The evil spammers that plague my online life are getting remarkably devious. I got the following email (from “InLOVE@LOVEBOX.com”) in my inbox yesterday under the subject line of “Someone is in Love with you!”
TOTALLY CRAZY ABOUT YOU !!!
A person who knows you has asked us to send you this message.
The person is madly in love and crazy about you, and has said that:
– You are Charming
– You are Attractive
– You look Sweet
– You seem Intelligent
– You Excite
Now up to that point I was at least intrigued. Sure, anyone who thinks that I look sweetand “excite” is bound to be suffering from some kind of well categorised mental disorder,but even I respond to flattery, at least somewhat. So I read on…
If u want to know who this person is, then you must call the following number now:
0011 239 444 9030
The call is totally anonymous for you.
All the best,
Ah-ha! Suddenly all becomes clear! They’ve set up a info phone line (charging about $5.00per thirty seconds) then sent this email out to tens of thousands of addresses. At leastsome pathetic souls will be so taken in that they’ll call, and no doubt be put on hold tolisten to two or three minutes of romantic music before being told that all the operatorsare currently busy, but if they call back later their personalised message of love will bewaiting. The really sad thing is that the some of them will call back. Repeatedly.
Now I object to spam generally, but at least most of it actually offers you something (evenif it’s just some unlikely surgery free method to enlarge one’s genitals). This kind of toyingwith people’s emotions to turn a quick buck however is just completely morallyreprehensible. If there’s any justice in the world, lightning will strike the lovebox.comserver, hopefully while the operators of this scam are poking around inside with ascrewdriver.
The whole murky world of online scams, ripoffs and threats seems to have jumped up afew IQ points recently. Not only do we have the above example, but an insanely deviousversion of the Klez virus has started to appear in my inbox. This claims to be a fixfor the Klez virus, which will immunise your computer against it for all time. All you haveto do is run the file, ignoring any alerts from your virus detection software (in order tofool the virus the “fix” apparently has to masquerade as a “fake” virus, and may thus setoff your anti-virus program).
This kind of recursive trojaning (is that even a word?) is simply brilliant. It gives people aperfect reason to infect themselves, and even reassures them that it’s safe, regardless ofwhat their security software may say. I’m simply in awe of the mind that came up with it.If people like this would turn their intellect to solving major problems such as worldhunger and environmental degradation, instead of messing up people’s hard drives, theworld would be a much better place.
But that’s not likely to happen any time soon is it?