Here’s a message I got just the other day. It’s pretty goofy.
From: Tom Lavigne
Date: Wednesday, June 08, 2011 9:27:37 AM
Subject: Deactivation of Your Email Address
THIS MESSAGE IS FROM OUR TECHNICAL SUPPORT TEAM This message is sent automatically by the computer. If you are receiving this message it means that your email address has been queued for deactivation; this was as a result of a continuous error script (code:505)receiving from this email address. Click here and fill out the required field to resolve this problem Note: Failure to reset your email by ignoring this message or inputting wrong information will result to instant deactivation of this email address
Normally I include the email address when I paste these, but apparently Tom is a real person whose email address has been used without his authorization. I don’t want to make it look like some YMCA in Massachusetts is running a phishing scheme.
Anyway, let’s poke holes in it!
- Execrable grammar and usage. It used to be that tech people weren’t always the best writers (see also: any software manual written between 1980 and 1995 or so), but “will result to instant deactivation?” No.
- “Click here” links to a TinyURL site. Yeah, no.
- “This message is sent automatically by the computer.” Yeah. THE COMPUTER. Really? Really? No technical support team would ever use that sentence, because it makes zero sense.
- “Reset your email” also makes no sense. How do you reset an email? (You can, however, declare email bankruptcy).
- It’s asking you to click a hidden link and provide personal information. It might as well said, “Hi. This is a phishing attack. Can we have your password?”