Creative SPAM

  • Well it's been months since I got a spam msg, our management was getting hammered with spam, almost to the point of not wanting to check email. I didn't want to go with a client only type of solution because that would mean that spam still gets in the front door. I think that the farther away you can stop spam the better. So we got a Barracuda networks 300 appliance, it has a MS exchange accelerator that used LDAP. So you can block spam before it's even fully processed. During our subscription (not much $$$) they released an update that can OCR image spam and score that as well. Although no one has ever said 'Way to Go' for implementing this, not a day goes by that I regret it....

  • I finally got sick enough with the SPAM that I changed my email address so it would stop. I use a service now that includes SPAM filters which I hope will prevent any SPAM in the future to my new address. The service hosts my personal domain and they also provide just spam filtering if you need a filter solution but would prefer a simple subscription. Go to and let them know I recommended you for their service.

    Jim Powers

  • The spam I get now has news headlines and asks if you want to unsubscribe.

    The funniest header for spam I have ever gotten said "the bodyguards are now surrounding Angelina's vagina. "

  • I have a particular folder specifically for great spam. The two following are the titles of the emails I have saved there:

    1. The humps and nulls are clearly visible on either side in Fig.

    2. skies Battle

  • We have extensive spam filters set up and not much gets through. So the best stuff I get are the wonderful urban legends I get from friends and family.

    Every so often I get stories about Mr. North, roach eggs in envelope glue, the senate trying to ban vitamins, and the insipid poetry and pictures that are so sappy that it drives you up the wall. And if you agree to this God will smile down from heaven and grant you three wishes, and if you share this with 5 friends you will get a new car, and if you smile while you do it you will get an new home on the beach in southern Cal. And if you send this back to me I will know that you love me.

    Makes you want to puke!


    Not all gray hairs are Dinosaurs!

  • I haven't been receiving any particularly creative spam recently so I've decided to GET creative with the spam I DO get.

    So - I forward all of the penis enhancement spam to the Prime Minister of Burundi, so he has something to do with all of that money he can't get out of his country....Angelina and Anna Kournikova e-mails go to the penis enhancement folks, etc.....

    Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part...unless you're my manager...or a director and above...or a really loud-spoken end-user..All right - what was my emergency again?

  • Earlier this week I noticed a few emails (caught by our spam filter) dated November 5 inviting me to vote for Mccane.

  • One relatively new SPAM approach I have seen is getting invitations to join a yahoogroup by a moderator with an unknown email for a group with an unrecognized name. I take no chances with that one.

    If I don't recognize an email, I don't even open the message. And I am careful opening messages from emails I do recognize, but have unusual or empty subject lines.

    Even from people I recognize, I don't open an attachment unless it is something I need to see. I suppose that means I miss out on a lot of "cute" or moving powerpoint presentations, but I don't risk my computer getting an embedded virus. My sister can't resist these, and she recently had to to do some serious cleaning of her home computer when it froze up due to a virus.

  • Kevin Hood (11/7/2008)

    Earlier this week I noticed a few emails (caught by our spam filter) dated November 5 inviting me to vote for Mccane.

    I received that one too! It caught my eye because of the misspelling of the name. I also received one to vote for Barrick Obama the day after. Wasn't there some spam going around targeting Obama supporters, saying that the polls would be open Wednesday as well and to wait to avoid lineups?

    Recently I actually got spammed through my Facebook inbox with a link to a file download. One of my friends got hacked and started sending out messages about viewing pictures from his trip. These types of spam will be very difficult to identify as this message seemed quite credible as it wasn't from a stranger and the language was very good, not disjointed as some spam messages are.

  • The ones that read: SQL is so easy even a caveman... 😛

    The spam I dislike the most almost always starts with:


    Loved my Barracuda. Wish the new corporate owners would reinvoke

    it back into service. I get spam now.

  • jpowers (11/7/2008)

    If I don't recognize an email, I don't even open the message. And I am careful opening messages from emails I do recognize, but have unusual or empty subject lines.

    Even from people I recognize, I don't open an attachment unless it is something I need to see. I suppose that means I miss out on a lot of "cute" or moving powerpoint presentations, ...


    Exactly. My own mother and sister are the biggest propagators of bogus stories, email signature lists, Power Point shows, email notification causes, etc. I train and re-train on the use of and other sources, and always listing and validating sources and including those in the email. No source? JUNK.

    And then the practice many have of mass forwarding to everyone in their contact list ON THE "TO" LINE, instead of least using the BCC. I don't want en masse the daughters, brothers, uncles, co-workers, co-workers family, etc., email addresses... but there are others out there that do... how well do you know whose hands your masse-posted email will end up in?

    Because of this, it does not help me to have a private email... so I segregate in huge ways. I have a different email address for every major entity that I may interact with. A different one for each host or service provider I do business with, one for family, one for each major line of business I do, and most especially, a unique one for every web site I have anything to do with. I almost always know who spammed me, and have dealt with a few directly. I always opt out of "would you like discounts and offers from our partners" type options.

    I have about 30 email addresses accross 10 or so domains to manage, but it has been worth it. It doesn't stop spam altogether, but it sure makes it easy to set filter rules on without even having a spam filtering agent. I do not use Yahoo or Google or ICQ or AOL or MSN email addresses to receive email... ONLY for chat client, which I combo into one using Trillian by Cerulean Studios. All email to those addresses is rule-based deleted automatically.

    I get about 3000 to 5000 emails a day across these addresses, but only about 25 to 50 make it into my real inbox; the remainder just get vaporized.

    Two facts each and everyone has in their possession:

    1. You know who you are. If the email is not addressed to you alone, and you don't recognize the multiple addresses... it is spam. I use service or sender specific email addresses, so this is even easier.

    2. You know from who you allow to email you. It is FAR easier to set inclusion lists than to set disclusion lists. If they are not on my list of who I allow to my *real* inbox, they get filtered to the junk box. I often don't look at my junk box... just delete it. If they really wanted to get ahold of me, then they'll ask.

    So combinationof the "From" and the "To" are monitored.

    Other helpful pointers:

    - I always open in text only mode. You can always opt to read it in HTML view after. This breaks any data mining picsels and any other potential to infect your computer. It also leaves me free to use the preview pane (text only).

    - If my family doesn't identify what the attachment is they are sending in the message body, and/or did not create it themselves (and so state), I DON'T OPEN IT. No matter how cute it might be. You will not lose anything for skipping it.

    - Email signatory lists for ANY cause are WORTHLESS and cannot hold any meaning in a court of law or any place else because there is absolutely no way to prove any line is real unless each signor lists full verifiable contact information, which no-one should ever do in an open signatory email, because they cannot control who gets the information.

    - Email, by design, was originated simply as one-way messaging agent, that does not even have to know who the sender is. It has morphed with HTML enhancements and other such frills, but still contains no more security or validation than the original widespread internet implementation. Email was never intended to be a web page.

    - The sender can be and is widely FORGED. Anyone can set up an email relay server. Some companies and practices have made steps to overcome this, but none can do so completely, because the internet (and along with it, email) is a world-wide network. No one government can legislate and control it. It changes only by masse standards adoption... which has yet to happen for email.

  • Funny but true - as I'm reading this thread I get an email on my crackberry that appears to be from my bank. The way the HTML renders I can see every single full URL for every image, link, whatever. So right there I can verify the source, even down to the "https" in the link to hit their site & log in.

    For a change, this email was legit.

    Not the first time I've checked the source & header behind the email, checking each URL to tell if it's Phishing or not.

    Now if I could only get my wife to be as diligent!


    Scott F.

  • My favorite subject line of all time:

    "Increase your income by becoming a Sociologist"

  • I had one of those investment-type spams that made me laugh because of the coincidence in it.

    It started

    "Since you are not a client of XYZ bank ..." with XYZ bank been one of the banks in a small country at the southern end of the African continent, and then it continued on explaining why they need someone to get money from that bank to avoid all sorts of nasty sounding laws that the 'Minister of Banking' was proposing, and that the money would be safe in the USA for a while before been transferred back.

    Funny thing is, I am a client of that bank, the nasty-sounding laws don't exist and South Africa doesn't have a 'Minister of Banking'

    Gail Shaw
    Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server, MVP, M.Sc (Comp Sci)
    SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

    We walk in the dark places no others will enter
    We stand on the bridge and no one may pass
  • Interesting subjects. And thanks for the laughs. Glad I didn't forward that beer one on to Tony.

    My Mom gets all kinds of stuff from friends and sends it on. I'm afraid to open much of it. I'm more worried about the kids now as they come of age and start to get more connected. They've grown up with this stuff and I think know less about how to tell the legitimate from the not so legitimate.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 38 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Login to reply