Spammers – Wouldn’t pee on you if you were on fire

Fags, Drugs, Virus signpost Ok maybe the title is a little harsh? I hate spammers with a passion. If it’s not online drugs, it’s casinos or fake banking site phishing for details.

I don’t usually write about the random junk I get but this email stuck out. Did you know Microsoft had a consumer award of which you can win a cool half mill? I don’t believe for one minute that anyone would take such a thing seriously? This reminds me of the 419 eater site which tempts me to setup a temp email address and fire something back to this person, have some fun? Can we get this person to Photoshop a passport together to prove their identity?

Who’s to blame? What can we do to stop these pests from using server resources? Looking at message labs statistics for spam on a global ratio  May/June 2009 was a staggering 90.4% (1 in 1.1 emails). If you put this into the context of millions/billions think of the bandwidth and processing power used to send/block all these emails, someone has to pay these bills.

Fortunately technology moves on and as the end user we tend not to see alot of these emails.  Companies take on managed services that use sophisticated algorithms and anti-spoofing checks to ensure spam doesn’t get through to their users. Chances are there will always be a small percentage that get through the once, but then the system learns and once more the door is shut. Is a vicious circle and luckily enough vendors are usually quick off the mark.

Enough of me ranting on, to my “winning email” :

Note: if you’ve not gathered already this is NOT a real Microsoft competition and this email is not associated with Microsoft nor did it originate from them. I have removed Microsoft’s trademarks that was used in this email and a known Microsoft Address.

Subject : SPAM-LOW: You are a Winner

Your Email address has been picked online in this second quarter's 
MICROSOFT CONSUMER AWARD as a winner of a lump sum payout of Five 
Hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling "£500,000.00" in the international 
winners category.

Please complete Cheque Requisition Form / Worksheet below

1. Full Names:.........
2. Home Address:.......
3. Age:................
4. Sex:................
5. Marital Status:.....
6. Occupation:.........
7. Tel/Mobile No:......
8. Country:............

Attested information should be emailed to Mr Tony Adams: 
[email protected]

Congratulations from Microsoft promotions program.
Best Wishes.
Award Committee.

Looking at the raw headers it would seem that the email was sent from a mail server in Italy. I have forwarded the email to the abuse email address given when looking up the IP address, will anything be done about it?  Probably not.

For more information about being safe online please check out Get Safe Online.

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