The last time I did a spam roundup (early 2002) the hot topics were money making scams, libido enhancing drugs, penis extensions, online casinos and weight loss. Over the last year the scene isn't much different, about the only change is there's a little more eye candy in the emails, and I'm now receiving over a hundred a day...
There are plenty of definitions of Spam out there on the web, but in email terms you might describe it as... "mass distribution of unsolicited email to accounts or discussion lists containing content of a marketing, chain-letter, harassing or nuisance nature".
Another 12 months go by and another fantastic array of 16,000 spam messages arrive in the old Inbox. Things are definitely getting worse, here's the monthly breakdown...
Here are some actual email titles which are pretty representative of the body of spam (though there are plenty of XXX titles that even I was too embarrassed to include)...
I like the idea of eliminating Credit Cards, not sure who pays off the credit on them though. I've got no idea what a RoboSweep is either, perhaps its a hunt through my flat for rogue alien robots. I haven't ordered a new car, boat or plane so hopefully they've been charged to my Credit card, and I definitely don't know what to make of "穧n朋友分", but I have got a couple of dodgy neighbours I'd like to know some more about.
I think the saddest thing about the above collection of titles is that I knew what a "PE Product for Men" was without actually reading the email (here's a hint the 'E' in 'PE' stands for enlargement)
Following are some more classic, no obligation, money-back guaranteed titles and message bodies from my Pandora's box of Spam.
Does this headline look familiar? Of course it does. You most likely have just seen this story recently featured on a major nightly news program (USA). And reported elsewhere in the world (including my neck of the woods - New Zealand).
This ones a classic scam involving sending out emails inviting people to pay a small amount for what is claimed to be a useful "report" on some financial or business matter. The thing I really like about this one though is that its personalised, notice the reference to "My neck of the woods - New Zealand". Chances are the NZ connection is entirely based on my email address, and that the person who wrote the program that composes the emails has probably never even heard of 'Noo Zeeeeland?'
Russian Mail Order Brides - Tired of Dating Spoiled American Women? Russian Women are Unspoiled, Devoted and Grateful! (Browse the FREE Pictures THEY Sent In!) We'll Post Your FREE Ad on Our Russian Site. Let Women Come To You For A Change.
Unspoiled...Devoted....Grateful... sounds great, and I'm a reasonably honest man, but I'm not in the market for a Russian bride, not unless Kym wants to move to Utah with me.
Lose weight while you sleep without Dieting or Exercise. 100% Guaranteed. "I lost inches off my tummy and thighs, but my skin actually became tighter, its amazing! I'm telling all my friends
Brilliant, I gotta get me some of that Human-Growth-Hormone (which is what the spam is selling). The email included a photo of a child-less twenty-something cheer-leader who looks like she never had any "inches on her tummy" in the 1st place. The sad thing is people really must get suckered into this. Just stop eating you fat bastards !!!!
Own an Automated Home-Based Business ! Online sales are up over 50% from last year -- with this year projected to bring in over $75 BILLION !! Own your own Fully-Automated Turn-key Shopping Mall with over 1,000 Merchants -- and a domain name of your choice !!!
So, if this is correct, its a business I own that takes nothing to set up, takes no effort to run, and earns me millions of $$$. Man, sign me up for some of that action.
And if you believed any of the above, please send me $20 in a bank-draft so I can FWD you 1000's more money-making tips.