This little blog recently crossed some magic threshold – despite very few incoming links (sigh) I’ve recently been inundated with blog spam. When I first started this little project, I would occasionally have something waiting in WordPress‘s moderated comment area but things got so bad a few weeks back that I had to install a couple of plugins (thus why you’ll now have to answer a simple math question to post a comment). It appears that this has choked off the spammers and I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause the three of you that occasionally comment here but I got tired of having to go in an delete three pages of crap…
Though completely unrelated, I’ve noticed the amount of spam coming into one of my accounts has gone up recently (not sure how that one was released to the wild but so be it). While a nuisance, I really don’t get how people get caught up in some of the schemes. For instance, I’ve been getting a lot of mail warning me that my “online credit card” has high-risk activity on it. Of course I’m not really sure what they mean by my online credit card (though I do indeed use one card primarily used for web based purchases) and they make a vague reference to my Chase Bank User Agreement… While this is quite obviously fake, I can see why the body of the email *might* entice someone into clicking on the link however, don’t people bother to look at the from address? Does anyone honestly think that a real Chase rep would be emailing me from a freakin Yahoo account? Never mind that there are several email addresses in the to line… It really amazes me how easy it is to fool some people – though with email being essentially free, you don’t need many people to fall for the trap.
I’ve also seen a recent twist on the “help us launder some money” scam. This time, someone’s father was killed on the way to see the family of the late president of Togo (amazingly, they actually reference a real person and the actual date of his death – even spammers can use the Internet for research!) and the family fled to somewhere in Africa (why is it always Africa? what’s wrong with eastern Europe?) For the privilege of stashing a cool 8.5 million I can get 20% of the take! Wow, who could possibly pass that up? Ahh the insanity. And don’t even get me started on the volumes of crap that come into our Foundations email account – seriously someone must have posted that somewhere. Sigh.