From the humble chain letters to the malicious 419 scam (a reference to article in the Nigerian criminal code making it a crime), people continue to send junk e-mail. Sure, some seem harmless enough and yes, they tug at basic emotions (compassion, greed)… but… really? Today I wanted to share some generic examples with you:
1. Google Money (or Microsoft, or Apple or…) for my surgery
Hi, you don’t know me, but I’m [proof of being a good person] on whom some huge evil has befallen [insert ailment]. I’m writing because [Insert giant Tech company name] has offered to pay [$X cents] for every time this e-mail is forwarded. If you don’t forward this you’re sub-human. (this works best if the domain of the company the sender’s e-mail is in is a competitor of the domain of the company giving the money ;o)
2. Threatening inspirational message
Usually a power point with beautiful pictures and music, inspirational words from a poet or religious figure… so far so good. Then, you know it’s coming… the threat. You must wish for something good, tell you it will happen if you forward the e-mail to X people [which may be a tiered approach, 1-5 people: a little good; 6-10: better; 10–15: great; over 15: awesome] tell you a horror story of someone who didn’t forward and assure you this is true for some quasi religious or superstitious reason.
3. Your identity please
[must write in poor English]. Dear. My name is doctor [foreign sounding name]. I have come about money [describe plausible circumstance] and trust you [why?] to help me launder it (alternative: you are my sole heir). Please contact my associate [degree, name] and give him all your identifying information so we can steal your identity [or better yet, send money]. God bless.
My guess is there are still folks out there who can be manipulated by these… Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about this e-mail. It’s purpose is simply to announce donuts have arrived (after all, we are talking donuts, not spam). They are ready to be consumed, courtesy of Nate Meyer (donut boy) and come with no strings attached, no forwarding of this e-mail required, no catch. So come on down and grab one, lest seven years of bad luck befall you. Five dozen angelic donuts await you.