Those of you who read the Wasington Post Sunday magazine are familiar with columnist Gene Weingarten, whose perspective on everyday occurrences is laugh-out-loud funny. My favorite is from a few years ago, before phishing had gone mainstream. The Post had installed a state-of-the-art spam filter guaranteed to weed out links to porn sites or any emails with "questionable" language. Unfortunately for the human resources department, it also blocked solicited resumes from highly qualified job applicants. Any college graduate cum laude was blocked quicker than you can say that's Latin.
Another Weingarten trademark is his phone calls to customer service numbers listed on the back of common household products like dishwashing liquid or coffee. With ridiculous albeit polite questions about the product, he taunts these representatives to the brink of anger, frustration, or insanity, sometimes all three. Kind of mean, but admittedly funny. So it is in his honor that I present the following.
an actual phishing email I received:
This is to inform you that you have won a prize money of One MillionGreat Britain Pound Sterling (£1,000.000.00) for the month ofApril 2009 Lottery promotion which is organized by YAHOO/MSNLOTTERY INC & WINDOWS LIVE.You are to contact the events manager. /> Identification numbers:Batch number .YM 09102XM:Reff number .YM 35447XMWinning number .DTYFM0988However you will have to fill and submit this form to the eventsmanager. /> (1)Full name(2)Home Address(3)Age(4).Telephone Number(5)Sex /> (6)Occupation(7)State(8)Country(CONTACT EVENTS MANAGER)Name:Mr Robert willamsE-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
File to pick up:
format for details form.txt
File will remain active for:
Link to file:
File too big for email? Try YouSendIt at http://www.yousendit.com/
Wow, you mean I really WON???!!!! That's amazing! Of course, I'll get the requested information right to you. But don't you want my social security number, too? I mean, to effectively pull off this scam, you need to steal my identity, right? That would be much easier with my social security number, so I'll just send that along with my other info. Oh, and I hope you don't mind, but I've sent a copy of this to my husband's office at the FBI. He's always saying that nobody really wins these things. Wait until he sees THIS!
I know, I know: I should just ignore these emails. Okay, so I'm naive. I keep thinking that if the scammers realize that we're on to the identity-theft thing, they'll stop with the phishing. Maybe if Gene Weingarten gave it a go . . . he's much better at it than I am.
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