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Spamspamspamspamspam On:2014-04-13 15:00:00

I often wonder what I would do of a morning without the vast herd of wandering spam and phishings-with-a-'P' and trojans and all that stuff from strange-mailing-lists-that-I-have-absolutely-no-idea-how-I-got-on-to to bulk out my email.

For every real message, I get an average of 17.456 (based on a recent survey) of what I suppose I could call on the basis of their use to me ‘unreal’ messages, some of them very unreal messages indeed.
Now before I go all negative on you, I should admit that some of them are in a strange way rather comforting, like the monthly reminder that I haven’t bought anything recently from the espresso parts store that I got a coffee syrup flavourings pump from, back in 2005.
death, death, deathBut on the other hand some of them are quite un-comforting, and really disturbing, like the one I got the other day from a company called Clearwater & Largo. This soi disant ‘simply compassionate message’ invited me to ‘Please follow this link’ (in blue and underlined) ‘to get’ (I did mention that this was a disturbing one, didn’t I?) to get the ‘funeral invitation’!!! Oh, but I did forget to mention that they were a Memorial Funeral Home, that the link, when examined was not to anything remotely like their name, oh, yes, and that, luckily, I do not have any need for anyone to (and I quote again) ‘express deepest sorrow for the untimely death of your beloved friend’. None of my friends, beloved or not, have suffered death, untimely, or for that matter timely. I wonder if they just send these to anyone over the age of 65 on the off chance they’ve been recently devastated?
To offset the impending doom messages, there are what you might call the more lively ones: why just the other week I was startled into noticing how developed the specialised online dating scene is nowadays, when I received an email from a dating organization called ‘Jewcier'2. The name was spelled J E W C I E R! And I started to wonder how they came up with it, was it perhaps supposed to be like ‘fancier’ or ‘financier’. Or perhaps it was some reference to fruit, presumably the forbidden one, being a juicier sort of apple. And then I wondered, why me? How did I get on that mailing list? Either they were doing an extremely mass mailing. Or, if it was a directed one, they must, after looking at my name have thought “Oi! this one’s gotta be Jewish”. But the Jewcier guys are of course small potatoes, or maybe matzo balls, in the livelier end of spam.
Caty and Daveta There’s the inevitable Russian ladies, ‘Honey’, with names like Daveta or Caty who will meet with me tonight (All the way from Russia??? With snow on their high heeled boots1 no doubt!) because (in remarkably similar messages) they have found my profile on Facebook and vill share some hot photos with me, ‘babe’.
Ah! Here’s come-on lines the likes of which have not been heard since Maggie May hung up her fish-nets for the last lime and Liverpool sailors could finally get home without fear.
These come-ons are, however, in turn dwarfed by the swollen mass of ads for Viagra and Cialis (with or without matching his and hers bathtubs) at ‘insane discounts’…If you have an errection lasting more than...
Then, to shrivel you down again, there’s what I like to think of as the fearmongery mails: ‘Dear Customer We detected irregular activity on your American Express Check Card on the 11th April…’ which would be more convincing if I actually had had an American Express Check Card on the 11th April, or at any other time: I wonder if I should click on the link of that one and give them my personal details anyway?…AmEx
Or there’s the one, supposedly from the IRS, complete with case number, or the formidable ‘Notice to Appear’ from the Clerk to some court or other that ‘Hereby you are notified that you have been scheduled to appear’ open this mysterious document attached or ‘If you do not attend the hearing the judge may hear the case in your absence.’ Which actually sounds better than clicking the mysterious document, or on anything else around here.
And none of this is counting all the grillions of messages that the computer thinks of as junk and just vanish into the bit-bucket!
Yup, all of life is there…
I assume inadvertently.
But, finally there’s the ultimate minimalist trojan, those emails from friends, acquaintances and loved ones that direct you to a ‘cool’ or ‘great’ site, usually with just that one word and a link, just click on that conveniently provided link and…
Cheerio for now
Richard Howland-Bolton


1 'Snow on their high heeled boots' snow book A reference to a rumour from early in WWI that there was a train full of Russian soldiers traveling through Britain on their way to help us in France. They had come so quickly that there was still snow on their boots. The actual story is quite sad.

2 I should probably add that they missed the fact that I'm married! Though congratulations to them for realising that I'm a guy!


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