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Warehouse E

Reviewing My Spam

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Spam Messages Getting Both Desperate And Creative

By James Donahue

E-mail services on line are doing a much better job these days of separating spam from legitimate mail. But while the stuff is hulled, it still needs to be dumped on a regular basis so the volume doesn’t overload our computers.

I was cleaning out the daily collection of junk mail today and took a moment to read some of the inventive ways spam writers are using to try to get us to click on their message. As interesting as some of the lines appear to be, we know that clicking on any of them will lead us into either an unwanted ad, a con game, or worse, a Trojan horse designed to give us hours of grief trying to get it out of the system.

There are the usual offers of free Viagra, magical formulas for increasing the size of the male penis, and cheap outlets for just about every kind of medicine on the market. Others announce fabulous winnings in lottery drawings, fake Rolex watches, expensive Italian handbags, and appeals for help from some desperate woman in a foreign land who needs to move a great fortune into the United States. Then there are scary warnings of unpaid debts to the IRS or some collection agency. All of it is designed to try to get us to click.

Some of the lines used are not only tempting to click on, but also downright funny. Someone named Irishka said he or she “would like to meet you” and give you some “tender words to brighten your day.” And Jarvis Simon is offering a date with “cherry lover Gina, 26.”

Today I find newsy announcements that Angelina Jolie and Madonna are in competition for the adoption of Jamie Lynn Spears’ baby, the nation is mourning the “loss” of Britney Spears (we didn’t know she was gone), Mick Jagger’s love affair with Angelina Jolie, and that Angelina Jolie has left Brad Pitt. There also are numerous links promising images of a naked Angelina Jolie.

Other news links promise to tell us about a man losing an eye in a fight, a woman losing her foot in a “shock attack,” actor Harrison Ford getting kicked in the stomach by a horse, and best of all, a horse that was swallowed by a snake.

Suzette Langley asks: “Do you want me?” and the line suggests that all we have to do is answer he e-mail.

My answer? I clicked the erase button.