Saturday, September 17, 2016

Spotting Spam

Spammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated. It is sometimes nearly impossible to know if a given email is spam or legitimate. Our crack Security Department (SD) has some useful tips based on an email that recently arrived in the SD chief's inbox. Here is the text of that email:

"I am Vineet Manish.I have an scheme that might interest you, this scheme arose from the Government of Malaysia reserve vault under our care, from which we pay both Indigenous and foreign executed contract and Sub contract Payments. I need you to stand as a successor to the sum of $20,000.000.00 (Twenty, Million United States Dollars.

"All modalities are in place to register it as a diplomatic Sub contract payment, which shields  it from unnecessary stop orders from several international fund transfer regulatory and monitoring agencies, that usually place holds on huge fund transfer in order to request a certain percentage of the fund as fund transfer certification clearance.

"l advise you to send the following details below to my private email:
A: Your Full name B: Your House Address C: Your direct telephone number D: Age E: Occupation.F: Gender."

In case you missed them, here are the giveaways:

1. "Sub" is not typically capitalized.

2. The comma between "Twenty" and "Million" reflects a sloppiness typical of spammers.

3. Either the comma after "agencies" is wrong or "that" should read "which."

4. Strunk & White frown on "in order to" as unnecessarily redundant verbiage that legitimate emails shy away from.

5. Most legitimate email will not ask for your gender.

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