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What You Need to Know About Spam & Email Forwards

Thursday, January 8th, 2004

...or, simply put, why I hate them so much!

You wouldn't believe the asinine emails I get! The spam stuff is bad enough - but when it's just dumb people fowarding shit because they're too dumb to realize it's a scam, that makes you want to pull your hair out.

I've learned that the reason emails like this go around is for the purpose of "email farming". See, let's say I have a message (a joke, maybe) and I forward it to Jack, Tom, Jill, Harry and Habib. Jack sends it to 14 people. Tom sends it 2, Harry sends it 45 and Habib doesn't send it to anyone because his modem dies. Already my email has been circulated to 61 people who are also forwarding it to their friends, family and online pals. You can see how you can sometimes get a message in your Inbox that has already been forwarded to hundreds of people. Now let's say I'm a spammer who is farming for emails - in other words, looking for email addresses that I can send my spam to. From this one dumb email that I sent out, I am going to get back hundreds of email addresses that I can now send spam to - which, if you don't know, is a million-dollar a year industry.

So, when I get the dumb emails that are obviously concocted so gullible fools will send them on to everyone they know, I want to slap someone. There are the ones, like the one posted Monday, that say Bill Gates or some other lucrative figure is sending a certain amount of money to everyone that forwards their message on. If you really stopped and let common logic kick in, you would know this is completely unlikely, and really stupid. But, for some reason - and studies have proven this - if people see it on the computer screen, they believe it. For all the retarded shit that comes through in email, it is proven that people are more likely to believe it if read in this medium. Go figure. You get the ones with a ridiculously silly poem or limerick about friends & love - and it tells you to pass it on to everyone to remind them how much you love them. Again, email farming at its worst. This is also effective with "God" ones - "If you love God you'll forward this to as many people as you can!" It sounds silly, but it works. I'd guess that 98% of people that get such things do, indeed, forward them to mass amounts of people. There are the ones that tell a joke with no punch line - telling you that if you send it to umpteen number of people and hit certain keys on your keyboard, the punch line or some silly cartoon character will dance across the screen on your monitor. This ploy is also disguised as saying some department store is offering coupons for preposterous dollar amounts - and forwarding to blank number of people and hitting certain keys will make the coupon appear on your screen. People don't realize, or seem to forget, that it is impossible for sending an email to make anything appear on your computer or your screen. So that one works well, too. People, thinking they'll get something good or funny, start sending the thing to everyone they know.

And deep down, I believe these people do have common sense, and do know that they are complete idiots for flooding their friends' Inboxes with such crap. Because, 9 x's out of 10, they write at the top of the email, "I'm sorry, I just had to try this" or "Better safe than sorry" or "I don't usually send stuff like this, but what have I got to lose?" They're apologizing in advance for being dim-witted and irritating - so it's really hard to not want to throttle them. They know better, they're just hoping, that just maybe, Bill Gates will send them a check for $24,000, that $0.03 will be donated to some dying child for every person they forward to, that Macy's really is issuing hundreds of $125 coupons, or that God really will give two damn rat shits that they forwarded an email professing their adoration of him.

Did you say vulgar??

Finally, I'd like to leave you with a sweet, little, tongue-in-cheek note I sent my close friend who, referring to the fact that it was hard to keep his New Year's resolution to stop cursing around me, called me "vulgar".

No, no, I'm only teasing you. I don't mind (too much) you're calling me vulgar. Though I can't imagine what in the hell you're referring to? I'm such a quiet and mild-mannered little creature, there's no fucking way that you'd hear any damn bitching from me in any profuse displays of cursing or damning. Me, curse? For fuck's sake, whatever are you talking about? I don't jive with all that shit, and I'll damn the bastard that accuses me of using any fucking profanity. Fuck that fucking shit. I'd really hate to make an ass of myself or act like a sonofabitch by uttering such goddamn filth. You should know better. This bitch is too polite to be spewing forth profanities like some kind of dumb-fucking asshat! What the fuck? As far as I'm concerned, you can kiss my mother-fucking vulgar ass!!

Stupid Email Forwards & The Asshats Who Perpetuate Them

Monday, January 5th, 2004

I've really got a quite collection of these going on now!

Yes, folks, that's right - it's time for the latest installment of "Stupid Email Forwards & The Asshats Who Perpetuate Them". This one's a gem. My comments are in black italics.

Show me the $$$

To all of my friends, I do not usually forward messages (Yes you do - once a forwarder, always a forwarder),
but this is from my good friend Pearlas Sanborn and she
really is an attorney(Really? That must mean we can really trust her, then, because we all know how honest & trustworthy attorneys are!). If she says that this will work - it WILL work. (Is she God or an attorney?)
After all, what have you got to lose? (The respect of all my friends)

SORRY EVERYBODY.....JUST HAD TO TAKE THE CHANCE!!! (Don't you want to kill people like this? Sorry I ran over your cat and insulted your entire family, I just had to take the chance.)
I'm an attorney, and I know the law (That's a first.) . This thing is for real. (I take it back you are a liar attorney)
Rest assured AOL and Intel will follow through with their
promises for fear of facing a multimillion dollar class
action suit similar to the one filed by PepsiCo against
General Electric not too long ago. (I'm insulted that you actually think I am THAT STUPID)

Dear Friends (No friend of mine forwards retarded shit like this) ,
Please do not take this for a junk letter (B/c it really is, and that would negate the entire reason for our sending it.) . Bill Gates is sharing
his fortune (Sure he is.) . If you ignore this you will repent later. (I have chills. Really.) Microsoft
and AOL are now the largest Internet companies and in an
effort to make sure that Internet Explorer remains the most
widely used program, Microsoft and AOL are running an
e-mail beta test. (Yes, I, too, am still grabbling with how an "email beta test" is going to make sure IE is the most widely used program.)

When you forward this e-mail to friends,
Microsoft can and will track it (if you are a Microsoft
Windows user) for a two week time period. (There may be tracking going on but it isn't by MS and it isn't something you really want going on) For every
person that you forward this e-mail to, Microsoft will
pay you $245.00, for every person that you sent it to that
forwards it on, Microsoft will pay you $243.00 and for
every third person that receives it, you will be paid
$241.00. (You've got to be fucking kidding me! If you really and truly and honestly believe this, just shoot yourself now. You are taking up valuable oxygen and space, and apparently the Darwin factor is slipping. You should end it now - you are too dumb to go on living.) Within two weeks, Microsoft will contact you
for your address and then send you a cheque.. (Trust me, they WON'T be sending you ANYTHING.)

Regards.

Charles S. Bailey
General Manager Field Operations
1/800-842-2332 Ext. 1085 or
904/245-1085 or RNX 292-1085
Charles_Bailey@csx.com

(And just to make sure you get duped, the madness continues)

I thought this was a scam myself, but two weeks
after receiving this e-mail and forwarding it on,
Microsoft contacted me for my address and
within days, I received a cheque for US$24,800.00. (Bullshit.)
You need to respond before the beta testing is over.
If anyone can afford this Bill Gates is the man.
It's all marketing expense to him. (I don't care what kind of expense or tax write-off this could be. B. Gates is NOT going to send random people he doesn't know checks for thousands of dollars just so you'll keep using IE as your primary browser. Wake up, sheeple.) Please forward
this to as many people as possible. (Otherwise, our email-farming scheme is totally in vain.) You are bound
to get at least US$10,000.00. (…in Monopoly money.) We're not going to
help them out with their e-mail beta test without
getting a little something for our time. My brother's
girlfriend got in on this a few months ago. When I
went to visit him for the Baylor/UT game. She
showed me her check. It was for the sum of
$4,324.44 and was stamped "Paid In Full". (What, not $24,000 like yours? She not know enough people?) Like I
said before, I know the law, and this is for real. (I don't know the law, but I fail to see how knowing it or not knowing it proves this email is valid.)

Intel and AOL are now discussing a merger which
would make them the largest Internet company
and in an effort make sure that AOL remains the
most widely used program, Intel and AOL are
running an e-mail beta test. (Wait, I thought the entire point of this was to make sure IE was the most widely used browser? Something sounds fishy. {Yes, yes, I know - it was stinking long before this part, but maybe some of our less bright homosapien brothers & sisters missed that.})

When you forward this e-mail to friends, Intel can
and will track it (if you are a Microsoft Windows
user) for a two week time period. (No they can't, and no, they won't.)

For every person that you forward this e-mail to,
Microsoft will pay you $203.15. (Wait, I thought it was $245.)

For every person that you sent it to that forwards
it on, Microsoft will pay you $156.29. (What happened to the original scam instructions? $200+ for every person that I forward it to that forwards it…)

And for every third person that receives it, you will
be paid $17.65. Within two weeks, Intel will contact
you for your address and then send you a check. (Please, I implore you, hold your breath while waiting for this.)

I thought this was a scam myself, but a friend of my
good friend's Aunt Patricia, who works at Intel, actually
got a check of $4,543.23 by forwarding this e-mail. (That's like saying my girlfriend's sister's hairdresser's mother's babysitter's dog walker tried this and it worked! Huh?)

****

Try it, what have you got to lose???? (The respect of all my friends & co-workers?)

In another rant, do you know what the "biggest selling product of 2003" was?? Well, according to a particular set of spam emails I've been getting lately, it's the "Penis Enlarger Patch"! "No more premature ejaculation" it promises - along with making your cock the size of a freightliner. That's right - it's a patch, similar to the nicotine patch, that makes you grow & perform like never before. The email is actually a set of three pictures - some buff guy wearing said patch on his arm and making out with some blonde broad. It's a patch…that makes your dick grow.

The email says nothing about what's in the patch or how it works - it doesn't even really say whether it's safe to use or not. But I have to say, it does have my curiosity piqued. It's a PATCH! Wtf?

With that, I'm out.

Learn About the Spam Plan

Wednesday, November 12th, 2003

Yesterday evening, at about 3pm, Baret and I were sitting on our patio drinking white wine. We'd gone outside to catch some of the evening air while I smoked a cigarette. I looked over at Baret who was, like me, still clad in pajamas from the night before.

"You realize," I said, "That we're drinking wine in the afternoon still in our pajamas from the night before."

He laughed and replied, "Now that's what I call a day off."

And indeed it was! I suggest the next time you get a day off from work, stay in your sleep clothes all day long, start drinking wine at 2pm and do nothing but laze around all day. I can't tell you what a relaxing day it was - and how much it refreshed us both.

Now, on to the good-natured griping.

An abundance of "pass this on" emails in the work Inbox today. Nothing new there, right? The reason I bring it up as that I came across a cool site that had an informative "Spam Plan" detailed on it. You might know I Am Pariah from the Saturday Slant and The Meme List.

What I learned was that those emails I love to rant about, and that aggravate the beejeezus out of me are generally used as email collectors. That's right, all the 10+ people that each idjit forwards this thing to, and then the 10+ people they send it to are providing a bevy of email addresses for the evil spam gods to gather and spam to death. So this morning, when I received one that read "Wait 'til you see what happens when you forward this thing on...", I had to laugh at the irony. I suggest you read The Spam Plan, and stick to it.

And today I felt like posting a question, so I can learn more about the people that read and comment here - and because it's fun to do something interactive that everyone can participate in. The world is coming to an end. There are three people you can visit and three things you can do. What are your choices? I'll post mine tomorrow.

Have a Happy Hump-Day!

Some Laughs, Some Tears

Sunday, September 28th, 2003

My favorite two junK/spam emails subject lines today:

I cannot believe a 18 years old girl can handle a horses **** in her! Watch this...

and

Fwd: Farmsdaughter takes 20inch horse shlong

I'm unsure why, but almost every sexually over junk email title has been about horses and farms lately...please tell me this isn't happening in just my inbox.

I know most of my posts lately have been deep and appreciate-your-life type stuff. Understand that this battle with my leg is even more mental and emotional than it is physical. And while I hate to do it again, I just had to post about this young girl I know.

My family had a birthday get-togther yesterday to celebrate my mom, brother and first cousin's birthdays (which are all just days apart). My sister got a phone call from a friend who had just come from Mandy's house.

We grew up around Mandy - we sat in the same seat on the bus with her for years, her little brother and my little brother were good friends, and she's only a year older than my sister. Yesterday was her 23rd birthday, and she was supposed to be getting married in November.

Why I can't get Mandy out of my head is that she most likely won't live to see the month of November. Her young body is completely eaten up with cancer - she has it in her rectum, her colon, her lymph nodes...and somewhere else I just can't recall. They decided against a surgery to remove her rectum, as they felt it would just put her through undue stress, but she is on chemotherapy. My sister's friend said she looked horrible, and just sat there; obviously extremely depressed.

Gods, the world can be so cruel! I can't get her off of my mind...such a young life completely over. It's just so terribly sad.

Nothing else exciting to report for this weekend. The family get-together went off without much excitement. At least, no drama to report.

I plan to spend the day playing NWN and Everquest, and some point get off my lazy ass and run to Books-A-Million and get Laurell K. Hamilton's A Kiss of Shadows because it looks very good. I'm trying to write more, and to be a good writer you have to read.

The season premiere of Charmed comes on tonight, so I'll be glued to the TV around 7pm (what an odd thing for me to say - I normally abhor television). That's pretty much it for my Sunday-day-of-rest plans.