Monday, October 15, 2012

Today's Spam

Okay, I mostly just delete spam without opening it, but this one from Mrs. Amal Nasri caught my eye:

Muslim Brotherhood Random Selection Approved

As-Salamu Alaykum

Muslim Brotherhood random selection approved your email along with 199 others to benefit from the revolution gift, this is organized in London Early this year, it's organized to encourage the Muslim world and appreciate their support, and to those who have lost their love ones in the revolution, your compensation amount is Two Million United States of American Dollars (USD $2,000,000.00),

Contact email: XXXX
Mrs.Amal Nasri.
Arab Revolution

It was recently explained to me that spammers are not stupid, and that the complete lack of credibility in this sort of email is not sloppiness or lack of research. Fooling you is a waste of their time if, after the initial email hooks one, the intended victims suddenly says, "Hey, wait a minute! That doesn't make any sense!" when asked for one's bank account password. No, they send out deliberately ridiculous emails hoping to hook that one in a million really stupid person who will fall for anything, and so can be relied on to follow through.

The other key to a good con, I learned from some movie or other decades ago: the victim must think s/he is doing something illegal/immoral themselves so that they are then disinclined to report their victimization, once they eventually realized they have been fleeced.

So this one comes close to perfect on both counts. You'd have to be both spectacularly stupid and a traitor to your right-wing prejudices to fall for this one. "They randomly selected my email to give me $2 million dollars? Yes, that makes sense! They randomly blow people up, so naturally, they must be equally random in everything they do! They are insane, so this makes total sense!" Someone questions why they would have 200 X 2 million dollars to handout -- no problem: "Those damn arabs have billions! That's just chump change to them!" And, you know, handing out billions to random emails is way more cost effective for the revolution than say, I don't know, buying armaments. And they probably do use US dollars, because that's what they would use in London, right? "And anyway, they think I've suffered a loss for the revolution. So all I have to do is pretend to be Muslim revolutionary and I can collect big time!"

What bothers me is that spammers can find enough takers to make it worth their while to clutter up my email stream. That there are more than four guys who could fall for this is a condemnation of Social Studies teachers everywhere. That the people who fall for this are eligible to vote for Mitt Romney is the flaw in the democratic system.

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