Thursday, December 04, 2008

I don't know why spam is always misspelled.

As I think I've mentioned before, I have four email accounts, and manage two others for clients. That's a lot of spam. Gmail and Entourage have decent spam filters, but a fair amount manages to make its way through, and every so often I look through the spam folders just to make sure I haven't missed anything important.

What surprises me is not the number of emails that are obvious scams, but how amateurish these attempts are. If you are pretending to represent a financial institution, wouldn't you take the trouble to spell its name correctly? If you're soliciting lonely men, why would you waste your time sending an email to an address that obviously belongs to a woman? And in all of these cases, if you're presenting yourself as a legitimate commercial enterprise, can't you take the time to run the email through your software's grammar and spelling checker?

The other thing I don't know is how many people respond to these spam messages. Someone must, or the spammers wouldn't bother; I wonder how many responses they need to get in order to make the effort worthwhile.

I'd think that everyone knows about the Nigerian email scam by now, but apparently not. And maybe legitimate emails have gotten so sloppy that the fake ones now look normal.

7 comments:

Liam said...

Sometimes the misspell things on purpose... as to throw off the spam filters that might be looking for that word...

AnswerGirl said...

That's true -- and I also sometimes wonder whether they deliberately misspell words so as hook only the greediest, stupidest and most gullible, as a way to tell themselves they're only stealing from those who deserve it.

All cons require the consent of the swindled...

norby said...

But I so enjoy getting the emails that offer to help me increase my sperm count...

Bea said...

Well, you've got to remember, these things aren't actually being sent by "spammers." They're being put together and sent by spammers using botnets and malware infected computers. There's a surprising degree of automation involved and it's not as if anyone is picking specific email address to send to.

Anonymous said...

I am only commenting because the word that pops up in the word verfication space was "Spachies" which sounds like something you may see in a spam subject line.
"Re:Let me help you dr1ve your lover spachies!"

RBo

Laura Benedict said...

Okay. Can anyone tell me why I get daily spam that's ostensibly from MY OWN email address? Yahoo can't seem to. They say my account isn't really being used--it's just that someone is replacing their address w/ mine or somesuch. Drives me nuts! I look nothing like a Canadian pharmacy!

But I digress. I hate to have to look through all that spam, too.

If I ever get rich and famous (ha!), will you do my email, too?!

AnswerGirl said...

Now, Laura, if I handled your email, how could anyone stalk you??