Saturday, February 26, 2011

Spam. A Lot.

I don't know that I've ever posted about spam before. It's one of those annoying facts of life that we've all had to accept in today's world of emails. I get emails every other day from companies like 'Western Union' and the 'Guiness Company' informing me I have won lump sums of money. On the in between days, I get emails from barristers and federal ministries informing me that Mr. Biggumby in a certain foreign country has died and left me his scab collection  personal fortune. Luckily the spam filter catches most of it.

Early last week, however, we received an email at our home inbox from our Yahoo mail account (one we have kept for 10 years...a constant place we keep despite all our moving).  Anyway...it seemed convincing enough and said to click on a link which apparently led the clickee to an advertisement for Viagra. We began getting email from people saying our email had been hijacked. It seemed to be sending out these ads to about 15 people at a time. Sadly, a number of people (strangely, teachers at the boy's school) clicked on the link and opened themselves up to having themselves 'hijacked' as well. A friend suggested changing the password to access the email and that seems to have solved the problem. We sent out a form email to everyone in our Yahoo address book explaining the situation and apologizing for any inconvenience it may have caused, blah, blah, blah...On the plus side, a few people got back to us that we hadn't communicated with in ages.

I received another odd email during the week on my gmail inbox. It was from a certain Sarah Miller from a certain 'Article Writing Services' who had a client who wished to pay me to allow them to post some of their content on my blog. Below is the text from the email. I deleted her return email address from her signature as it lit up as a link and I didn't want anyone to accidentally click on it.


Dear Alan ,



My name is Sarah from Article Writing Services. We have a client who would like to pay you for the opportunity to post some of their content on your website. All of the content is professionally produced and you can select from pieces relevant to your audience.


The result is you get some free, interesting content for your readers while getting paid.


In return our client is asking for one link that they specify at the bottom of the content (no porn or gambling). Feel free to contact me with any concerns or clarifications you may have.


If you would like to see some examples of our content, please email me at sarah@article-writing-services.org so we can begin.


Sincerely,


Sarah Miller
Outreach Manager - Article Writing Services



It seems convincing as it started off 'Dear Alan' and mentioned the blog name in the title, which leads one to think that it's NOT a mass mail out to the public. I did a search with the words 'Sarah Miller', 'Article Writing Services' and 'blog' and came up with piles of blogs who had received the exact email worded the same way. One in particular was to the blog There is Grandeur in This View of Life where the blog host, Goofy Girl, posted about receiving this very email and questioned its validity.

Anyway, the point is that the spammers and virus peddlers are getting smarter and more resourceful by the day. They now charm you and make you feel special. Loved. I'm reminded the eighth grade when two girls fought over me during square dancing lessons in gym class. It's not that I was such a catch, but really the other boy remaining was prone to nose bleeds, had severe acne and a wicked limp.

For those of you who made it to the end of this rambling, whiny post...I reward you NOT with spam, but with Spamalot. Enjoy the YouTube video (er, I would guess not from an official source) of Tim Curry and Michael McGrath singing an uplifting little Broadway number. Remember, don't let spam get you down.

Always look on the bright side of life.

16 comments:

Katey said...

Ah, these spammers are cunning indeed! (We dine well here in Camelot we eat ham and jam and SPAMALOT!)

Laurita said...

Nasty spammers. Always looking for a way to trip us up. Way to stay vigilant, O gallant knight. (That's your cue to say Ni)

Cathy Webster (Olliffe) said...

Oh my! I got that email from Sarah and I did, indeed, think I was special! Thanks for the Monty Python! That song really does make you feel special. And happy too! (Ham and jam and Spam? EWWWW)

Aaron Polson said...

So...gee...feeling left out. No one spams me like that anymore. Now it's all real-estate deals and er, enhancement offers.

Natalie L. Sin said...

No one tries to woo me or sell me viagra. *sigh*

Kara McElhinny said...

I don't get the personal spam, I get women trying to sell themselves to me. I don't know how they found me, but I keep telling them that I am not into experiencing nor am I sexually confused; Christian's, Russian women, Japanese women, Married and Hot Hot Hot Ukrainian women...

I feel your pain, Alan.

Of course, it could be the computer's trying to overtake the human race, they may have finally gotten smarter than us.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Katey- Har! Nicely sung, my friend! (I anxiously await the release of you singing this on Youtube...)

Laurita- Ha. If the kingdom relies on this gallant knight, they are surely doomed...

Cathy- Glad to hear that I'm not the only member of Club Sarah. In the words of the soon to shaven Laurita...'stay vigilant'.

Aaron- I don't think that I've received any of those 'enhancement' offers in ages. My spirits are somewhat uplifted by this.

Nat- Umm...I could forward you some stuff...

Kara- Very true about the computers taking over the human race. Now...tell me a little more about the Hot Hot Hot Ukrainian wo...

Cate Gardner said...

I've had a few personal spam emails. Delete, delete, delete.

K.C. Shaw said...

I have an old email account that gets unbelievable amounts of spam. I don't use it much, mostly for that reason. It's hard to find the real emails among the junk. I moved to gmail a few years ago. I like gmail's spam filter; it seems to do a pretty good job.

Kat said...

Can't even trust spam anymore? Pffft. What's next? Cheddar masquerading as "processed cheese food?" Oh wait..... :D

Mark Kerstetter said...

I received Ms. Miller's email too. I can't remember if it came to the inbox or spam. Now isn't that silly? Someone wants to pay to have their "professionally produced content" posted to our blogs. Probably ads for Viagra.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Cate- Excellent strategy. But one's delete-button finger gets tired from all that pushing.

KC- I know what you mean. The gmail filter does a good job, yet I find myself scanning the list before emptying it...just in case...

Kat- Ha! You mean that stuff in the squeezy bottle ISN'T real cheese?

Mark- I bet you're correct with that accessment. Now, whenever I go to blogs or web pages and see those Viagra adds and 'Russian wife' ads I'll know that the owner of said page availed themselves of Ms. Miller's services.

storybookmom said...

Hi,
Unfortunately, I am a victim of Sarah Miller too! That very same email message landed on my inbox few weeks ago. And as naive as I am, I actually replied to her and we exchanged emails, she gave me some details about her offer and it sounded real. But she didn't replied again after 2 or 3 messages. I even sent her an email following up about her offer and said their client are just looking for suited content for my craft site and will soon contact me again.

Kat said...

Nope! Not real cheese. Real cheese food--whatever that means. :o

ganymeder said...

Yeah, I'm always suspicious of weird comments on my blog too. I *always* check the source before approving!

But hey, if it leads to Monty Python, it can't be all bad; right?

Well, yeah, but Monty Python's awesome. Thanks for the video!

tinseltine.com said...

I received an email from Sarah as well. After a couple of e-mails of correspondence with her and another associate Erin, It seems as though the offer is legitimate. I've been looking to see if there is any scam associated with her offer and haven't been able to find anything online yet. I do wish Article Writing Services had an actual web address.

The article she gave me to post, is perfect for my blog and the (only 2) links seem to go to legitimate sites. Here's a link to the post she sent me -http://www.tinseltine.com/2011/03/best-book-to-film-adaptations.html

I'm about to send her a paypal invoice now. I hope this is a true way to make at least a little money from my blog. I can let you know what happens if anyone is interested.