Saturday, January 20, 2007

An offer too good to be true?

Spam e-mail is definitely becoming ever more prolific. Selling on the internet is big business for some, and the spammers have upped their game recently, devising new ways to beat spam filters. It appears to be working. I get anything up to 200 spam e-mails per day on just one of my e-mail accounts.

One of the methods used is the deliberate misspelling of product names. In this way, Viagra becomes Viaccgra, the result being that the spam filter does not recognize the word, but anybody opening the e-mail will know the referenece immediately.

Another way to sell something is to completely mislead the spam filters by advertizing perfectly good 'clean' products, but making the innocuous link to the order form point to some seedy porn site.

An example..

Check our price-list.

Special Offers:
MS Office 2003 PRO (1 CD Edition) + Acrobat 6 PRO Professional
MS Office 2003 Professional (1 CD Edition) + OneNote 2003
Microsoft(c) Office 2003 Professional (1 CD) + FrontPage 2003

Come to site

The bold larger text is there for your personal safety, because that text in the original mail sent to me was actually a director to a hard porn website.

How do I know this? When I read e-mail, I use the mouse pointer much as one might use a finger on the page of a book. When the mouse pointer ran over the 'bold' text, it revealed the name of the website, which I can tell you now would not have shown you software prices or any order form.

Had I clicked on either link, I would have been taken to a hard porn site, and any attempt by me to close it down would have resulted in a barrage of popups, and some kind of trojan infection within my computer.

If an offer looks too good to be true, then assume that it is too good to be true and leave it well alone.

I use Microsoft Outlook 2007 as my mail client. Your preferred mail client may not do this, so take note.

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