Thursday, April 06, 2006

Some Thoughts On Internet Scams. . .

I'm probably thinking about this because yesterday I got at least 15, maybe more, emails, purportedly from a bank, that threatened to limit my account access if I didn't take "immediate" action, in the way of logging in to my account and verifying something... Funny thing is, I don't do business with the bank in question, never have....

I’ll admit it… I’ve had momentary flashes of what I could do with the money… But I don’t know anyone in Nigeria, let alone any wealthy royal family members, besides, if they have that much money, and are royalty, what in the hell do they need to email *me* for?

These things fall into several categories… I’ve put some thoughts on the more common ones I see, in what follows. . .

The IRS… (we can included any tax collecting authority here) they’ve contacted me in the past, when they felt I owed them money, in fact a New York State Sales Tax collector came to my house once. They’ve never called, or emailed though… I think they like the ‘tangibility’ of an actual paper letter, or the visual impact of that ‘revenuer’ at the door… not to mention all the people it involves to actually get the letter (or the person) to my door. Taxpayers every one of them, it keeps the coffers filled in a way email never could.

Trust me on this, the IRS won't be emailing you to tell you they have your money, and want to give it back.

Banks... A bank might send an email announcing a new service, if you signed up for those notifications, they might even email you in response to an email you sent them. They will never, and I repeat never, notify you about your account(s), by email. Why? Well liability for one thing, it they did, and the email was intercepted and you subsequently lost any money, they’d have to reimburse you.

A case in point, recently RBC Centura was notified that a group of their card numbers were compromised, the list included both credit, and debit cards. They sent out no notification, they simply cancelled ALL of the effected cards. That’s right, no call, no letter, and definitely no email… we got notified when at the local grocery store, the clerk was instructed to ‘take the card’… a phone call to RBC from the store’s office was all it took to let us know what was going on. Inconvenient, yes… irate customers, yes… email? NO!

Women… That I don’t know, who want to do unspeakable sexual acts with me… That might be common someone else’s reality, it’s not in mine! Besides, I learned a long time ago, when I used to chat on IRC, that the person typing (or emailing in this case) might not be ‘exactly’ what they claim to be… If all that wasn’t enough… my wife and I are only up to the “E’s” in the unspeakable sexual act alphabet, and quite frankly, I’m having trouble keeping up with just her!

Prescription… (or maybe without a prescription) medications… I have trouble affording meds *with* insurance… and none of these emails mention anything at all about what insurance plans they accept. Beyond that, I want to know who’s been telling them I’m a depressed, overweight, hyper, anorexic, small dicked, steroid injecting bodybuilder, with ADD, in chronic pain, who wants to re-grow hair, with an erectile dysfunction, who desperately needs to refinance a home I no longer own (or never owned)…


For the record... I do NOT have all of those issues, then again, maybe Google sends them a list after indexing the blog?

All kidding aside, these scams all share two things, what they appeal to, our greed, or our fear.

Do two things with all of them, add the sender to your ‘junk mail system’ and delete them unopened. Despite some improvements in email clients, some of these folks can gather a lot of info, depending on your security settings, even if you view them in the ‘preview pane’.

One thing you should never do… is click on the unsubscribe list, that just lets them know for sure you got the email… and virtually ensures you’ll get ten more as a result.

So… what scams (notice how it rhymes with spam?) show up in your ‘In Box’?


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10 comments:

Greg said...

gonna hit the road for about a week so I'll miss your birthday...
oh all you avid Bill readers its nearly Bill Day.

Regards and happy birthday!

Bill said...

Greg - April is a busy month here... Your b'day, mine, tax day... and of course, my and Maryan's anniversary!

Hey, have a great time on your road-trip, we're due for one here, but it doesn't appear to be in the cards anytime soon :(

Dizzy Ms. Lizzy said...

Bill,

ALL of the above scams AND MORE show up in our inbox! It's rather irritating . . . but sometimes kinda amusing.

Case in point - - I got a scam email yesterday different from any other I've ever gotten - - a Russian woman wants to come to the United States and marry me! Think I'll pass on that one . . . :-)

Liz

Bill said...

Liz - That falls into the 3rd category for me... and is not always a woman! heh-heh...

I know they all really love me (long time) and all, and I'd love to help them out... but for some strange reason, my wife thinks I should only be married to her.. go figure!

As annoying as the scams, and spam are... they are good for a chuckle every now and then!!

Comfort Addict said...

I think that you've summed it up pretty well, Bill. You did leave out mortgage loan offers, though (the preponderence of my junk). Personally, I think that the male perfomance and enhancement ones comprise their own category.

Bill said...

CA - The male 'products' need their own post... not just their own category!! Now I'm wishing I'd saved some... I did sort of cover the range though :)

I can't imagine going after a mortgage as a result of a spam email though.

It's the numbers that drive it all... send 28 million!! emails for $30 bucks... if 1 in a million responds, and you have a profitable product.. the numbers are on the side of the spammers.. sad but true!

Nina said...

Ok, your post had me laughing. Women… That I don’t know, who want to do unspeakable sexual acts with me too . . . they also think I have erectile dysfunction as well and since I wasn't built to function that way. My husband is kind of glad about that . . . :)
Thanks for writing what I have been thinking about for such a long time and doing it with much humor. :)

Bill said...

Nina - Thanks, and you're welcome! I've thought about it for a long time too... There seems to be no end to the anxieties these folks will attempt to exploit!

If we couldn't laugh... it would drive us crazy!

Thanks for stopping by!

Firehawk said...

Bill,

I get virtually no spam. Must be the healthy living...that's a laugh. I've recieved primarily these: get perscription drugs online, get sex online, make your wedding tackle bigger/better/more powerful online. I find them to be sort of tiresome, but as I said, I rarely get that stuff. It's always a surprise when anything shows up in my "spam" folder.

steve_o said...

Read about this internet scam.