Ridiculous Spam Friday VII: The New Blood.

Yes, I’m repurposing titles from the Friday the 13th film franchise for these, in case you were wondering.

First contestant:

From: Laboratorio de Genetica Molecular <geneticamolecular@hc.ufu.br>
Date: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 6:06 AM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: Matter That Needs Your Attention!!!

Good day,

This is a personal email directed to you for your consideration alone, I request that it remain and be treated as such only. Please bear with me for now and do not ask my name. I am a banker with HSBC here in Malaysia

I have an interesting business proposal for you that will be of immense benefit to both of us. Although this may be hard for you to believe, we stand to gain 7.2 million USD between us in a matter of days. Please grant me the benefit of doubt and hear me out. I need you to signify your interest by replying to this email..

Most importantly, I will need you to promise to keep whatever you learn from me between us even if you decide not to go along with me. I will make more details available to you on receipt of a positive response from you.

When I first saw “Laboratorio de Genetica Molecular” I thought it said “Banco del Mutuo Soccorso” and thought, “Cool! I got an email from the best Italian progressive rock band ever (with the possible exception of Goblin)!”

Then I read it again.

Notice the request for secrecy in the last paragraph. That’s a classic ploy; “don’t tell anyone about this, because they might tell you it’s a scam.”

But what I’m really in love with is the line, “Please, bear with me for now and do not ask my name.” What are you, the Man From U.N.C.L.E.? Nothing says “trust me” like “I’m not telling you my name.”

By the way, if this guy is from Malaysia, why is his email address from Brazil (.br)? File this one under “advance fee fraud.”

Second contestant:

From: Apple AppStore <up-to-date@store.apple.com>
Date: Friday, April 09, 2010 4:45 PM
To: [correct address]
Subject: 883.19284 Apple App-Store Confirm Order

Apple Store
Call 1-800-MY-APPLE

—————————————————–
ID:65-582602
Order Status

You can also contact Apple Store Customer Service or visit online for more information.
—————————————————–

Visit the Apple Online Store to purchase Apple hardware, software, and third-party accessories.
Copyright 2010 Apple Inc. All rights reserved.

I don’t think it’s actually called the “AppStore,” is it?

The words “Order Status” linked to http://dcgames.com.br/bucknell.html. I’m pretty sure a real email from Apple would like to—oh, I don’t know…maybe APPLE? Once again, that “.br” domain name comes into play. The plot thickens. I’m not 100% sure what the “payload” of this spam is, but I’m guessing it’s a malware site.

Final contestant:

From: WESTER UNION <westernmoney1@w.cn>
Date: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 6:45 AM
To: none
Subject: CUSTOMER

Dear Western Union Customer,

You have been awarded with the sum of $50,000 USD by our office, as one of our customers who use Western Union in their daily business transaction.

This award has been selected through the internet, where your e-mail address indicated and notified. Please provide MR.stephen pagerwith the following listed below so that your fund will be remited to you

through Western Union.

1. Name:______
2. Address________
3. Country:_______
4. Phone Number____
5. Occupation:________
6. Sex:_________________
7. Age___________________

Mr.STEPHEN PAGER
Tel: +234 8021-468-331
E-mail:westernmoney1@w.cn

As soon as these details are received and verified, your fund will be transferred to you. Thank you, for using western union.

Le sigh. Really?

What I absolutely love about this message is the lines after “Name” and the other information. Like you’re going to print this out and fill in the blanks in pen and then…well, I’m not sure. Phone it in? Email a piece of paper?

Let’s get this straight: Western Union does not just give money to random people, whether they use the service regularly or not. I have never used Western Union at all, nor have I used “WESTER UNION,” whatever that is.

Also, I’m pretty sure Western Union isn’t based in China (.cn), and I bet you can’t guess what country that phone number is from.

It’s Nigeria.

That makes this message the setup for a Nigerian 419 scam.

Scam Alert: MICROSOFT E-MAIL AWARD WINNING DRAWS

This one is just dandy:

From: MICROSOFT NATIONAL LOTTERY 2010 <info@postcode.com>
Date: Thursday, February 11, 2010 8:35 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: YOU HAVE WON (£ 500.000.00 GBP)

CONGRATULATION!!
YOU HAVE WON (£ 500.000.00 GBP)
FROM MICROSOFT E-MAIL AWARD WINNING
DRAWS 2010 HELD HERE IN UNITED KINGDOM

Contact Mr, ALEX WINTER FALL.
Email: claimsmicrosft_106@hotmail.com
 You are to Fill the below details…

1. FULL NAME……   2. COUNTRY OF
ORIGIN………….
3. PRESENT ADDRESS……  4. AGE…….
5. OCCUPATION…………………6. SEX………..
7. TELEPHONE NUMBER….

Yours Sincerely,
MRS.BRADSHAW (MICROSOFT LOTTERY COORDINATOR)


Esta mensagem foi verificada pelo sistema de antivírus e
 acredita-se estar livre de perigo.

Do I even need to tell you this is a scam? Probably a 419-style setup; after you contact them, they’ll have you wiring money overseas to pay “fees” for a prize that will never arrive.

There are some things I really love about this:

  1. “Microsoft National Lottery.” I wasn’t aware Microsoft was its own nation. Facebook, on the other hand
  2. Scam emails usually have some clunky English, but the language is butchered beyond belief in this one. Whoever wrote this hasn’t even got the rudiments wired.
  3. “Mr. Alex Winter Fall.” A man for all seasons (or at least two of them).
  4. Isn’t Microsoft based in the United States? What would they be doing hosting lotteries in the UK and handing out British Pounds to random people?
  5. Hotmail is owned by Microsoft, so they somehow managed to get something almost right. However, a real email from the company would be hosted at Microsoft.com.
  6. Does anybody honestly believe that large corporations just give away millions of dollars to random people? They don’t. Not even the richest ones.
  7. I wonder why the virus scanning information at the bottom of the email would be in Spanish, if this were actually sent from the U.K. to a U.S. recipient.
  8. “Microsoft E-mail Award-Winning Draws.” Not a very snappy name, is it?

Jokes about linguistic butchery aside, I actually think this message isn’t targeted to native English speakers. These things go all over the world, and if you only know a little English (or none), you might not immediately realize how “off” the grammar and spelling are.