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I don't have a running battle with Spam. For the most part, aside from the gender specific pieces, which are mildly amusing or irritating depending on the phase of the moon, I toss it and ignore it. But every so often, like, say, Right This Minute, it irritates me for specific reasons.


Dear eBay member ,
Since the number of fraudulent eBay account take-overs has increased with 100% in the last 4 weeks , eBay Inc. has decided to verify all eBay account owners and their personal information in order to clarify all accounts status .
This is to prevent unauthorized external access to eBay accounts and personal information .
This is the only time you will receive a message from eBay security team , and you are to complete all required fields shown in the page displayed from the link below .

https://cgi4.ebay.com/scgi_account_supervise449228301/eBayISAPI.dll?MJ6683JJ23002-23=Go

Account confirmation is a due ; if you refuse to cooperate you dont leave us any choice but to shut-down your eBay account .


Okay. While it's very nice of the spammers to write in such an incompetent fashion, honestly. Who is going to read this and actually pay attention when the very first sentence is gramatically wrong? Why are there all the extra spaces between the bits of punctuation? Did no one actually proof-read any of this before sending it?

And speaking of proofreading, did they actually expect the URL to work? Because, you know, https isn't actually going to take you anywhere they want you to go.

It's not that I don't hold spam in contempt, because I do; it's that they think people are so incredibly a) stupid and b) dedicated that they'll a) buy this, riddled with errors and b) do the work to cut and paste and correct the stupid URL to get to the obviously fake site.

Okay. I'm going back to work now. It only looks like I'm foaming at the mouth.

ETA: I'm stupid <rueful g>. See below. This is why I should really stick to writing and bookselling/publishing...

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
avt_tor
Aug. 23rd, 2004 09:56 pm (UTC)
marahsk gets a lot of email from people she doesn't know, but she just ignores anything that has major spelling or punctuation errors in the subject. She hasn't missed anything actually meant for her yet.
icedrake
Aug. 23rd, 2004 10:51 pm (UTC)
For the record, "https" is the HTTP Secure communication protocol, so it could, in theory, work. It doesn't in this case, but then neither does the URL without the s. Ebay's generally good about shutting down scams like that.
msagara
Aug. 23rd, 2004 10:55 pm (UTC)
For the record, "https" is the HTTP Secure communication protocol, so it could, in theory, work. It doesn't in this case, but then neither does the URL without the s. Ebay's generally good about shutting down scams like that.

Thank you <g>.

I stand corrected, and feel slightly mollified in that it's only one level of stupidity expected of me, and not two <wry g>.
msagara
Aug. 23rd, 2004 10:56 pm (UTC)
To add: I've seen a hundred paypal schemes like this one, but this is the first ebay spam of its kind I've received. I have had three visa card emails of similar intent as well, but for the most part, it's either attached viruses, or people who want to sell me body part enlargers or drugs of various types.
icedrake
Aug. 23rd, 2004 11:13 pm (UTC)
Didn't someone write an SF short on what would happen if *all* the spam emails were true? (and if not, someone definitely should)
msagara
Aug. 23rd, 2004 11:24 pm (UTC)
Didn't someone write an SF short on what would happen if *all* the spam emails were true? (and if not, someone definitely should)

I'm not sure if someone did write a story about what would happen if all spam emails were true -- but if someone does do so in the future, I'd vote for Michael Swanwick <g>. Or maybe Cory Doctorow. Or Tanya Huff. I know that I don't have the panache to carry it off and make it reliably funny, sadly. My funny is almost entirely incidental.
reannon
Aug. 24th, 2004 08:07 am (UTC)
I heard Peter David did something like that on his blog. :)
mmarques
Aug. 24th, 2004 05:42 am (UTC)
I've received lots of eBay spam. As I don't have an eBay account, it never bothers me any more than body part enlargers or other spam.
ambyr
Aug. 23rd, 2004 10:59 pm (UTC)
Err, while I agree with most of your complaints, https:// is perfectly valid for some web addresses, as it indicates that the page is being accessed via secure http protocol. It would not be unreasonable to expect that, if eBay was to do something like this (which of course it wouldn't), it'd have users submit their information through a secured page.

It is certainly stupid of the spammers not to have set up their fake site at the address they included, though.
ambyr
Aug. 23rd, 2004 10:59 pm (UTC)
Ok, so I'm slow :-).
braider
Aug. 24th, 2004 05:06 am (UTC)
*grin* Me too.

As to "has no one proofed this" - I'm pretty certain that this was not written by a native English speaker, so they can be forgiven the poor word and punctuation usage. One could say that they should have gotten a native English speaker to look at it, but that might end up doubling the number of people who know from whence the scam originated.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )