It never fails to amaze me how much spam hits my email accounts around this time of year, just as it never fails to amaze me how stupid spammers are – it’s like they’ve never heard of email spam filters… and like they don’t understand how easy it is to identify spam – if you know what to look for, that is.
Even funnier is the spam I see here on WordPress… and it makes me wonder what those idiots hope to accomplish. I must clear out three pieces of spam every day and Askimet, WordPress’s spam filter thingy, has flagged over 21,000 pieces of spam since I’ve been here.
I use Outlook for email, even on my mobile devices and one of the things I love that it does is when spam hits my mailbox, it goes to junk and to make sure there’s no accidental link clicking, any URLs in the spam message are deactivated. The deactivated links show the URL the spammer would love for me to click on… like I’m ever gonna do that. Sure, every now and then, a piece of spam will slip through the filters with some ridiculous subject or some spammer has gotten really clever and is trying to mimic email from a legitimate source… until I see the sender’s email address, which is easy to see in Outlook (at least on the computer).
Sometimes I see “legitimate” mail but I know it’s spam because it got sent to the wrong mailbox, like all those stupid email I get talking about my Amazon order and something being wrong with it – click this link to correct the issue… except, the dummies sent it to an account that’s not associated with my Amazon account.
I liked the one spam email I got from the IRS; it was cleverly worded, had some “shocking” prose and the expected “click here” link to settle my debt with IRS… except I know that IRS never contacts anyone by email (or by phone for that matter).
The reason I’m so amused by emailed spam is the other thing the spammers don’t know is that one of my duties as a systems engineer was specializing in antivirus/anti-spam/anti-malware so, yeah, I know it when I see it and no matter how they try to disguise their stupid spam, I know how to look under the hood of an email and it contains a lot of information about where the message came from.
The WordPress spam? Still baffled by it since it serves no purpose other than providing links to things that I’m sure no one would be interested in – the worst are the ones that occasionally show up in Russian; kinda hard to spam somebody when you do it in a language the recipient doesn’t understand.
It’s like spammers don’t have anything better to do… but the sad part is that a lot of people wind up getting victimized by spam when, in most cases, all one has to do is be aware of who might be sending them email. If you don’t recognize the sender – and it didn’t automatically go to your email program’s junk/spam folder, just send it there yourself. If you’re not expecting an email from a known, legitimate source, it’s probably spam; if you get an email from someone who’s name you know – but, again, you’re not expecting to get an email from that person – and read this as you didn’t tell them to email you – most likely it’s spam.
Of course, it pays to have good tools on your device to help combat spam and to also protect you from malicious web sites, even on your mobile devices. Free programs/apps are okay but sometimes they miss stuff or the protection isn’t – or won’t be – complete until you drop some loot on a subscription; I pay to have Malwarebytes on all of our computers and working in concert with our Norton Antivirus and I’d have to say that it pays for itself because none of our devices get infected and the spam pretty much gets shit-canned; hell, the only reason I bother to look in my junk folders is that, bleh, sometimes, a legit piece of email will wind up in the junk folder – shit happens and the reason why it does is rather complicated so I won’t even bore you to death explaining it.