Monday, 27 February 2012

Who the hell do they think they're kidding?

One of the wonderful things about having a Gmail account is that about 95% of the spam that gets sent to me is intercepted by Google, and stuck in a spambox until such time as I get around to flushing the collected crud down an electronic drain (a Spambox? Spam cage? Spam trap? OK, Now I've a mental image of a tin of spam with legs, hooves, a tail, and a pair of red-tipped horns, snorting in vexatious anger at the walls of a deep-fat fryer!). However, occasionally, on or two bits of spam get through, masquerading as legitimate email.

One such example occurred last night, as I was recovering from a strained (strained or sprained? Yeah, I could never work that out either.) neck muscle - just a muscle, thankfully. Seems I'd slept awkwardly yesterday after getting home from work, the result being a head that couldn't turn in either direction without shooting pains down either shoulder.Work weren't too happy with me - it's bloody difficult to get a standby driver on a Sunday, but if I can't move me head, how can I drive? Catch-22. It's still a tad sore now, but at least I can move my head around. Anyhow, back to the spam.

So, an item of spam got though the great Googlewall. Google, who make their money through advertising, obviously don't want spam getting through; it's bad for their business. So they made the Googlewall pretty effective. But, like everything in this world, it's not 100% infallible, so the occasional flyer gets through. Some are amusing ("Buy Pills to give you a ten-foot rod!" Um. And a place at the circus, perhaps?), others not so. And some, like the one yesterday, are just asking for ridicule. So here it is.

to:     [redacted]
date:     27 February 2012 05:23
subject:     Webmail Account Owner

Dear  Webmail Account Owner,

We are currently carrying out a Maintenance/Upgrade Process on  Webmail accounts, to complete this process you must respond to this email immediately, ( and send the below details:

GENDER...........................................                 USER NAME............................................        PASSWORD............................................  we are very sorry for the inconvenience we are making you pass through this period. please fordward this information back to us so that we can carryout the upgrading/maintenance.

This process we help us to fight against Spam Emails. Failure to summit your password, will render your email address in-active from our  Webmail system.

NOTE: Your email will not be tampered with or changed, without this you wont be able to recieve email & send mail, the upgrading/maintenance need to be carry out within one week.

Thank you for using   Webmail Service

 Webmail Technical Support
Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved!

Strictly speaking, it's not exactly spam; spam is trying to sell you stuff (unsolicited commercial email). This one is, while being unsolicited, not trying to sell me something. It's trying to steal something instead.

This was, instead, a phishing scam attempt. You can tell that right from the start, where they call you "Dear Webmail Account Owner" and then ask for your password. A legitimate company with whom you do business will always use your actual name in their mailings to you (for example, PayPal always uses your actual name in their comms); further, no legitimate biz asks for passwords in an email. Ever.

Second, and this is so silly it's pitiful, I don't know who "" are, but I have not done business with them, ever; my email comes through Google, and has done for some time.

Third, the patter (the wording they use). They're trying to coerce you into giving away personal details, by using an old "we're here to help" playbook entry.

So, they imply that it's a personal and confidential matter that should stay personal and confidential. Since it's neither of these things, being an attempt to commit identity theft, it's only fair to show their sad, lazy, criminal attempt to the world. And this is precisely what I'm doing.

As to the last line "Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved!" Really? Prove it in court then, you sad sack of [bleep!]. I'll have a charge to stick to them, if they have the balls to do it: Breathing In A Public Place.

Can't say fairer than that, can I?

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