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October 17, 2011

You Did NOT Win a FREE $1000 Apple iPad 2!

It starts with this spam email message:

Subject: You've Won A FREE $1000 Apple iPad 2!

Congratulations, you've been specially chosen based on the selection of your email address: dannyg@dannyg.com , as the winner of a brand new Free $1000 Apple iPad 2! To claim yours, just click on the link below:

Claim Your Apple iPad 2

Your new Apple iPad 2 gives you the best of all worlds: performance, total portability, and an innovative, rich feature-set including a 64GB Flash drive, LED lighting, a Dual-core A5 chip for twice the processing speed and super fast graphics - all in a design that's 33% sleeker and 15% lighter. No contract required. Keep it for yourself, or use it as a great gift for someone special.

Your iPad 2 is being held for you for a limited time, so please claim yours today:

Free Apple iPad 2

All the best,

Ellie Michaels
Awards Dept

Let me count the ways that this message fails CAN-SPAM compliance:

  1. Forged header.
    • The From: field uses my email address as the displayed text, with a bogus microsoft.com address as the actual address for replies.
    • The topmost Received: header field forges the sending domain as something from China, while my email server's reverse MX record shows the message having originated from an sbcglobal.net IP address.
    • The Message-Id: header field identifies itself as originating from my domain.
  2. No identity of the sending organization.
  3. No opt-out provision

Oh, yeah, and the message body is a complete lie. There is no iPad sitting somewhere with your name on it. There also isn't such a thing as a $1000 iPad 2. The Apple Store lists the most tricked-out model at $829.00.

I believe this message is a lure to the type of marketing scam that has been around for ages. The attraction is a free [fill-in-the-latest-cool-gizmo]. Before you'll ever get a chance to see the item, you'll have to jump through costly hoops, endless surveys, and eventually give up your address book (or Twitter/Facebook followers) to the spammer. Your friends' email addresses will be thrown into the worldwide spam recipient database. As you slog your way over countless hurdles, the promoter is making dough through your surveys (he gets paid for each one filled out), sales of sample products, and so on. He's counting on you to give up before he has to fulfill sending you your "free" gift.

That this spammer does not even try to be CAN-SPAM compliant leads me to believe you'll never see anything, no matter how hard you work toward your goal.

The spammer wins.

You lose.

What else is new?

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 10:51 AM