I seem to be a target for spam lately. Yesterday I got a text message from a ridiculously long phone number reading:
/ "Mub /
I think that @ and = thing is supposed to be a scroll.
"May Allah bless U and your family!"
Well that's nice. Couple of points though,
1. I'm not a Muslim, or in fact religious in any way shape or form
2. I'm not rabid enough to text back "die godless A-rab" either
So whatever they were hoping for - ie. "Thank you brother, may Allah bless you as well" or "I will find out where you live and git you just like Osama", they ain't gonna get it from me.
Another couple of points. They can't spell Eid Mubarak properly but they did send it at the right time, as Ramadan has just ended. A little bit of research goes a long way. I'm guessing it's just a run of the mill spam thing, but I can see some people receiving it happily, and sending back "Eid Mubarak blessings to you too. Just one thing, who are you and how did you get my number?" or freaking out completely and throwing the phone over the ranch fence and running in the general direction of Alaska.
My next spam adventure happened this morning when I received a totally official looking (*insert sarcasm here*) email from Mr Ambrose Wekkinbeck. Well, with a name like that I can't help but be reassured of its authenticity. It just sounds like the kind of name you can trust. Not made up at all.
Here is an excerpt of this earnest letter written by good natured people who just want to get my "missing funds" to me so they can sleep at night, knowing they have done the world a great service.
"Due to this lost of Funds of your's which was suppose to be given to you but failed to."
When I studied grammar at primary school, high school and university, not once did I dare consider indulging in any number of these cardinal sins. This person deserves to be tied up in a small room with an audio recording of "Introduction to The Grammar of English" for desecrating a poor defenseless sentence.
Apparently, the object of the exercise is to fleece people out of anything between $180 and $396 to cover "shipping fees" for an ATM card. That's one heavy ATM card. If anyone is stupid enough to pay an exorbitant shipping fee to an illiterate stranger with a made up name, they really can't blame anyone else when their accounts get drained. I guess you could call it a stupidity test.
That said, I feel quite sure there is a special circle of hell reserved for spammers and identity thieves. And I'm not even religious.
They end the last part of the email with "Thanks and God bless you and your family."
So, in the interests of reciprocating this earnest outreach of human goodness, here is my response (posted here only, not emailed!):
Deer Mistir Ambrowse Wekkinbecc,
Dear Mr Ambrose Weckkinbeck