This is the text of a spam/phishing email I received on January 3, 2012. It slipped right past the spam filters (my notes are bold and in brackets):
From: Fraud Monitoring
Subject: CRITICAL: There may be a change to your Experian credit-score
ALERT: There may have been a change to one of your 3 credit-scores!
Your Experian, Equifax & TransUnion Scores are your Ticket to a New car, Credit-cards, a Mortgage & more!
View Your Up-to-the-minute Credit-Scores Now, It’s On Us! Click here.
[note: there were about twenty blank lines here]
To no longer receive notifications and updates about this offer, please use this safe unsub link.
[note: the following was in tiny white text, which made it invisible until you highlighted it]
Zuzim in which he would hardly with great deep sleep to Simeon and found there. And planted a mixed multitude of the man, and he can bear. Behold, to us, and I will send thee will harden the Egyptians in the daughters of Zibeon and kissed him, and thou art gone out to see the Red Sea; there is better that shall be buried him the children, or bad. And Jehovah went down, and thy hand of the people go, that my venison, and tarried there was dead, and go in the seven ears, withered, thin, well favored. Haste ye, and the men into the goats: and bring it was returned in them, and begat Lamech. And the land of Rebekah said unto the king of the righteous with the nakedness of the sheep, and begat a dream, and, behold, his sons, Shem, and ye to Paddan-aram. And Noah were both the sword. And when he made me in the thing was grain which he believed in blessing I pray you, and our God, the third stories shalt keep it; and will not who knew not regard not so to my signs in our land was good. And chose him for an officer of the children of the children of the generations ye shall eat every tree or not. And it unto him, Abraham. And he had, in at the water in the sons of the first-born. And he said, Behold now, Jehovah came in the same is the windows of thee. And God called Esau her son, while he did eat their generations. And he begat Enoch was wroth with us: and the land ye shall his bosom, behold, his beasts, and Shaul the money, they have sent them up on me unto Jehovah said, Now therefore he-asses, and the land of Salem brought them against the Hivite, the greatness of white with the same is Edom. And he had done this place. And Joseph said when we found: know him. And she said, Unto their daughters with him that his army, and two years, and wise know how thy rod, wherewith thou hast led the damsel. And when I buried Sarah shall say unto me; and he said, Surely thou standest is about three baskets of his cattle that which thou hast showed him to the kids of Egypt, the garden in the prison; and Kedar, the water which Lot journeyed to me, and he put upon him. And the Hebrews’ children. And he lifted up early in the earth, and said unto thee into the men of Israel his brother’s name of Israel to slay thy father, and I give ear to pass, when they bosom; and he gathered together within his daughter ye done in the eyes and went in, and wise men have accepted thee and daughters: and Magog, and Joseph spake all their names: chief Zepho, and cause frogs be stronger of Egypt were ceased, he put it shall be buried couched as though it came unto him, into my lord. And he dwelt then ye shall be thy servant of Israel said, Let there all the lord knoweth that he fell there, and filled the earth: and the birds multiply thy she-goats have said, What is it came to sojourn in Paddan-aram, and was all his people, that no uncircumcised person shall be the years of Canaan, the lodging-place, that is in the thigh of land of a husbandman, and come seven hundred sixty and the ground after these are the bracelets for out of Egypt. Then Joseph understood them;
[note: the following was fully visible text]
All of a sudden, I was hearing stories about how difficult I was to work with, ridiculous rumors about drugs and what a diva I was. I never had to go to rehab or a program.
[note: it concluded with this footer image]
I thought it might be useful to point out a few things about this message.
First, you should never, ever respond to an email like this in any way, shape or form. I’m not sure what it leads to—it could be a site that attempts to steal personal information, a rogue online pharmacy or some combination of the two. Even clicking the “safe unsub link” could lead to problems.
Second, the “from” information, the link to (allegedly) view your credit score and the “unsub” link all use the exact same host: doragreyliteracyfoundation.com.
I did a “whois” on this URL and found that it was registered on December 23, 2011, using a registrar called eNom, Inc. Four things about this fun fact:
- The website was registered eleven days before the message was sent, yet they somehow already had my email address.
- The Dora Grey Literacy Foundation, as far as I can tell from a web search, does not exist.
- They registered the domain name for only one year, which isn’t necessarily a sign of fraud, but know this: registering a domain name for only one year is a pattern with fraudulent websites.
- As of October 2010, eNom, Inc. was the registrar for around 40% of rogue online pharmacy sites, according to a source cited at Krebsonsecurity.com.
Third, that huge block of (religious, in this case) word salad would have no reason to exist in a legitimate email message.
Fourth, neither would that business about being a “diva” after the word salad. I looked it up; it’s a quote from Irene Cara. Yeah, the person who sang “Fame” and played Coco Hernandez.
Finally, regarding that footer image, there is neither a Dora Grey Literacy Foundation nor a Facio & Associates at that address. “PMB” indicates the address is a commercial mail drop business, which is a mainstay of con artists.
Amazing what you can learn with a little research, isn’t it?