Posted by: stevealbers | July 15, 2008

What’s in your Inbox?

What’s in your Inbox?

I know that spam still pesters people worse than the Cobra Kai did Daniel-san in The Karate Kid; but how many people are still falling for this stuff? Does anyone think there is money in a foreign country, sexy singles that really want to chat with them, or pharmaceuticals that can help with performance in a multitude of settings?

My Dad(at 64) has finally boarded the Cyberspace Express, and even he knows the gimmicks and ploys for them to get your information.

A few trends I’ve seen lately:

Using my e-mail address as a contact name –“swalbers, she says you need this!” was a recent one that came through my inbox. Well, no one here goes by that name, and “this” could mean so many things… too bad for them I’m a bad guesser.  This time around, I guessed the “this” in the subject line referred to a free sample of Soul-Glo, as in:

Needless to say, I deleted without opening.

Typical Phishing Schemes – The UK Lottery, random Nigerian consulates, nor one of “swalbers’s” long lost relatives have left me money. Bank of America shouldn’t be concerned about security issues about my account… since I don’t (and have ever had) any business dealings with them. I could see how these would be the most likely to work, but with all of the information on phishing ploys I hope people are logging into their own Paypal, etc. site to see if there has been a security issue.

Oddities – Received one today that had a subject line of: “New York Yankees killed in bus accident.” Wow!?! Talk about random… it’s almost like they’re just seeing if anyone is paying attention. Part of me wanted to open it just to see what their angle was… but alas, I went to ESPN.com and didn’t see anything on the front page about it. Hmmm… go figure.

I know sending out e-mails is very inexpensive, but what can the ROI be on something like this? Is the spammer paid by the number who open the e-mail, actually by the product, or just on the number of messages sent? How do you even become a part of the spam industry (I wonder if there is a secret handshake)?

Whatever the case, it seems that my spam filters are doing better and better about filtering out the stuff I don’t want. My Gmail account hasn’t had more than 5 messages in my inbox, that should have been in my spam folder.  I need to do some research on what is being done to identify and/or prosecute spammers.

Thoughts? Any interesting subject lines that you’ve seen lately?

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Responses

  1. Nice post Steve.

    I think it would be interesting to follow up on the CAN-SPAM Act and see if anyone has actually been prosecuted.

    Sending SPAM is cheap and there are enough people who still fall for it that it is worth the spammers time to play the numbers game. They need a stronger deterrent.

  2. Thanks Jesse!
    I agree that there must be people still clicking on the ads, otherwise they would’ve given up on it by now. It also seems like a difficult case to investigate and prosecute the people who are spamming. I’m just glad that spam filters have become more efficient, so I’m not wading through 10 spams to 1 legit e-mail!


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