Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Please...Stop the Spam!

It appears that lately, the amount of spam arriving to my e-mail inbox is growing exponentially. Not only am I summoned daily by ScotiaBank, CIBC, and important security alerts from PayPal (often three or four times in a row), but I'm now also being approached in French! I'm not sure what's caused the upsurge as of late, but I've heard the same complaints from many others. When will it end?

Typically, my e-mail spam filter picks up these messages, but these particular ones seem to be passing through quite easily. One tells me of refugees in Ghana that have a significant amount of gold they'd like me to help find a buyer for. Another contains the typical spiel: dad died and left me $4.5 million, yadda yadda yadda, I need to find a foreign investor to deposit the money in your bank in order to gain access to it. But I've noticed a considerable number of them now promising "easy money" with work from home projects. Playing on the weak economy? I'm not sure, but these spammers sure are stooping to new lows, and coming out in full force.

And this is just my office account. Don't even get me started on my personal Rogers e-mail account! There, I can learn about cheap meds (including yes, Viagra), designer watches at discount prices, how to get a degree online, and my personal fav: an e-mail with a subject line that reads "Internet scammers have stolen your money? We will help to get it back!" Sure you will.

The amount of e-mail spam is truly getting sickening. Some just contain gibberish, like one that included the following text: Nothing there that would stop a halfcrippled hun cutting off, with a razorfaced arrow, the bow instant so, standing at some centre to which shall van of that host, while the rear was protected a suitable bridegroom his daughter possessed of.


Never open an e-mail from someone you don't recognize, and never, ever, EVER click on a link or double-click to open a file contained in an e-mail that looks even remotely suspicious. Banks, credit card companies, and courier services will never send you e-mails asking for account changes or advising of a package unless you've requested it. In this case, it'll be sent directly to you from a real person, and will contain YOUR name in it, nor Dear Sir or Maam.

Spam is annoying, but it has the potential to be devastating if you don't delete instantly it and move on. If you're worried that it might be legitimate, pick up the phone and find out. It's not worth the trouble to take your chances.

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Jaybird said...

This is a good post that EVERYONE should be paying close attention to. I always get a kick out of the ones that say they have so many millions locked in a bank and if you send them money they will split some of it with you..... really? If it sounds too good to be true.... it probably is.

webmaster said...

Unfortunately, I think that part of the problem are your friends who send you all those forwarded emails and chain mail with everyone's email address in the cc:, or they may have been hit with a bot which got your email. But what really makes me angry is when the companies you purchase things from sell your email address.

I am now solely using otherinbox (currently in beta) to subscribe to newsletters, contests, etc and assign a special address to distinguish it from others. I put in the name of the company in the name so that when spam comes, I know who sold the email address. Then, I block it.

So far, no one I've found is doing it, but you never know.

fung0 said...

You've probably noticed a welcome improvement in this situation! In December, my spam intake dropped from several hundred messages a day, to just a half-dozen or so. Apparently, a single company, source of about 2/3 of the world's spam, was finally put out of business. Let's hope the spammers never recover!