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A Dispatch

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January 30, 2009

Sorry to Burst Your Bubble

With Valentine's Day approaching, hucksters and crooks are ready to exploit the human need to be wanted or needed. A sex chat business has been swamping the spam lines today with this type of crap:

Subject: Your Friend Has an eCrush on You

Your Friend Has Sent You an eKiss!

To find out who has a crush on you go to:


eKiss Rep 2973

A click of the link most likely earns a referral fee for the spammer, so somebody is making money off your curiosity. The final destination may also be a drive-by malware site, if you want to take your chances.

Seeing this old ruse of a secret admirer around Valentine's Day prompts me to reprint here a page or so from Spam Wars. Here is a list you should print out and tape to every email user's wall next to the computer screen:

  • You did not win a Dutch (or Spanish, German, or any other country’s) lottery.
  • Paypal, eBay, your financial institutions, and government agencies do not send emails with links to empty account information forms: They know your data when you visit their sites, so they can fill in most, if not all, form fields for you from their databases.
  • You cannot opt out of all spam by registering anyplace, for free or for a fee.
  • You will not receive an email warning about pending government litigation, especially a message that contains attachments of the “evidence.”
  • No one received email addressed to you by mistake, so the attachment does not contain messages intended for you.
  • You do not have a secret admirer.
  • Lisa did not just move into your area.
  • The free gift for which you’re supposed to register is worth less than the value of your “live” email address.
  • No order for anything will be shipped to you if you haven’t placed the order.
  • You have not received an e-card from an unnamed person you know (and if you did, the payload may be deadly).
  • Pay-per-view TV is not free.
  • Anonymous stock tips are for suckers.
  • You will lose money without ever having a chance to stuff envelopes at home in your free time.
  • You do not have a check waiting from a stranger.
  • Filling out surveys is not a road to riches.
  • You need a prescription for legal prescription medicines.
  • Excess fat doesn’t burn—except during exercise or on a barbecue.
  • No stranger is holding a highly valued “position” open just for you in a network marketing plan.
  • Eventually, you’ll be caught having a phony degree from an unaccredited college and be fired.
  • No self-respecting developer or marketer of antispam and antispyware software would have the gall to sell his products via spam.
  • Genuine new and upgradeable copies of multi-hundred-dollar Symantec, Adobe, and Microsoft software products cost a lot more than $30 to $60.
  • The form embedded in an email does not submit the information over a secure connection.

I accumulated this list back in 2004. One more item is worth adding to the list because of the number of people getting suckered out of large amounts of dough in recent years:

  • If a business transaction with an unknown party requires that you send money by wire for any reason, the entire deal is a fraud.

Still, the list holds up very well and goes to show you how much has not changed over the years.

Posted on January 30, 2009 at 08:51 AM