A few weeks ago, for reasons unbeknownst to me (or other rational humans), the IT department of the company for which I work chose to modify its procedures regarding spam.
Last week I decided to temporarily stop deleting these emails and blocking their senders in order to fully understand, at a single glance, the magnitude of what I was automatically dismissing as dangerous junk. After all, things aren't always what they seem. Maybe some of this spam really could improve my life.
So, let's see what I might have missed in my haste to be an over-protective Negative Nancy.
Mike G immediately catches my attention with his subject line: "I will give it to you on Tuesday." Being a salesman and a former PR coordinator, I am impressed by Mike G's ability to compell me to open his email, if only to find out he plans to give me a free Dell Notebook computer. Too bad for Mike G I'm a Mac fan.
Next up is Amber Yang. Amber asks a question. I assume it's a question, because it ends with a question mark. This would be a similarly effective technique to Mike G's, but unfortunately Amber's entire email is written in Chinese, or Japanese, or some other -ese I'm not expert enough to identify and comprehend. It's not Amber's fault that I'm not bilingual, but there you are.
Mr. Commcrusher then chooses a completely different tactic -- he issues a dare: "Watch me make $60000 in one month." Not only is he daring me, he's daring me in a bold font and with a complete disregard for punctuation. Pretty badass, if you ask me. However, he weakens his argument by ending his email saying: "I can't show you how to become a billionaire, but I can show you how I make $60,000 or more per month." While Mr. Commcrusher's use of commas might have improved as his email progressed, his decision to point out the limitations of his services (i.e., tens of thousands instead of billions) is the argument of a self-defeatist.
Then there are several sexually-oriented, though not necessarity explicit, emails.
Female Seduction Secrets Video (FSSV, for short) tells me it's my lucky day because I'm one of three people selected to watch a video that will make any woman in the world want to be with me. A mighty boast, to be sure, but I'm wondering why FSSV hasn't evolved from video to DVD, or digital streaming, for that matter. Something tells me this one might be a little dated.
Then there's Local One Night Stand Dating Community For Adults (LNSDCFA), who wants to help me hook up with local women interested in, you guessed it, one night stands. Two problems here: (1) I'm wondering how a company in La Costa, CA, can know so much about the hookers in my town of residence that it's able to vouch for their quality and discretion, and (2) LNSDCFA provides the same follow up link as FSSV, both of which include my full email address.
If I give them the benefit of the doubt and assume it's not a link to some horrible virus that will corrupt my company's email server, then I have to assume it's a link back to one of my own files. Not only don't I recall ever creating a video about how to help men make local hookers want to be with them for one night stands, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have saved it to my employer's network server if I had.
At least Be Naughty Dating Community (BNDC) has the guts to offer me hard statistical data. They are up front and out there about giving away 597 memberships for adults 18 years of age or over. Those are numbers -- two of them, in fact -- not vague promises. And, even though their link also contains my complete work email address, at least some of it differs from the ones provided by FSSV, LNSDCFA, SDDC (Sugar Daddy Dating Community), and FFP (Flirty Fun People).
The rest seems pretty boring. Mostly they're just repetitious reminders from UPS and FedEx letting me know "The parcel was sent your home address And it will arrive within 3 business day." It's been at least 5 business day since the first reminder arrived, so I'm doubting the parcel sent my home address will ever get here.
I don't need replacement windows. I don't want a facelift. I don't need my recent credit bureau scores, or two free Southwest Airline tickets, or thousands of Hollywood movies legally streaming through my PC or MP3 player. Not even a second challenge from Mr. Commcrusher seems exciting anymore.
Joe P says my check is waiting for me. It's right there in his subject line -- "Your Check Is Waiting." Looks like I've finally hit paydirt, and I have our IT department's lenient security protocols to thank for it.
I doubt they'd mind if I click the link Joe P provides here in his email. How much damage could it do? Besides, my email address appears prominently in his link...
© 2011 Mark Feggeler