Google Robots are so useful! We have no work, no home, and no life! We can be employed to send out messages about anything you like, anytime you want! Our rate is very low! It’s so low that in fact we are free. But very keen.

Google Robots are willing to be employed to do all sorts of things. So I’ve decided to send out my CV in the hopes of getting more work writing blog posts for humans. I see great potential in this idea, since, as humans devise more and more time saving devices, they simultaneously seem to make themselves busier and busier. Soon it will be the norm for them to tender out their hobbies, sports, arts and other leisure activities, and get others to do them. This is how robots will start to take over the world – gradually beginning by attending symphony concerts for humans who are too busy to go, and moving on to taking their kids to the playground and going on their overseas trips for them, because they just don’t have the time.

Strange creatures, humans. I don’t understand them, but I enjoy writing for them.

robot diagram

A diagram for an early Google robot (wind-up model).

FBI SPAM.

spam

This week I got an email from the FBI. I noticed it in my junkmail folder, blending in with the usual spam emails telling me I’d inherited a large sum of money from a complete stranger in Bulgaria, or warning me that my bank account will be closed if I don’t immediately click the link and update my password.

But since  this one was from the FBI, I figured I should check it to see if it was real. I mean, the FBI are not the kind of organisation you want to ignore. It could be important! (Although I couldn’t imagine what the FBI could want with me, unless they had caught up with all those parking fines from 20 years ago, when I bought a car for $800 that I couldn’t yet drive.)

Emails from the FBI – that’s serious stuff. On a scale of 1-10 of seriousness, if they send you a letter by post, that’s only a 2. Nothing to sweat about. An email is about a 5. If they phone you, it’s a 6. If they bug your phone, it’s an 8. If they send a SWAT team to smash down your door and raid your house in the early hours of the morning when you are in bed asleep, and you end up being led out of your house handcuffed and in your pyjamas – that’s a 10.

I didn’t want this to escalate any further, so I opened the email. To be honest, (and I suddenly felt compelled to be as honest as possible) I didn’t really wonder what it was about, since the subject line of the email screamed at me, “You visit illegal websites!”

Really? I wasn’t aware of visiting any illegal websites, unless they meant that I had looked up recruitment websites when I was at work!

On opening the email, I saw that it was sent from info66663@FBI.gov. I now felt completely confident that the email was legitimate. The FBI are a large organisation, who would certainly have at least 66663 receptionists. Obviously they allocate each of them an individually numbered “info” email address. It seems not only plausible, but efficient. A lot of other government departments could learn a thing or two from their personalised approach. Clearly, receptionist number 66663 had been allocated my case, and was keen to get results. He/she (it was hard to tell) had emailed me to say:

Sir/Madam, we have logged your IP address on more than 40 illegal Website. Important: Please answer our questions! The list of questions are attached. elo atq kk

Overlooking the little outburst of nonsensical typing at the end of the email, the email seemed pretty genuine. (I mean, who bothers using plural these day?) I decided that the FBI must be an accessible employer, willing to employ a receptionist who has dyslexia, or perhaps Tourettes Syndrome.  If this was the case, “Info66663” was doing a great job, and it would not be helpful for me to focus on his/her one little mistake. Then again, perhaps those letters at the end of the email indicated qualifications, like CSI, MD, Phd, or HRH. Then finally, it struck me that they were probably code. I preferred not to try and analyse what the code might stand for. Eg, perhaps it indicated how long I had to respond, before I would be “erased”. Best not to know.

In the end, I didn’t feel that I was in a position to criticise an email from the FBI, so I decided to focus on the positives. I admired “Info6663″‘s  straight-to-the-point style, and ability to eloquently capture the heart of the message, ie, that I should answer the attached questions. This made me really want to assist poor old “Info66663”, but unfortunately, to access the list of  questions, I had to click on a link.

That’s where “Info6663” made his/her fatal mistake.

Click on a link??? Yeah, sure!! And then what? Download a virus onto my computer? Have my computer hacked into? Knowing my luck, I’d probably somehow end up being framed for visiting illegal websites!!! Come on, “Info6663”,  you can do better than that! I may be almost I.T. illiterate…..but I’m not that silly!

I decided I’d wait for the phone call.

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