I think I made it pretty clear how I feel about spammers in my post entitled “Thanks to Henry” not so very long ago. Especially the ones that hit us daily through our contact forms. They pretty much circle the bottom of the barrel and serve no useful purpose in life. But when I wrote the Henry blog, I just thought I despised the ones using bots to send a ton of spam the most.
Nope. The bots are easy to snag and we can sort them out pretty quickly. Closer to the top of my “Spammers I Despise” list are the ones who use humans to fill out the forms, thus initially avoiding capture. These are the ones who try and sell me on whatever service they offer. Yeah, Eric Z. Jones will never get my business Timmy. I don’t care what he’s selling, even if he’s the last guy on the planet selling it. I’ll figure something else out. Seriously. Why would anyone in their right mind do business with ne’er do wells who rely on spam to build their client base?
Now let’s move to the very top of my “Spammers I Despise” list Timmy. I thought I’d seen it all when it came to spammer scammers when someone contacted a client (through their form) about the illegal use of an image. For a mere $250 I could have made the “problem” go away. I didn’t take it for a grain of salt because we built the site, and all the images were licensed or were taken in-house. And we caught the submission, so our client didn’t have to deal with that annoyance.
All formal legal notifications come through contact forms
But I was wrong when I thought I’d seen it all. Last week, four of the contact forms I regularly monitor received submissions telling me they’d been hacked. They implored me (in all caps) to inform someone in the company who “is allowed to make important decisions” of the situation. Sure. His name is “TRASH” and I forwarded your input to him, you mouth-breathing, bottom-feeding bucket of slime. (If that was too real, my apologies. Mopes like these just bring out the mean in me.)
No, even before the extortion deadline had passed, I was confident that our databases were intact and that they hadn’t been moved to an offshore server. And that they wouldn’t be sold to the highest bidder. Nor would anyone’s reputation be irreparably damaged. So that was a hard no Scammy Spammer.
And even if I did buy that load of rot about being hacked, I wouldn’t have sent you any bitcoins. Or portions thereof because you just can’t be trusted. Clearly you are not an honorable individual. Elsewise you wouldn’t be scamming me in the first place.
I’m certain you’d come back for more because you’d flag me as an easy mark, wouldn’t you? Even Timmy understands that logic. But you did say ‘please’ when you gave me the directions for forwarding those bitcoin pieces to you. Maybe you should be more forceful next time. Stay in character. You are indeed a riddle wrapped in an enigma Scammy. And thanks for the assurance that no one would ever know that I complied. I’da slept easier knowing that you had my back. Crawl back under your rock. We’re done here.
Read that fine print
All that levity aside, we all need to be on our toes these days because the ne’er do wells are lurking in the shadows ’round every bend. And they’re not as patently false as the fraud that Scammy tried to perpetrate on me. No, some appear to be much more legitimate, and sadly, they’re legal. They just prey on the uninitiated which makes them all-the-more heinous to me.
One that’s been around for years comes by way of a letter that some folks in Nevada send out. For a mere $228, they encourage you to list your domain with them. And they’re clear that they are not a domain registrar and that the letter they send is not a bill but rather a solicitation. It just looks like something more official and important.
Its sole benefit is a subscription that provides an “Annual Domain Listing on internet directory.” I know what that means, but the actual benefit is unclear. I’m listed. So what now? How many people rely on their site to find goods and/or services? I’d never heard of them until I received their solicitation and if few know their site exists, how likely is it to be used as a resource to locate the folks who fall prey to their ploy?
And I suspect that this ‘solicitation’ probably gets rubber-stamped in way too many organizations. That’s why they keep it up. We posted about this on our Facebook page a few years ago. You can see a sample of the letter there.
Countless other scams abound and even more are brewing. We all need to be wary. Some of these cons are quite convincing. But don’t fall for them. Check with someone who knows about these things before you pony up and pay somebody something for nothing.
The Nigerian Prince wanting to share his gold with you lives Timmy. He’s just morphed…